I submit that the direct-to-video “Fright Night 2” (2013) is the paragon of average horror movies. It is neither great nor terrible. You don’t immediately call your friends to recommend it, but you don’t bemoan its $1 rental price at Redbox either. I’d give it a 6 out of 10.
The movie suffers greatly from an insufferably irritating iteration of protagonist Charlie Brewster. He’s uncharismatic in every scene, including those showing his weaselly entreaties to the girlfriend who left him after he cheated on her. (He is played blandly by Will Payne; she is played rather well by Sacha Parkinson.) Entirely absent is the charm and likable innocence that Anton Yelchin brought to the role in 2011’s “Fright Night.” (Kyle Reese fought vampires in 2011, then aided John Connor in the future to fight terminators, evidently.)
The lackluster Charlie here is compensated for by a terrific villain. Jaime Murray is a fantastic female equivalent of Dracula. She’s a strong actress, she’s a quite tall brunette who looks the part, and she knows how to both sex it up and scare us. I love her as a bad guy (gal). I’d love to see her play a conspirator on one of the nerd community’s most anticipated upcoming revivals: “24” or “The X Files.” I’m told she has a role on that … medieval show that people watch. “Shame of Thrones?” “Dame of Thrones?” I’ve never seen an episode.
“Fright Night 2” benefits from Romania as a wonderful shooting location, and it’s captured nicely by the talented eye of director Eduardo Rodriguez. What is the deal with average or mediocre horror films being filmed on location in Romania? Is it just really cheap to shoot there, like Prague?
Anyway, this movie’s title is a misnomer. This movie isn’t a sequel to the terrific 2011 film. It is actually a remake — we again meet Charlie Brewster and Peter Vincent (the very cool Sean Power) for the first time. It’s confusing. I’m guessing that this was a rejected script for the 2011 film that they decided to shoot anyway?
And here is my requisite exposition to silence the pedants in advance — of course we are all aware that this is a “remake of a remake.” The 2011 film is a nice update of the 80’s classic. (And wasn’t that fun flick the talk of the neighborhood back in the day?)
Sooooo, seeing how average this film was, I really can’t recommend that you ether watch it or skip it. I guess I can just offer a neutral “hmm.” I’d suggest that it is acceptable fare if you’re an especially ardent vampire movie fan who has already viewed the classics that are easily available.