Title: Fright Night
Director: Craig Gillespie
Released: August 19, 2011
Description: Meet the sexy new neighbor, Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell). He’s dangerously charming – and utterly lethal. That’s because he just happens to be a vampire, and out for blood . . . buckets of it. After high school senior Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) makes the connection between Jerry’s suspicious activity and a steadily rising body count, he vows to end the reign of terror next door. But he can’t do it alone. His only hope is Las Vegas magician/vampire-slayer Peter Vincent (David Tennant). Together, this unlikely duo set out to end Jerry’s evil rampage. But Jerry is a ruthless, relentless killer, and he’s not going down without a fight. Get set to sink your teeth into this thrilling re-vamp of the terrifying horror classic. Featuring a star-studded cast and crawling with bonus (sic), Fright Night will captivate you from the very first bite!
So, like I said in my recap of the original Fright Night, I decided to recap both versions of this movie as a combination of my 50th recap for this site and my birthday recap. I couldn’t think of anything birthday related, and I suddenly got it in my head that this would be fun. So I had to run out to the mall (yep, that’s . . . still a thing) and buy this version, because I didn’t own it and it’s not streaming anywhere. Boyfriend wasn’t even aware this version existed, but when I told him David Tennant and Colin Farrell are in it, he told me, “Ah, okay, that explains why you like it.” I mean . . . he’s not wrong. Anyway, it’s just a happy coincidence that both the OG and this one came out in theaters in August of their respective years. So we’re all celebrating birthdays this month! Yay!
I don’t have the same connection to this one that I have to the original – I saw it once in February of 2012, and didn’t remember it at all. Watching it for this recap was seriously like watching it for the first time – I didn’t remember anything that was going to happen. I didn’t even remember how much I liked it before, but I found the old notebook in which I used to write down every movie I watched (look, I’m very precise about very odd things, okay?) and I found this one listed as such: “2/6/2012: Fright Night 2011 – Pretty great remake. Not as cheesy as the original.” (It was also the 32nd movie I’d watched so far that year. Damn I’ve slowed down my movie-watching since then.)
So, I guess I liked it. And I’m not alone – it has a 6.4 on IMDb, and a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes. Which is a bit higher than I expected, given the tendency of people to shit on remakes just because they can.
Also, real quick: I’m not here to compare and contrast this version with the OG in this recap. Some comparison may be unavoidable, but I’m going to do my best to approach this version on its own merits. Despite being a remake, it’s not really the same story at all, and is very much its own thing, so I’m going to treat it that way.
Oh. Except for this:
We open on a . . . fast pan down through storm clouds and lightning (and some credits) to a housing tract that looks to be maybe a mile square, in the middle of the desert. There are lots of houses with For Sale signs in the yards, but we’re going into an occupied house all alone at the end of the street. The TV is blasting an ad for a vampire-themed Las Vegas magic show called Fright Night, with magician Peter Vincent. Picture David Tennant as an even douchier Criss Angel, and you’ll be somewhere in the neighborhood. (Side note: there’s an episode of Supernatural titled “Criss Angel is a Douchebag,” and this fact brings me a perverse amount of joy.)
We pull out a little and see a Jack Russell terrier up on the coffee table, eating someone’s fast food dinner. Oh, bad puppy! Also, where is the person who that dinner belongs to?
A news report comes on the TV, and we learn that this is a suburb of Las Vegas, and someone tried to bite a woman in a supermarket parking lot, but the security guard chased them away. Hmm. That sounds like a rookie vampire, rather than one who’s been around for a while, but maybe that’s just, like, my opinion, man.
We move down the hall, where suddenly a teenage boy runs out of a room, away from a gnarly dead arm flopping across the floor, and animalistic feeding noises. The boy runs into a bedroom where two corpses already are, and hides under the bed. He pulls a gun out from between the mattresses (where it looks like Dad was just a little too slow on the draw, judging from the bloody handprints already on the mattresses), but the gun has a trigger lock on it. Goddamn responsible parents and their gun safety precautions, amirite? The boy reaches into Corpse Dad’s (I’m assuming) pocket and gets the keys, managing to remove the trigger lock a moment later, but dude. You are making so much noise. Like, even if this isn’t a vampire that’s after you, he’s definitely still heard you, son.
Oh, yup, a gnarly mottled hand reaches down and picks up the trigger lock, then we hear growling and get a split-second view of something vaguely Monster Colin Farrell-shaped before the boy is yanked screaming from under the bed. Ah, okay. RIP, whoever you were.
We cut to the same panning shot over the neighborhood, only in the daytime this time, while a very Bob Dylan-esque song plays. We see all the trappings of your typical suburban neighborhood, and then we see Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin, and it makes me a little sad to see him in things now after his untimely death a few years back. RIP, dude.) pushing a . . . motorbike? dirtbike? . . . there’s no way I’m going to call this thing a motorcycle . . . up the street, threatening to take it apart like it’s going to listen to him, say “oh shit!” and suddenly start working again.
He flirts with the hot girl who lives across the street, Doris (is that a Hot Girl name?), then she calls him Char-Char and tells him he’s gotten big. She doesn’t look much older than him, by the way. He just about loses his mind over that, and stares at her ass as she walks away – she has on a pair of sweatpants with “Lucky” written across the ass. His mom (Toni Collette) notices this, and tells him not to leer at the neighbors. Yeah, go Mom! He responds that she’s the one who put the word across her butt; he’s just reading it. Ehhhh . . . I’m gonna hate Charley, aren’t I?
Mom has the back of her minivan open and is loading a bunch of Century 21 Real Estate signs into it. So, Mom (we find out later her name is Jane) is either a real estate agent, or has a really weird hobby. I like to imagine she’s actually stealing For Sale signs from yards and placing them in the yards of random neighbors just to fuck with them. Also, these signs have very pointy stakes that go into the ground, so I’m guessing we’ll see a vampire get staked with one at some point. Chekhov’s real estate signs!
Mom complains about the huge industrial dumpster in the new neighbor’s driveway, then points out that it’s full of concrete but he’s not digging a pool, so where is all the concrete coming from? Oh. Nowhere good, I’m assuming.
Charley’s girlfriend Amy rolls up in a green VW Beetle convertible with a couple unnamed friends already inside to give Charley a ride to school. Mom tells Charley that Ed called again, and she’s getting tired of fielding these calls; if Charley doesn’t want to talk to him, he should just tell him. Charley says that defeats the whole purpose. Charley, you’re a fucking dick. Also, you have a cell phone; why isn’t Ed calling that? Then Amy proves she’s got some dickishness to her as well, by pretending to drive off without Charley. (These characters do get more likable as the movie goes on, but right now my thought is “Yeah, go ahead and eat them.” *shrug*)
At school, Charley and Amy have some actually kind of cute banter before meeting up with a couple of guys whose names I don’t care enough to look up. One of them is Dave Franco. I’m going to call him Jock Boy and the other one Stoner Boy. Jock Boy grabs Charley’s bootleg Starbucks cup out of his hand and mocks him for drinking a mochaccino, telling him they’re not letting him ride with the girls anymore. Listen, dickface, fancy coffee drinks are delicious and intended for anyone with tastebuds. Go drink your toxic masculinity-brewed plain bean juice and leave the rest of us in peace, mmkay?
Then they comment on Charley’s sneakers, which are some sort of maroon colored high tops with velcro across the tops. Apparently these are very cool, but they look like the shoes everyone wore in third grade. Also, it’s stated that their color is puce. Someone must have had a bet to see how many times they could work “puce” into the script, because this isn’t the last time something puce-colored is pointed out. Also also, I always have to Google what color puce is, because I never believe it isn’t some sickly shade of greenish-beige. (And no, I’m not thinking of chartreuse. I’m well aware of that Mandela effect.)
