The sequel to the 2011 Fright Night remake is coming in hot this October, and a first look at the trailer leaked online yesterday. Unsurprisingly, Fright Night 2 looks awful. Cringe-inducing line readings, an overly familiar story and lots of recycled bits from yesterday’s Fright Nights put it firmly in oft-traveled territory.
But that’s not the biggest problem. It’s the almost aggressive lack of creativity that has come to define this project.
As you can tell from the trailer, this is a sequel in name only. Instead of taking the usual direct-to-video sequel route of using the same story with minor variances here and there, the producers have decided that this should be an all-new remake. So Charlie is back to square one here. He’s friends with Evil Ed (who was turned into a vampire in the 2011 film) and “Gerri” Dandridge is a woman this time. This isn’t a continuation of 2011′s story. It’s a retelling of it.
Don’t just take my word for it:
When high school student Charlie attends a study abroad program with his horror-obsessed friend “Evil” Ed and ex-girlfriend Amy in Romania, he soon discovers their young attractive professor Gerri (Jaime Murray, “Dexter”) is a real life vampire. Too bad no one believes him. In fact, Evil Ed finds it amusing, and it only feeds his vampire obsession. When Gerri turns Ed, Charlie seeks out Peter Vincent, the infamous vampire hunter (well, he plays one on TV) who is in Romania filming his show “Fright Night,” to teach him how to take down Gerri before she gets to Amy, whose blood will cure Gerri of spending eternity as a vampire.
I’m a huge fan of the Fright Night movies from the 1980s. No, Part II is not as good as the original (a personal favorite), but it had enough heart and humor to make it enjoyable. Besides, Roddy McDowall and William Ragsdale had a genuine chemistry that made them fun to watch.
I wanted to like the remake. The pedigree was good but it missed the mark in just about every way imaginable (and featured one of the worst screenplays in recent memory). When I heard they were continuing the series via a DTV installment, I couldn’t help but wonder if they’d get it right. But it’s hard to muster anything aside from bewilderment for a sequel that is actively ignoring the sole movie that came before it. These producers don’t seem to care for much more than cashing in. And that’s too bad because Fright Night deserves better.
Guess we’ll have to keep waiting.
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