Fright Night Part 2 (1988)

I was late to the party on the original “Fright Night,” so I was excited to watch this sequel after watching the awesome trailer… only to find that it’s a dull, lifeless bore. Maybe it’s that director Tommy Lee Wallace doesn’t quite have Tom Holland’s deft touch with comedy and horror, and is unable to recreate or match the fun, sexy tone of the original. Or maybe it’s that vampiric villainess Julie Carmen is a poor substitute for Chris Sarandon’s slyly seductive menace: She’s barely alive and ambulant whenever onscreen, like she’s sleepwalking through the proceedings or appearing in a sub-Cinemax softcore effort also doubling as a Playboy photoshoot. This time around, William Ragsdale’s Charley is a whiny stick-in-the-mud who sucks the energy out of the movie whenever he’s on screen, while poor Roddy McDowall is stuck on autorepeat, attempting to replicate the movie’s easygoing charisma but betrayed by the underwhelming plot and a sorely padded running time. It just goes on and on, and ultimately it’s pretty forgettable.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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