Charley mentions Prom to Amy, saying he hasn’t asked her yet because he just assumed they’d go, but she sort of condescendingly tells him that no one goes to Prom their senior year. No one cool, at least. Charley tries to play it off, but he’s obviously disappointed. It’s pretty clear he’s only been hanging with the cool crowd since the beginning of senior year, and he’s probably never been to Prom (or any school dance) before. Poor Charley.
After Amy walks away, Jock Boy asks Charley how the hell a dork like him got a hot piece of ass like Amy (I’m only slightly paraphrasing here), and Charley tells him he’s just got game, man. Sure, man, whatever.
In class, there are a lot of absent kids during roll call. Hmm. Sinister. Or not, I dunno, they could just be ditching. In the hall later, Charley is hanging by the lockers with Jock and Stoner, and they see Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who you may call McLovin, but I’ll always identify as Red Mist from Kick-Ass) start to approach, and roll their eyes warning Charley that it looks like he’s going to talk to him. Nothing worse than being spoken to by a nerd, right?
Ed pulls Charley off to the side (after snidely asking Jock doesn’t he have some sluts to go fuck, and God this movie really wants me to hate everyone, doesn’t it?) and tells him that Adam’s missing. Ed can’t get hold of him, and he’s not the only one; didn’t Charley notice how many kids were missing at roll call? Charley doesn’t really give a fuck, but Ed keeps insisting that he come to Adam’s house with him after school to snoop around. Ed finally has to blackmail Charley by asking if he wants his new friends to know how well they really know each other, then goes on to talk about their Lego competitions, Farscape conventions, and costumes. Look, all of that sounds amazing. Sure, I’m a nerd. Fight me. Then he loses me by talking about the time Charley borrowed his Stretch Armstrong and tied it around his balls to jerk off for an hour. Uhhhhh what the fuck, Charley? That’s what finally gets Charley to agree to meet Ed at Adam’s after school. As he walks away, Ed calls after him that he’d like Stretch back. Uh, no, pretty sure you don’t, bro.
Amy drives Charley home from school, and I have no idea what time this school lets out (or what time of year it is), but the sun is down enough that there’s no direct sunlight on the street, and Mom is outside flirting with the new neighbor. Also, Amy is parked across the street from the house. Who the fuck does that, besides people in Fright Night movies?
Quick cut to Ed standing in front of Adam’s house, leaving a voicemail on Charley’s phone asking where he is and threatening to upload some video of Charley, Ed, and Adam cosplaying in tights or something.
Back to Charley and company, and we hear New Neighbor telling Mom that there’s a foundation problem in his house, he’s having to dig up the basement, and that’s what all the concrete in the dumpster is. Mmhmm. Foundation problem. Sure.
Guess I can’t really blame Mom for buying literally everything he’s selling.
Mom introduces Neighbor Guy as Jerry, then embarrasses Charley by asking if we still say “girlfriend” when she tries to introduce Amy. Amy’s reaction to Jerry is, uh, about as giggly and blushy as mine. I swear I don’t react to Colin Farrell like this in everything he’s in, guys. I clearly have a slight vampire thing. Jerry zeroes in on Charley in a man-to-man way that I could frankly do without, and apologizes for the eyesore of a dumpster; like he told Mom, it’ll be gone in the morning. Charley’s like, I don’t give a fuck; Mom was the one who had a problem with it, but Mom cuts him off to tell him that Jerry works construction on the strip at night. Is that a thing? Construction at night?
Jerry notices Charley’s shoes and asks if he plays ball, and he’s been looking for a good pick-up game every now and then. These are apparently basketball shoes. Boyfriend’s BFF lives in Vegas and is also a huge sneaker-head; he’d probably be very disappointed that I can’t identify these damn shoes on sight. (No, Boyfriend’s BFF is not Charley.) Anyway, in some weird masculinity flex, Charley insists he does play, despite both Mom and Amy scoffing at that, and Mom goes on to explain to Jerry that Charley is obsessed with buying these shoes. Yeah. He’s a sneaker-head, Mom.
Then Jerry tells him it takes a real man to wear puce . . . and he likes them. Okay, do I need to start a drinking game solely based on characters saying the word puce? . . . that is a sentence I never thought I would have to type. Also, that is one weird masculinity flex, my dude. Fucking puce. *walks away, shaking head and muttering inarticulately*
Jerry says he’d invite them in, but the place is a mess. But he’s been meaning to be more neighborly; have them over for a drink . . . or something. A drink, haha, yeah I bet. Then Mom thanks him for his help (I guess he was actually in her yard, digging up a malfunctioning sprinkler or something?) and she and the kids head back to the house. They tease her about blowing him off, and she counters that a guy who looks like that and is still single has got to be a player, and she’s not about to get suckered again. Haha, suckered. Because he’s a vampire! Wait, we’re not supposed to know that yet, huh?
Charley gets a text message from Ed, of the cosplay video, telling him it goes live in ten minutes. Charley freaks out and takes off jogging for Adam’s house, leaving Amy and Mom in the driveway. Huh, good thing they seem to like each other.
Inside his house, Jerry looks menacingly at . . . no fucking idea . . . and then eats a fucking apple. Goddammit, Chris Sarandon, you see what you started?! You and your fucking fruit bat DNA, I swear to God . . . .
Charley shows up at Adam’s, and Ed admonishes him that he meant for Charley to meet him right after school, and it’s now dusk. Soooooo, has Ed just been standing around outside their friend’s house for the last two or three hours? I’m not sure if that’s impressive, or pathetic.
They knock on the door and ring the doorbell, and then go around back and Ed goes in the doggie door. He opens a bag that he clearly stole from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then tells Charley that his neighbor is a vampire, and Charley’s all like, “Jerry?” and then goes on to say that Jerry is a terrible vampire name. I’m sorry; did you read my recap of the original version of this movie, Charley? Because I said the same damn thing.
Also, we only had to wait 14 minutes until someone said the V-word.
Ed goes off to creep through the house, and as Charley follows him, we see someone Jerry-shaped outside the window in the backdoor. So, if he was invited in (I’m assuming those are still the rules we’re playing by) before he massacred this family (again, assuming this was the family we saw in the movie’s opening scene), he can still come in right now, can’t he? In other words, be careful, you idiots!
Upstairs, Ed gets jump-scared by a cardboard cutout, and proceeds to slaughter it with a stake. Ed, what are we gonna do with you? He tells Charley that he and Adam were mapping out all the disappearances of families, and that Jerry’s house is right in the center. What’s more, Jerry’s windows are all blacked out. Charley counters that it’s Vegas; lots of people have their windows blacked out because they work at night and sleep in the day. I mean, there are other reasons, too. My mom used to tape trash bags over the windows because the sun would shine in too brightly and hurt her eyes, and . . . oh. Oh! Guys, is my mom a vampire?
Charley tells Ed that none of that means that Jerry is a dracula; Ed informs him that Dracula isn’t the name of the species, it’s just one specific vampire. Well, if you’ve ever listened to Bailiff Jesse Thorne on the Judge John Hodgeman podcast talk about draculas, you might beg to differ. Anyway, Charley’s like yeah, I know dude, I was making fun of you.
Then Charley tells him he reads too much Twilight, and like, this is nothing like Twilight, but whatever, my guy. Ed counters by telling him that this is real, and Jerry isn’t noble or lovesick or brooding (thank God for that; I can’t stand brooding, mopey vampires), he’s the fucking shark from Jaws. He kills, he eats, he feeds, and he doesn’t stop until everyone around him is dead. Sounds like fun at parties.
