Fright Night was certainly a rarity: a vampire comedy that actually works both as a vamp flick and as a horror movie satire. The film had an irresistible charm with its cool 80's score, its turtle neck-wearing villain and its genius Peter Cushing/Hammer homage.
This sequel takes the same formula and introduces new dastardly vampires to add to the mix.
It's years later, Charlie (William Ragsdale again) has undergone a lot of therapy and has accepted that everything that happened in the first film had been the result of group hypnosis and never actually happened. Peter Vincent (the ever-reliable Roddy McDowall), however, still remembers the truth of the events that unfolded but being the only one who believes that reality, it's hurting his work to say the least. Basically, the first half of the film is nothing but build-up to resuming the status quo of the first movie: Charlie being a douche to his girlfriend, Peter Vincent losing his job, vampires orgy-biting victims with the curtains open...
By the halfway point you're basically back in the first Fright Night except it's much less entertaining and much less funny.
You've got a decent new bunch of villains which may not be quite as memorable as turtle neck guy but which feel a bit more threatening: sexy vamp lady, vampire Prince, vampire Ivan Drago and bald werewolf dude make a good team for sure and they all die in fantastic ways. This is actually the highlight of the film, the visual effects during the vampire death scenes are really impressive and genuinely gross.
Otherwise, the film is frankly a little dull.
The first half of the film doesn't feel necessary and is completely predictable while the second half, despite admittedly having its moments, drags a bit until the only-ok climax. It's frankly a bit of a disappointing sequel. Yes you do get the Fright Night experience with McDowall as good as ever but at no point does Part 2 feel useful, innovative, intense or crazy-fun. Mostly, it's like watching a slightly less good version of Fright Night. Maybe instead of trying to recreate the first film they should have opted for a whole new, bigger vibe with the same main characters. Like an army of vampires taking over the town or something...
What would Hammer do?
Actually, bad example.
Overall, as a vampire flick, Fright Night Part 2 isn't bad. It's worth a look I guess but it's hardly a must-see. If you enjoyed Fright Night you'll find some things to enjoy here but if you weren't a fan in the first place you might want to give it a miss altogether. Honestly, it's a bit too boring for its own good. There are better vampire films out there, I'm thinking Near Dark, and there are better Fright Night films:
Fright Night and...
Fright Night. The remake, that is.