Main cast: Will Payne (Charley Brewster), Sean Power (Peter Vincent), Sacha Parkinson (Amy Peterson), Chris Waller (Evil Ed Bates), and Jaime Murray (Gerri Dandridge)
Director: Eduardo Rodríguez
Fright Night 2: New Blood has nothing to do with the recent remake with Colin Farrell. It seems, actually, like an independent remake that is somehow beaten to the punch by the other movie. While this movie boasts the same characters as the original Fright Night franchise, some of these characters did not survive in the other movie, thus making this a sequel in name only.
This is clearly a lower budget reboot, and it’s direct to video, and in many ways, it is actually a loose remake of the original Fright Night 2. However, this one also serves as an excuse to include plenty of lesbian scenes. Yes, the evil vampire Gerri Dandridge – the sister of the evil vampire in the original Fright Night 2, is now a college professor who likes to get it on and sink her fangs in hot women as well as men. There is also more female nudity on display – the perks of not having to conform to mainstream box-office release standards of “decency”, clearly. I guess the folks behind this movie don’t have much faith in other charms of this movie drawing the audience in.
Charley Brewster, Amy Peterson, and Evil Ed Bates are three college students who are currently in an exchange program to Romania. Amy thinks that Charley had cheated on her, so now she’s giving him the cold shoulder while he desperately tries to tell her that he never cheated on her and the whole thing was a misunderstanding. On their first night checking in, Charley notices two women getting it on in a room across from the one shared by him and Ed, and one of these women turns out to be his Romanian history professor. Ooh.
Charley soon notices Professor Dandridge hooking up with a student, who soon ends up missing. He becomes suspicious of her and, one night, sees her getting into a car while carrying what seems like a body bag over her shoulder. Naturally, he follows her to her home, where he witnesses her doing her evil vampire thing. Oh no, what will Charley do now? Of course, Peter Vincent – now a host of a reality TV series dealing with paranormal elements, also in Romania to film an episode on, naturally, vampires – would be roped into the scene as well. The movie may not follow the plot of the original Fright Night 2, but many plot developments are familiar to folks who have seen the other movie.
Compared to the reboot of Fright Night, this one is a far more enjoyable watch. This could be because this particular version of Charley Brewster is not an unlikable selfish asshole, and while Will Payne can put someone’s eyes out with his nose and his haircut is beyond tragic, his face doesn’t evoke an instantaneous desire to vomit. Unlike Colin Farrell’s vampire villain who was supposedly cunning but exhibited the brainpower of a brain-damaged bull, Gerri Dandridge is a pretty formidable opponent that fights dirty.
Sean Power’s Peter Vincent is more cynical and pragmatic than other versions of this character, but this isn’t a bad thing at all as Peter’s more low-key personality fits well with the general tone of the script, which prefers to have the villain deliver the camp. Chris Waller actually steals every scene he is in, and it’s a shame that his character is not the main guy in this movie.
The second half of the movie is much less interesting than the first half, however. The first half attempts to build some kind of tension, but it succeeds somewhat credibly. The second half is pure crazy-bitch-on-rampage, however, and it soon devolves into a monotonous chase-and-bash pattern with an unnecessarily convoluted plot device to give our idiots a way out. It’s a shame. The villain is really winning until the script lets the main characters pull a win out of their rear ends.
Fright Night 2: New Blood looks pretty low budget, but on the whole, it’s a decently acted flick that is only let down by a mediocre script that relies more on naked boobies than anything else to carry the movie to the finish line. It’s not must-watch movie, but it’s not toxic movie either.