Then Ed says he’s so angry Charley thinks he reads Twilight, because yes, let’s please continue to mock and devalue everything that teenage girls like. Ha ha ha ha ha, everything girls like is stupid and valueless and worthy of derision, stupid teenage girls liking things, ha ha fucking ha. Bite me. 🙂
Ed asks Charley if he’s invited Jerry in yet, because he can’t come in without an invitation. Then he says that it’s too dark now, but the two of them have to go in the daytime and stake him through the heart. He says he has hard evidence of Jerry’s vampirism at his house, and he knows so much from Peter Vincent’s website. Apparently this version of Peter studies vampire methodology. And wears bandannas. And leather pants. And tattoos. I’m sure there’s a version of this somewhere that doesn’t just scream “douchebag,” but this isn’t it.
Charley tells Ed that this kind of shit was fun when they were eight (Ed counters with “Try sixteen,” validating my impression that they were besties up until this year), but he needs to stop making shit up now. Ed gives us this movie’s version of the “You’re so cool, Brewster” line while asking what the fuck happened to their friendship, and pointing out that Charley doesn’t give a fuck what happened to Adam, and I’m solidly on his side right up until he starts getting super misogynistic about Amy and calling her a skank. Goddammit, Ed. Then Charley pushes him down, but I can’t really cheer him on either, because he immediately tells Ed that his life got better when they stopped being friends. Charley. You are a fucking asshole, dude. Misogyny aside, Ed’s only crime seems to be . . . still liking the nerdy things you guys liked together for your entire childhoods? What the fuck. (Unless I’m giving Ed too much credit, and they were both little incel “Nice Guys” until Charley went off and got a girlfriend, which is entirely possible.)
Next thing we see is Ed skateboarding down the street, and then someone comes seemingly out of nowhere and shoves him off the board, sending him flying over a car. Oh, it’s Jock Boy. He taunts Ed, and Ed tells him to just punch him and get it over with; he doesn’t have time for this. When Jock Boy swings at him, Ed takes off running, dropping Buffy’s duffel bag and launching himself over a privacy fence and into someone’s backyard. Despite being arguably more athletic than Ed, Jock Boy gives up the pursuit and opens the bag, shaking his head at the stakes and crosses and vials of holy water.
Ed continues hopping fences until I have no clue where the fuck he is, and then turns around and body slams right into Jerry. Ed still has one stake on him, and he brandishes it at Jerry while pounding on the backdoor of this house, then throwing a paint can through the glass door and running inside. He turns and gloats at Jerry that he can’t come in without an invitation, but Jerry looks at the door like “Bitch, please,” and walks on in.
He tells Ed that the house is abandoned; he thought Ed did his homework? Ah, okay. Loophole. Then Jerry says that Ed’s been watching him, so he’s been watching Ed; it seems fair. I mean, uh, yeah? Yes? I . . . totally fair, uh . . . you can watch . . . watch me whenever . . . you . . . uh . . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
Where was I?
Ed turns and runs upstairs, like he’s never seen a damn horror movie in his life, then goes out the bathroom window and drops from the overhang onto the patio without bothering to look down at what’s below him. Jerry is waiting for him in a lawn chair, and Ed freaks out and stumbles backwards into the pool. Jerry starts advancing toward him, and please don’t get in the pool, man, I don’t think my concentration can handle a wet Colin Farrell right now.
Ed warns Jerry that people know about him; Ed’s told people. Jerry and I kind of have the same thought here, which is “You think people are going to believe you?” Ed tells him not to play that mind shit with him, but like, pointing out that people don’t believe in vampires is hardly playing mind games, son. Then Jerry actually does start playing “that mind shit,” telling him that being different in a place like this is the fucking worst, and he doesn’t even mean shit to his best friend any more. Oh, also, Jerry is fully in the fucking pool now, but aren’t you proud of how I’m holding it together? He tells Ed that it’s a gift, and he was meant for this, and now he has gnarly, pointy fingernails, so now I’m fully over him being all wet. Ugh, no thank you with those nails, sir.
Then he lunges and gets vampy face, which is mostly CGI and I’m not sure how I feel about CGI vampire effects, and bites Ed, dragging him down into the pool. I would say RIP Ed, but I’m fully cognizant of how vampire movies go, so I’ll hold off.
The next morning, a truck is hauling off Jerry’s dumpster as Mom watches, then Amy pulls up (in the driveway! not across the fucking street!) and yells up at Charley’s window. I guess going inside and hollering up the damn stairs is too arduous or something. Charley is awake and watching the video of him, Ed, and Adam LARPing or whatever. It actually looks like a lot of fun, and the full video is a bonus feature on the disc I’m recapping from, although I haven’t watched it yet.
At school, Charley notices that Ed isn’t present at roll call (along with a bunch of other kids still), and finally starts to look a little worried.
After school, Charley goes to Ed’s house, and oh my God, his mom is Lisa Loeb. Hi! I missed you! Ed’s parents are thrilled to see him, and God that’s sad. Ed really doesn’t have any friends, does he? Charley asks if Ed’s there, and his dad says they haven’t seen him; he leaves early. Jesus, what kid leaves early for school? Charley makes up an excuse to go up to Ed’s room, where he finds a notebook with various vampire-killing methods scribbled in it (my favorite might be a sketch of a “stake gun”) and then sits down at the computer, which is open to Peter Vincent’s website. He closes the browser and clicks on a folder named “The Jerry Files.” Cool, but did Ed know Jerry’s name before Charley told him?
Anyway, this folder is full of a bunch of video clips of Jerry, except . . . he doesn’t show up on film. Well, not film, per se, but . . . you get it. We see a wheelbarrow dump itself into the trash; Jerry’s truck drive itself into his driveway, then the door open by itself. Dramatic music cue as Charley starts to believe in vampires. Personally, I would wonder if this is a prank of some kind; it’s not like it’s hard to fake digital videos.
It’s full dark now, as Charley gets home and pulls their trash cart to the side of the house. Jerry pops up in the space left by the open gate like some kind of malevolent Jack-in-the-box, and proceeds to ask for a favor – see, he’s got a girl coming over for a beer, but he’s all out of beer; can he get some from Charley’s house and then pay him back two-fold? A sixer for Mom, and a sixer for Charley? Look, I know there are worse crimes going on here, but offering to get beer for an underage kid is shady as fuck.
Charley, clearly suspicious, says okay and goes in the back door, very conspicuously not inviting Jerry in. This might be my absolute favorite scene in the movie. Also, I’m pretty sure everything I’m laughing at here was actually intended to be funny, which doesn’t happen often with the stuff I recap.
Jerry’s hanging back at the very threshold of the door, clearly frustrated, while Charley scrounges up some Budweiser bottles. Jerry’s obviously wracking his brain to come up with a way to get invited in, and settles on . . . complimenting the woodwork in the kitchen. Um. Cool. Watching him try to play nice and neighborly while also wanting to rip this house apart to get in is delightful. (It actually reminds me a little of Billy Zane in Demon Knight. Which I will probably also recap at some point.)
Charley drops a beer bottle on the floor, shattering it, and Jerry jumps at the chance to offer help cleaning it up. Nope, no, haha, that’s okay, my man! Charley tells him he’s got it under control, and God I hope he doesn’t slice himself picking up those glass shards. Poor Jerry would probably go into an insatiable blood frenzy. Charley holds the cardboard carrier of beers out just at the threshold, then pulls them back. Dude, Jerry has now most definitely caught on to your game. He lets Jerry take them, and it looks like he’s leaving, but then he turns back and goes into this whole weird monologue about girls who look a certain way needing to be “managed,” then some stuff about Mom and Amy, and actually, let me just go ahead and give you the full exchange:
Jerry: This girl tonight. She’s a handful, you know? Women who look a certain way, they… they need to be managed. It’s true. Your dad ducked out on you, huh? Your mom, she didn’t exactly say, but there’s a kind of… neglect. Gives off a scent. You don’t mind my saying, you got a lot on your shoulders for a kid. The two of you, alone. And your girl… Amy. She’s ripe. I bet there’s a line of guys dying to pluck that. Your mom, too. You don’t see it. Maybe you do, but she’s putting it out. It’s on you to look after them. You up for that, guy?
