Fright Night 2 : New Blood (2013) DVD Review

FN2FRIGHT NIGHT 2: NEW BLOOD (2013)
Dir. Eduardo Rodriguez         96 mins
20th Century Fox
UK Release: 21st October 2013

Have they ever remade a sequel? This would make a more entertaining prospect for contemporary films in my estimation! Imagine a remake of Friday 13th: The Final Chapter or Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers – it would pique your interest more than this would it not. For Fright Night 2, the title is simply redundant as 1) it’s not a remake of Fright Night 2, and 2) it’s not a sequel to the remake of Fright Night. They’re just using the same characters played by totally different people. That’s annoying to me.

Grievances aside, we have a talented director here in Eduardo Rodriguez (some might say if he’s that talented why is he on board FN2) who made the excellent Curandero (check out the UKHS review). The action has shifted as most contemporary sequels do to Romania, and the cast is British save for the Dubliner Sean Power who takes over the role of Peter Vincent.

Charley Brewster (Will Payne) is in Romania on a college trip along with his buddy ‘Evil’ Ed Bates (Chris Waller) and desperately trying to make it up with his girlfriend Amy (Sacha Parkinson) with whom he’s had a falling out. In their hotel Ed is watching the latest episode of Fright Night on his iPad where we discover that Peter Vincent is now a foul mouthed autocrat whilst his show has become some lame night vision tinted reality show. How you’ll yearn for the regal aloofness of the great Roddy McDowall.

FN2-002Their professor while they’re on this foreign excursion is Gerri Dandridge – see what they did there, played by the always excellent Jaime Murray, and immediately Charley suspects that there is something of the night about her. He’s right too, she’s a vampire as he discovers by breaking into her apartment and watching her drain a nubile young thing. Unsurprisingly no-one believes his accusation of Gerri’s vampirism, but as always he has ally in the shape of ‘Evil’ Ed who suggests that he enlist the help of Peter Vincent who coincidentally is also in Romania shooting his TV show.

The idea of the introduction of the classic character Elizabeth Bathory (the Blood Countess) is admittedly the one aspect of this sequel that I thought brought some ingenuity to the project, everything else though I found to be tired, uninspired and desperately short of originality. The film follows such a similar path to the original and the remake – Charley is living next door to Dandridge, he suspects something is afoot, no one believes him, he contacts Peter Vincent and vampiric showdown builds.

FN2-003Granted, Eduardo Rodriguez does show some flair in his direction, but there’s just a litany of gripes that I’m struggling to overcome. Why switch the location to Romania? Surely the fabric of Fright Night is the idea of a vampire in suburbia. The five lead actors were fine, but why have four Brits and an Irishman all speaking with an American accent? Petty quibbles perhaps, but if you’re a horror fan and you hold the 1985 film and its sequel in any kind of high regard, then you should be rejecting this as an insult to your intelligence.

3 out of 10

Extras:
•        Commentary with Eduardo Rodriguez, Alison Rosenzweig and Michael Gaeta
•        Fright Night webisodes
•        Dracula Revealed

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