Charley: I think I can manage.
Jerry: Good. Because there’s a lot of bad people out there, Charley. Everyone’s got to look after his own business.
The way this is delivered is menacing as hell. But I also said “Oh, fuuuuck yooooou” at least three times during that little misogynist soliloquy. And I laughed at how stymied Jerry is by the door frame. And I considered inviting him in. Wait, what? No, scratch that last part. Fucking hell. (I think what we’re learning here is that if I ever meet a vampire who looks like Colin Farrell, I am well and truly fucked, and probably not in the fun way. Happy Birthday to me?)
I realize that Jerry is most likely trying to antagonize Charley into either coming outside to fight him, or . . . what, telling him to come inside and say those things to his face? I mean, he could have grabbed Charley while he was still outside, but then again, he probably wasn’t sure Charley knew about him yet. Or am I just trying to apply logic where there is none? It’s four AM as I type this, guys. My brain is having trouble logicking right now.
Charley goes upstairs, where Amy is lying across his bed, reading a book. I’ve lost track of who’s been where and when, but she says he told her to meet him there like an hour ago. I’ll have to take her word on that. She starts trying to seduce him, but he’s very distracted by all the Jerry bullshit, and then he hears a doorbell and leaps up to look out the window. Apparently it was Jerry’s doorbell (would you be able to hear your neighbor’s doorbell ring?), because he’s standing on the porch talking to Hot Girl from across the street, Doris. I thought the “girl coming over for a beer” story was just a ruse, but apparently not. Also, she’s brought a bottle of wine, so maybe our boy didn’t need those beers after all.
Charley is distressed to see that it’s Doris, but Amy shrugs it off, saying that Jerry’s hot and Doris is a stripper; they were bound to find each other eventually. How does that work? Is there like a hot people magnet that draws hotties together? Anyway, Charley corrects Amy – Doris is a go go dancer, not a stripper. Amy scoffs and says if you take away two tiny pieces of cloth, she’s a stripper. Well, yeah, and if I take off my clothes, I’m naked. What’s your point, Amy? Charley tells her that’s rude, and . . . weren’t you the one objectifying Doris earlier? I think I’m getting whiplash here.
Jerry glances up and sees Charley gawping at him from the window, and Charley freaks the fuck out, shoving Amy away from the window and across the bed. She very rightly is like what the fuck; Charley says that Jerry saw them looking at him and looked pissed. I mean, no? He didn’t, actually?
Anyway, Amy’s pissed now and stomps off, telling Charley to have fun with his little Neighborhood Watch or whatever he’s doing.
Some time later, Charley’s asleep in a chair and gets woken up by Doris (I assume) screaming. Without even looking outside, he calls the cops. (Hopefully he didn’t mention vampires.) Next thing we see are two cops on the porch with Jerry, and Jerry laughing it off, telling them that yeah, you bet she was screaming. And then a big ol’ bro laugh among the three of them. Charley and I are both disgusted by this. Uh, no, guys. That was not a good scream. That was not a sexy scream; if your sex screams sound like that, then something is terribly wrong, y’all.
Charley watches the cops drive off, and then Jerry drives off in the opposite direction, so naturally it’s time for a little breaking and entering. Charley hops the fence into Jerry’s backyard and attempts to lock-pick the back door using an online tutorial on his phone. After about five seconds he gives up and runs into the yard to start grabbing rocks off a pile. But he’s not trying to break a window with them, oh, no! He’s shaking them, looking for a hollow plastic rock with a spare key inside. Much to my shock, he finds one. Why the fuck does a vampire need a hide-a-key? Or are you telling me this is something the previous owners had, in which case I have to question why the fuck the locks weren’t changed after they moved out. Or . . . wait. Did the previous owners move out, or did Jerry eat them and just move on in? Damn, I wish I’d paid more attention when Mom and Charley were talking about them.
Charley moves through the house after committing criminal trespass, and the windows are indeed blacked out, although I can’t tell with what. At first I thought it was really streaky paint, but now I don’t think so. It might be newspaper? It looks kind of yellow and black, though. Phone book pages? I mean, there’s a handy repurposing of a thing the city refuses to stop leaving on my porch twice a year, despite this being the 21st century and nobody using phone books anymore.
Jerry clearly has no interest in home decor; the place is pretty sparse, but also has tools and random debris lying around. Probably from his little project in the basement. Also, is it common for homes in Nevada to have basements? I live in the midwest, where tornadoes make having a basement a very good idea (my current home doesn’t have one, though), but I’m led to believe other regions don’t give as much of a fuck about having them. I’ll have to ask Boyfriend’s BFF about that.
Charley goes upstairs, whispering for Doris, and finds a room with a bunch of creepy old shit in it, including this tapestry with symbols on it. He takes a picture, and we see the exterior of the house and the camera flash through the window. First off, turn the flash off, you moron. I bet you don’t have your phone on silent, either. What a shitty burglar. Second, I doubt that flash would have been bright enough to see through the blacked out windows. (Which, on closer inspection, do look painted, although very badly. Jerry, I thought you vampired better than that.)
He opens a closet and finds a bunch of uniforms hanging there: delivery, cops, etc. Ah, so that’s how he’s getting himself invited into random houses. I guess he decided not to just rely on his hotness. Also, Jerry is basically just Ted Bundy now.
Charley hears the garage door start to open, and looks out the window (which, nope, I’m wrong again – definitely not painted over; Charley is absolutely looking through the gaps of some sort of papers taped over the glass) to see Jerry’s truck pulling up the driveway. Oh. Shit.
Charley hides in the closet with all the uniforms, then finds a secret panel that pops open, leading to a hallway full of cells with doors that have peepholes installed so that you can see into the cells. He sees Doris in one of them, and goes about trying to pick the lock, even though all of the doors in this hallway literally have keys hanging out of the locks. I’m going to assume all the doors take the same key, my dude. Or . . . not? Since every door has a key in it? Seems like way more keys than strictly necessary, but what do I know. It’s not my torture dungeon. (Can I still call it that if it’s on the second story?)
Jerry comes upstairs, and Charley has to give up the lockpicking and hide in one of the unlocked cells. So, do vampires not have super hearing or scent? Or is Jerry really this unconcerned with Charley being there? Anyway, he opens Doris’s cell and pulls her out, gets all fangy, and bites into her neck. Boy, he’s, uh, really going to town here. Doris sees Charley watching, and puts her finger to her lips, even as she’s whimpering and crying. Oh, Doris. I bet you were a really nice person. I wish we’d gotten to know you better. You know, instead of just reading words on your ass.
Jerry finishes, tosses the still-alive Doris back in her cell, and goes to leave. He pauses at the secret door and sniffs the air, and he definitely knows Charley is there, right? But he leaves without confronting him. Probably because he has a really sadistic sense of humor.
Jerry goes downstairs to watch some Real Housewives of wherever, seeming far more amused by it than I would have predicted, while Charley manages to pick the lock on Doris’s cell. Could you not have just tried one of the keys from the other locks, just to satisfy my curiosity? She’s barely conscious, but they somehow make their way down the stairs mostly quietly.
The way this house is set up, the staircase has at least one switchback, meaning the bottom part (look, I’m not an architect, okay?) is out in the middle of the floor, so you can circle completely around it from the living room to the kitchen. Jerry has gotten up and gone into the kitchen for a beer, and he circles back to the living room around the back of the staircase, while Charley and Doris are crouched down at the front. They start to circle around toward the kitchen, but Jerry fucking knows they’re there and decides to fuck with them by going back to the kitchen for another fucking apple. This might be the most pointless, yet the funniest, homage to the OG movie. Oh, well, at least they appear to be Granny Smith apples, which are the best apples and on a very short list of apples I fuck with.
Jerry sort of lurks in the shadows and watches them walk out the door, and this night has gone by with Hollywood quickness, because it’s daytime now. Doris tearfully thanks Charley for saving her, then walks off the porch and promptly disintegrates into fire and ash. Oh. Oh, no. Despite probably not being able to see this from inside, Jerry laughs and bites into the apple. Yeah, uh . . . good one, bro.
At home, completely shellshocked, Charley stares at his wall until Mom comes in and comments on the hours he keeps, and it being like living with a vampire. Ha ha ha ha NO. Charley tells Mom to not under any circumstances invite Jerry in or acknowledge him or anything, because he’s dangerous. She’s skeptical and tells him she can handle herself, but he keeps pushing until she’s just confused.
In the school library, Amy catches Charley Googling Peter Vincent, but he tells her it’s porn. Sure. Porn is far less embarrassing than visiting the website of some bootleg Criss Angel, I totally get it. Jerking off in the school library is totally normal. Anyway, Charley’s taken some notes from the website, and one of them is about vampires shapeshifting into animals, but that’s not really something that happens in this movie. I’m pretty sure I know why, but we’re not there yet.
We cut to Charley walking into the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, where Peter Vincent’s show is going to be, and fakes a press badge with a newspaper and a stolen jacket with a convention badge on it. I’m pretty sure this would fool no one. Meanwhile, Peter is running through a rehearsal of his show, and wow, someone has definitely seen Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I’m almost expecting Gary Oldman and Keanu Reeves to pop up on stage here.
Peter throws a hissy fit and stops the show when something messes up with a lady vampire and a fire cue, and she yells that he nearly set her extensions on fire last time. Charley for some reason thinks a great time to approach Peter is right after he’s yelled at the makeup girl and knocked all her stuff on the floor. Mmkay, Charley. He tells Peter that he’s from the Vegas Sun, here to do their scheduled interview about separating vampire fact from fiction. Peter tells him that’s a shit idea for an article. Rude, but he’s not really wrong. Then one of the vampire chicks from the show walks by, and Peter informs Charley that he fucked her, and it was filthy. I mean, nobody asked? Why do I need to know this?
Peter asks Charley if this is like his first assignment or something, then makes me do a full-body cringe when Charley says yes and Peter tells him aw, he’s gonna pop his cherry. No, please stop, dude.
Peter has someone named Ginger (who I think was the vampire girl yelling about her extensions, but I’m not completely sure) show Charley up to what I’m assuming is the penthouse apartment. Peter seems to have the whole floor to himself, and has furnished it with basically a museum of occult/vampire shit. Ginger (who they’ve outfitted in a robe hanging open to show her bra; so unnecessary) points out all the occult shit, then points to Peter’s honorary degree from LVSU, but “he got it off the internet.” Ginger on her own is pretty hilarious. Her interactions with Peter, on the other hand, make me want to throw things. Not a healthy relationship at all.
Peter starts taking off his wig, and goatee, and sideburns, and wiping off some of the tattoos while he and Charley talk, and thank God. Without all that shit, he’s just shirtless David Tennant, being obnoxious. I certainly wasn’t prepared for so much cursing to come out of him. It’s a bit jarring, actually.
Anyway, Charley says he knows the act is all illusion (or “bullshit,” as Peter helpfully supplies), but he wants to know how you would really go about killing a vampire. Okay, do no characters in vampire movies actually watch vampire movies? I feel like this should be pretty standard knowledge. Peter tells him all the standard stuff – beheading, setting him on fire, making him a big garlicky omelet, or he could go traditional with a stake through the heart. Charley asks if that stuff really works, and Peter says yes . . . well, maybe not the omelet. Meanwhile, I’m just over here thinking that all of those things will kill . . . well, pretty much anyone, vampire or not. You know, except maybe the omelet.
Then Peter gets hostile, asks how the fuck he should know about all this, and scoffs at a vampire being named Jerry when Charley tells him what’s going on. Yup, good old Jerry the Vampire. Imagine Jerry from Rick & Morty as a vampire. (I actually feel like that’s a thing that might have happened already. If not, I’m sure it will eventually.) Charley pulls out a stack of printed out photos he took in Jerry’s house. Okay, I mean, we only saw him take one picture, but I guess. Peter is now convinced Charley is a nutjob and starts yelling for Ginger to come throw him the fuck out. I’m not really sure anyone can blame him. Like, there’s a difference between studying vampire shit academically and actually believing in it. I’m going to be proven wrong later on, but still. There had to be a better way to ease into the whole “my neighbor is a vampire” conversation.
Ginger shows up and gently escorts Charley out. She still hasn’t bothered to pull her robe closed, because the objectification is strong in this movie.
Back at home, the sun has gone down and Jock Boy and Stoner Boy watch from Jock’s car as Charley hangs crosses and garlic on his windows. This movie never bothers to tell us if garlic is actually a vampire deterrent in this universe. Anyway, the Boys are smoking a joint and asking each other what the fuck Charley is doing. Stoner says Charley’s paranoid, and he knows what that’s like – he once had a dream about giant carrots chasing him with machetes. What. Also, regular weed smoking fucks with your REM sleep, so you don’t dream.
We see a gnarly-nailed vampire hand tap on Jock’s car window, but apparently the Boys don’t actually see the hand, because they think it’s a cop and scramble to put the joint out. Nope. Jock rolls the window down and Jerry says “Hey guy,” and then we hear weird cracking noises that have to be something gross and vampy happening to his face, and then he grabs and bites Jock and Stoner in turn. This is CGI blood splashing around, too, isn’t it? I’m not a fan of CGI blood.
Meanwhile, Charley is whittling stakes in his bedroom. Cool. Mom walks in, clearly wondering what the fuck is going on, but just comments that the whole house looks like that show, Dark Shadows. Charley tells her it’s a gag for Amy. I mean, not the best cover story in the world, but at least he’s trying. Then there’s a knock at the door, and Charley loses his shit, yelling at Mom not to answer it, but when he flies down the stairs, it’s just Amy. Walking on in, because the door wasn’t locked. Dammit, Mom!
Amy demands to know what’s going on, and tells Charley he doesn’t get to just blow her off. Mom’s listening from the stairs, and makes a face like, “Yeah, fair.” Amy says Charley isn’t nothing to her, and he tries to do the whole “Forget me for your own safety” thing. Calm down, there, Spiderman. Amy’s about to let him have it some more, but then Jerry walks up and knocks on the door.
Charley blocks Mom from answering the door, begging her to please just trust him. Jerry calls through the door that he needs to talk to her; Charley broke into his house; he’s disturbed and delusional, and Jerry doesn’t want to involve the authorities, but he will if he has to. Honestly, he should have just told Mom that Charley thinks he’s a vampire. It sounds so ridiculous that Mom probably would have stopped listening to anything Charley had to say right then and there. He doesn’t, however, and Mom is clearly exasperated with Charley but calls through the door for Jerry to go get the authorities.
Instead, he stalks off into their backyard with a shovel, while Charley tells the women they all need to stay in the house because he obviously can’t get in without an invitation. Mom’s like, uh, obviously . . . ? And Amy’s like, like a vampire? And Mom suddenly thinks this is part of the “joke” for Amy, and wonders how Charley got Jerry to go along with it. Uh, no. Nope, try again.
Jerry starts violently digging up the backyard, and even if he can easily do this with his vampy strength, I call bullshit on that shovel not breaking under the strain. He tosses the shovel aside and grabs onto the gas line, yanking it up, sawing through it, and then lighting it with a lighter. Inside the house, the fireplace, water heater, and oven explode simultaneously. Jerry walks up to one of the blown-out windows and tells them he doesn’t need an invitation if there’s no house. I guess I can’t argue with that logic? But here’s the thing: you’re telling me he’s really going to give up on playing nice after thirty fucking seconds trying to get an invite, and go straight for the nuclear option? That seems . . . extreme. Hilarious, but extreme. Still. Jerry has no fucking chill.
Mom and the kids run to the garage and get in the minivan, gunning it out of there a split second before another fireball rolls out of the garage, running over Charley’s motorbike in the process. Jerry hops on the bike, and for some reason it starts right up for him, despite all the trouble Charley’s apparently had with it. Unfortunately, the front tire is bent from it being run over, so Jerry flings it down the street, where it flies through the rear windshield of the van, even though they’re well down the street at this point. Mom demands to know who the fuck this guy is, and Charley tells her he’s a vampire, like he already told her! Uh, you didn’t really, Charley, but I understand. We’re all a little stressed right now.
Mom whips out her phone to call the police (don’t text and drive, kids), but they’re in the middle of the fucking desert, therefore no signal. Jerry’s truck comes flying up behind them, and he rams them, then gets alongside and crashes into them again, then pulls ahead and stops the truck so it’s blocking both lanes and gets out. All this time, Mom is asking the kids what the hell he wants. Ummmm . . .
Charley yells at Mom to just hit him, and when she hesitates, he leans over and hits the gas himself. They plow over Jerry and knock the truck out of the way, and somehow this minivan is still driving fine. They’re leaving a wet trail of something on the pavement behind them, though. Who wants to bet me that Jerry is up under their van as they drive away? Anyone?
Sure enough, a little farther down the road (after Mom asks if she killed him and Charley replies “Hopefully,” hahaha way to jinx yourselves), Jerry starts punching his way up through the floorboards on the driver’s side. Charley points out he has “fucked up vampire hand” and asks Mom if she believes him now. Then Jerry slams on the brake with his hand, and I’m impressed he could tell which pedal it was without being able to see what he was doing. Instead of trying to hit the gas again, they all sit and wait for him to make a move, except before he can do anything, a car comes out of the darkness and rear ends the fuck outta the van.
Oh, it’s Chris Sarandon! Hey, buddy! He gets out of his car and starts asking them what the hell they’re doing stopped in the middle of the road with the tail lights out. They start yelling at him to get back in his car, but it’s too late. Jerry lifts the back of the van up on his back and walks out from underneath it, and he looks like this now:
I’m not even going to pretend I would still go there for comedic effect, guys. Urgh. (Although . . . hahaha no.)
Sarandon freaks out way less than he should, gets back in his car and locks the door. Jerry apparently doesn’t need an invite into people’s cars, because he just punches through the window and drags our boy Chris out. His face gets even worse, if that’s possible, and he bites right on into his neck.
When he’s done, he puts his pretty face back on, wipes his mouth, and turns to Charley with a friendly “Hey.” Hahahaha Good Neighbor Jerry. Does the blood make him a little stoned or something? Cuz he’s pretty chill now. He waves at the ladies as Charley advances on him with a large cross, saying some words that I’m pretty sure he stole from every exorcism scene in every possession movie ever. Jerry feints back like the cross is actually doing something, then lunges and grabs the cross. It bursts into flames, which he then blows out.
He picks Charley up and throws him several yards back over to the van. When . . . he could have ripped his throat out right then and there? Jerry is spending way too much time being a drama queen and letting people get away. Come on, dude. Do you even vampire?
Jerry flies up into the air and does a superhero landing right next to Charley, then takes his stake from him and asks Charley if he’s ever taken a stake to the chest – cuz he has, and it hurts. But, see, people miss the heart. He traces an X over Charley’s heart and winds up to stake Charley, and I get it now – he just wants him fucking dead; not turned. If he bites him, he’ll turn.
Anyway, Mom heard all that “stake through the heart” chatter and remembered the real estate signs in the back of the van, because here she comes, plunging the pointy end into Jerry’s back. Well, more like shoulder. She’s a mile from the heart. He freaks the fuck out, clawing at this stake, but he can’t really grab it from the back, and he can’t pull it all the way through from the front because of the big sign part on the back. On the plus side, I think this now means Jerry is for sale from Century 21.
While he flops and twitches around trying to deal with that, Mom and the kids hop in Chris Sarandon’s car, which honestly doesn’t look any more driveable at this point than the van, and take off, hitting the van and I guess Jerry too, because we get a good shot of his broken arm twitching around and then healing up. So, he can heal even with a stake through his chest? There is no reason he shouldn’t be winning these fights.
Now we get to check back in with Peter Vincent, sitting in a chair in his robe, with a glass of booze in his hand. Peter’s a classy guy. We get a gratuitous ass shot of Ginger; they insult each other (seriously, why are they even together?), and when Peter gets up to refill his glass, he notices one of the photos Charley left on his bar. It’s the one of the tapestry with the weird creature wearing a crown and various symbols around it. He takes it over to his safe and pulls out a drawing of the same tapestry. Ah. So we believe in this shit after all, eh Peter?
We meet back up with Charley & Co. at the hospital, where Mom is unconscious in a room with her head bandaged; Amy is on the phone with her mom; and Charley is talking to a couple cops who tell him to stay put because they might have a few more questions. They’re acting pretty chill, so Charley obviously didn’t tell them the real story. He points this out to Amy when she asks if they should have told the cops more, then reminds her that the last time he called the cops on Jerry they nearly all went out to Chili’s together. Damn, now I could really go for an Awesome Blossom.
Sitting on chairs outside Mom’s room, Charley laments that this is his fault, that he should have listened to Ed to begin with. He feels bad for treating his best friend like crap, and Amy points out that people change. I don’t think that’s really helpful right now, Amy. Charley agrees, saying that yeah, he changed into a dick. Well, now that he’s acknowledged it, it feels like overkill if I keep pointing it out, right? He goes on to say that his dweeb personality wasn’t exactly going to help him with the ladies and he just wanted Amy to like him. Amy tells him she knew he was a dweeb (is this a throwback to the 1980s? Because it’s been about that long since I’ve heard that term) and she liked him because he was different – she didn’t want someone like Mark or Ben. Oh. Are those Jock and Stoner’s real names? This might be the first time they’re mentioned. Still not sure which is which, though.
Then Charley gets a call from Peter, telling him he can help and to come to his place in an hour. Amy incredulously asks Charley if they’re really going to see the Peter Vincent, and Charley tells her not to get too excited; it’s incredibly underwhelming. Agreed. As they leave, a nurse looks at Mom’s hospital room, where Charley has hung up multiple crosses in the windows and the door. He tells the nurse Mom is very religious. Now, I’ve got a question. You have to have faith for the crosses to work against vampires (at least strong ones like Jerry), so would this work if you’re not hanging onto the cross? Is a free floating cross with no one attached to it going to repel a vampire at all?
At Peter’s place, he tells them he’ll tell them what he knows, but he’s not joining their little Scooby gang, and this is where I’m reminded that frequent Buffy writer Marti Noxon wrote this screenplay. Haha, I see you, Scooby Gang.
Peter tells them that the insignia Charley showed him is that of a species that originated in the Mediterranean. They kill slowly, keeping the victim alive for days. Okay, but . . . we saw Doris turn basically immediately, so is he feeding off them after they’re baby vampires? That seems weird. Not unheard-of, but weird. When Charley surmises that Jerry’s basically turning everyone, Peter agrees that his species is tribal, so he could be turning them all; replenishing his ranks.
Okay. So. This is why I think it makes sense that we don’t see vampires turn into bats or other animals in this movie. There are different species of vampires, with different, I dunno, skill sets? In this universe, we could probably have a species of daywalkers, along with vamps who don’t turn victims with a single bite; we could have any kind of vampire you’ve ever seen before, and some you haven’t! Excuse me, I’m just off to write the Fright Night extended universe now.
The kids ask how they can kill him, and Peter scoffs at them, saying that they don’t; they’d need an army. So, I’m betting it comes down to a one-man army heroically triumphing over the evil bloodsucker; anyone want to take that bet?
Peter gets interrupted by a phone call from the doorman telling him he has a delivery. He tells him to send them on up, then shouts at Ginger to go get the door. She yells back that she’s watching her show (which sounds like some telenovela), and he counters that she’s Tivo-ing it and calls her a lazy cow. This movie really wants us to hate David Tennant for some reason. (Boyfriend had already gotten there from seeing him on Jessica Jones, and I felt so bad for making that his introduction to Tennant. I’ve since shown him Good Omens and a handful of Doctor Who in an attempt to course correct.)
Ginger heads toward the door, flipping Peter off with both hands and calling him a douchebag, then gives a friendly wave and a “Hello, dolls” to the kids. Then Charley asks if Peter usually gets deliveries this late, and he’s like, uh yes? Maybe? No? Wait, what? and Charley realizes much too late that he gave whoever it is an invitation to come in.
It’s Ed! Wearing a delivery uniform. Where he got it, I have no idea, because there’s no way it would fit if he borrowed it from Jerry. Oh, and he actually does have a package for Peter. So maybe the real delivery person was his size and he stole the uniform after eating him. Or her.
Ed tosses the package to Peter, then answers a phone call from Jerry, telling him yeah, he’s looking at them right now, come on up. Okay, but . . . that doesn’t count as an invitation, does it? I mean, that’s one fuck of a loophole if it does. Because as far as I can tell, Jerry doesn’t get a legit invite, and yet he comes waltzing on up here in a few minutes. WHAT ARE THE RULES?!
Peter breaks a display case and brandishes a crucifixion nail at Ed. Yes, that crucifixion. Ed points out that he’ll have to get pretty close to use that thing, so Peter hits a button on his remote and then flees toward his panic room. My fucking hero. Although, not a bad idea. Except for vampires not showing up on his security feeds so he has no way of knowing where they are or if the coast is ever clear. Anyway, he makes it into the panic room, but as the door is sliding shut it cuts off Ed’s arm, which continues to live and flop around a bit inside the room with Peter. Don’t worry, though. He’s got his bottle of booze with him to comfort himself with. Good times.
Charley and Amy run to the elevator, where Ginger is dead with her throat all ripped up. Now, since she doesn’t eventually get up and come after them, do you not turn if you actually die? Or did Ed not actually bite her? Again, what are the rules?!?!
Oh, also the wires in the elevator have been ripped out and are sparking everywhere. Charley tells Amy not to freak out, there’s more than one way out of there and they’ve got plenty of weapons in all these museum-like displays. They run; Ed chases.
Downstairs, Jerry has shown up, and promptly dispenses with the security guard who tries to stop him and make him sign in. The camera gives us a view of this as it happens, and also on the security feed, where we can’t see Jerry. I know I asked this in the other recap, but I still want to know why we can’t see vampires’ clothes in mirrors/videos.
Upstairs, Ed is still stalking Charley and Amy, and telling Charley that he expected more of a fight; the girl has made him soft, pussy will do that. Fuck OFF, Ed. How the fuck is this version so much more misogynistic than the 1985 version? Holy shit.
Charley and Amy are hiding behind a cabinet, which they then shove over onto Ed. It barely slows him down, and Charley shoves Amy away, tells her to run, then grabs some sort of knife out of a display case. I honestly don’t know what he expects to do with that. Ed grabs him by the throat and flings him across the room, where Charley spots a double-headed ax. Well, there ya go. Fighting ensues, including Ed doing some of his best Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon impressions, until Charley lands a hit on Ed’s neck, partially severing it. So, Ed gets to go through the rest of his life as Nearly-Headless Nick?
Amy runs through the occult displays, then stops to break some glass to get at a revolver and its bullets. Are those silver bullets? Does silver hurt the vampires in this universe?
Jerry shows up behind her, back in his Good Neighbor Jerry mode, and tells her he’s so glad she’s here. She does not feel the same, and empties the gun into him. He only looks slightly annoyed and pitying, digs one of the bullets out of his shoulder, and tells her, “Werewolves.” Oh, okay. I mean, True Blood vampires hate silver, so it was worth a try, right?
She runs, then shatters another case and grabs a chalice full of holy water and throws it in his face, telling him, “Vampires.” Sure, but I have no idea how she knew this chalice had holy water in it. It was sitting way up high where she couldn’t have seen into it. Anyway, he starts sizzling and screaming, so I guess that hurt.
Inside his panic room, Peter catches a glimpse of Corpse Ginger on the security monitor, and falls apart. Yeah, you, uh, clearly cared about her, dude. Don’t know why anyone would get an impression otherwise. *eyeroll*
Ed mocks Charley for his ax hit not getting through the bone, then he snaps the handle of the ax, they fight, Ed tackles Charley and makes a homophobic “joke,” then Amy shows up and hits him with a flail. (I keep erroneously referring to this as a mace. A mace doesn’t have the spiky ball attached to a chain.) Ed goes flying, and after some hesitation, Charley stakes him with the broken handle of the ax. He starts turning to ash and embers, and tells Charley it’s okay right before he disintegrates.
Amy tells Charley that Jerry is in the apartment, and also that she found the stairs and they need to get out of there. Welp, ya don’t need to tell me twice! They run past Jerry, whose face is healing from the holy water. Good, I’m sure it was all jacked up for a minute there. He gets to his feet and is sort of laughing? I don’t know if he just enjoys the chase, or if this is like a “haha, damn punk kids” sort of thing. He still seems way too chill about this. Maybe human blood does get him stoned. Maybe he should give this up and go eat some more apples and watch some more Real Housewives.
Amy and Charley somehow end up coming out in a dance club, because we need another homage to the original. Jerry smiles at them from the kitchen and they take off. Amy says he can’t kill them here, and Charley points out how wrong she is – everyone dancing, grinding up against each other and making out. Yeah, no one is going to notice anything. In fact, Jerry ends up hanging in the rafters and jumping down and nobody blinks. Then the DJ starts throwing t-shirts out into the crowd, and in the frenzy to grab these cheaply manufactured pieces of shit, Amy and Charley get separated. But don’t worry, Jerry finds her immediately, grabbing her by the throat (I’m reminded again that I’m not into choking . . . except when I am; oh God what is wrong with me?!) and then throwing her over his shoulder. Some creep sees this and shouts “Now that’s what I’m talking about!”
Um, excuse the fuck out of me, sir, but what is what you’re talking about? A grown-ass man abducting a teenage girl? Is that what you’re all about? Reexamine your life.
Jerry takes Amy off to the edge of the crowd; she tells him Charley will come for her, and he says he’s counting on it. Yeah, don’t you know you’re just bait? That is unfortunately always the role of female characters in these movies, hon.
Then Jerry does some real creepy shit with cutting his finger and smearing the blood around his mouth and kissing Amy so she gets a taste. Sooo, I guess his blood hypnotizes her or something. Cool? Charley spots them right about this time, but also gets waylaid by a security guard who doesn’t believe Jerry is trying to kill Amy. You know, due to the kissing. Then Jerry bites Amy, and even though she’s outwardly hypnotized, there are tears leaking out of her eyes. This is . . . super uncomfortable. IMDb trivia says that Colin Farrell thought Jerry was too much of a sexual predator and wanted script changes, but they didn’t change shit. I wonder if this scene was what inspired that concern.
Charley shows up at Peter’s place to find him packing up and getting ready to bug out. He tells Peter that he doesn’t know if Amy’s dead, or alive, or turned, but Jerry’s got her and he’s going to get her back – and Peter’s coming with him. Peter tells him there won’t be any fighting, only surviving, maybe. Charley asks if he and Amy die, does Peter think he’ll be able to get them out of his head, and he says he knows he won’t. He never could after the first time.
A vampire killed Peter’s parents when he was a kid. For years he told himself he made it up because it was easier than believing in monsters. Anyway, the only way he survived was because he had the sense to hide, and he’s not about to go off and be a hero now. But he’s not a coward, you see. He’s a realist. I mean, potato, tomato . . .
Charley guilts him a little, then is basically just like fuck it, and tells him never mind, he doesn’t want to live to tomorrow if Peter’s the sort of man he’ll grow into. Then Peter tells him to wait, but instead of seeing the light and coming with him, he just gives him a stake blessed by Saint Michael – if you stake the vampire with it, it’s supposed to change all his victims back. Then Peter tells Charley to torch him first, because a vampire on fire isn’t thinking clearly. Charley asks how he’s supposed to get close enough to stake him if he’s on fire, and Peter’s like, uh . . . oh . . . fuck. Thank you Peter. Very helpful.
Charley sits by his mom’s hospital bed until the sun comes up, then goes and buys a bunch of stuff at the army surplus store, including a crossbow. Is Charley eighteen? Because I’m pretty sure you have to be eighteen to buy a crossbow.
He rolls up to Jerry’s house in Chris Sarandon’s busted up car, then kicks his way into the house and starts breaking windows to let the light in. Very stealthy. I’m sure you’re going to get the jump on Jerry. Then he heads upstairs to the secret cell area and sees and hears Amy through one of the peepholes but when he busts the door open, she’s not there. I’m not quite sure how Jerry set this up; a phone running FaceTime in front of the peephole?
Then Charley turns around and literally crashes into Peter Vincent, who tells him that he guesses he doesn’t want to be a man like him, either, and opens his jacket to reveal all sorts of vampire-killing implements strapped to him. Well. Welcome aboard, my dude.
For some reason they pry up a “floor trap” and drop down into the basement, even though once they’re down there I can see a very obvious basement door. I dunno, guys. Was this just an aesthetic choice? The cement floor has been mostly removed, and they’re standing a few feet under where the floor should be, in the dirt. There are a few jawbones and skulls strewn about, so I guess Jerry isn’t turning everyone he eats.
They hear Amy call for help, and creep off through a dark passageway, and I’ve given up trying to figure out the layout of all this. I don’t even think blueprints would help me at this point. Anyway, then Peter finds a pull chain for a light, and is very proud of himself. Amy calls out again, and he says to Charley that he knows this is trap, right? Charley says he’s counting on it. Callback?
They open a door at the end of the hall and find a room with dirt walls and floor. Seriously, are we even still under the house? What is going on with this floorplan?
Charley goes in the room while Peter stands in the doorway and doesn’t notice Jerry hanging upside down behind him, until he grabs him and flings him back down the hall. Then Jerry locks Charley in the dirt room and tells him Amy’s all his. Oh, cool, so we’ll just be going now? Jerry then turns to Peter, tells him he’s grown, and welcomes him to Fright Night . . . for real. I think I like Colin Farrell’s delivery of this line better than Chris Sarandon’s. (I know I said I was going to stay away from comparison as much as possible. This is just an observation, mmkay?)
Peter gets up and starts firing his rifle at Jerry, and misses by roughly five miles. Jerry advances, and tells Peter he has his mother’s eyes . . . and his father’s aim, as Peter fires and misses again. Dude. It’s a narrow fucking hallway; Jerry takes up most of it. How the fucking fuck are you missing?
So, in case we weren’t paying attention, Jerry is the vampire who killed Peter’s parents. Nice twist. Obvious, but I like it. It gives some weight to Peter’s motivation, lets him get some closure. You know, provided things turn out well.
Inside the dirt room, Charley starts hugging Amy, who still seems okay, despite us all knowing it’s a fucking trap. Outside, Peter has finally managed to fire the rifle into Jerry’s shoulder before stumbling over the stairs and falling backwards onto his ass. Apparently these are just regular-ass bullets, because they don’t seem to be causing Jerry any harm. Jerry picks up a small piece of rock and throws it at Peter, cutting his forehead. Peter is more confused than hurt. That is, until Jerry directs his attention toward the vampires crawling out of the dirt walls where they’ve been nesting. Peter and I are both like oh fuck.
Inside the dirt room, Amy tells Charley he should have saved her, and then she starts getting fangy and tells Charley that Jerry is inside of her now. Kinky? She starts trying to seduce/eat Charley, and then as she goes full-on gross fangy, he’s able to reach his St. Michael stake and stab her in the chest, although not through the heart. He crowbars the door open; Amy tells him he missed, and he says he knows.
Back to Peter and the dirt vamps, and Peter pulls out an actual stake gun. As in, a big-ass revolver that shoots stakes! Guys, I love this thing. He gets off a couple of shots before it jams. Oh. Never mind.
When Charley gets back out to Peter, he sees he’s been dog-piled by all the baby vamps, who are treating him like their own personal buffet. Oh, that can’t be good. Charley picks up a gun, but instead of firing on any of the vampires, he shoots up through the floorboards, letting sunlight down into the basement. A couple of vamps get disintegrated immediately, and the rest back off, as Peter is now lying in a beam of sunlight. He’s fine, for the moment.
Hey, Jock Boy is down here; apparently he’s the one named Mark. Cool.
Jerry saunters over and asks what Charley was thinking, he’d just come in here with his crossbow and lay waste to four hundred years of survival? I mean, yeah, pretty much. Charley better have something better than this up his sleeve.
Jerry continues to taunt Charley while walking around avoiding the sunbeams (and hissing at them occasionally, and now I’m wondering if anyone has considered casting Colin Farrell in Cats), and then he crouches down by Charley and Peter and sticks his gnarly nail a millimeter into the beam, then blows it out when it catches fire. Sorry, I’m pretty much going to mention fire whenever it happens; that’s just who I am.
Anyway, Jerry thanks Charley for bringing Amy to him; she makes him feel young again. Then Peter notices he’s starting to smoke a bit in the light, and Jerry tells him yeah, you’re turning.
Amy has come into the room, and she starts making out with Jerry. His shirt has somehow come open at some point, and now he slices a gash in his chest and Amy starts drinking from it. Oh. Uh . . . so, is there a word for something that is both gross and hot? Grot? Hross? Because that’s what this is. Oh, then they start making out again. Mmkay, guys, not in front of the baby vamps.
Peter tells Charley that’s rough, then lights a blunt. I mean, might as well, right? Charley starts pulling a ski mask and goggles over his face and asks Peter for a light. Oh. Oh, shit. The suit he’s got on is one of those like, stunt men fire suits or something. Peter lights him up and Charley fucking launches himself at Jerry, clipping him to him with a big-ass carabiner.
Jerry lights on fire (mmm, glorious fire) and sends the two of them crashing around the room in a panic. Peter helpfully shoots out some more floorboards so more light can get into the basement, and Charley manages to wrestle and roll himself and Jerry into the light, causing Jerry to flame and burn away even more. He now looks like this:
His chest is burning away, leaving his heart out in the open and ripe for the staking. Peter tosses the St. Michael stake to Charley, and he plunges it into Jerry’s heart. Much screaming ensues, and some sort of . . . smoke monsters? . . . leave the baby vamps, enter Jerry, and then he explodes in fire, viscera, and smoke. Okaaaaay . . .
Everyone comes back to themselves and are very confused (Jock Boy mutters that that was a fucked up night); Peter puts the rest of the flames on Charley out and he and Amy revive him. Everyone’s fine? Everyone’s fine. Peter kisses Charley square on the mouth before celebrating by chugging from his flask. One more quick question: like, I’m glad Peter’s okay and everything, but he was turning from being bit by the baby vamps, not Jerry. So, the magic stake turns everyone bitten by the master vampire human, and then everyone they bit, and so on and so forth? I guess that makes sense?
Sometime later (no idea how long, but Mom’s out of the hospital and buying things for their new house, so a while, I’m guessing) Charley and Amy are getting ready to sex each other for the first time ever in Peter’s place. Except he comes waltzing back in, claiming to have forgotten his phone, tells them if they’re naked he’s definitely looking, then promising he’s not looking and tells them not to do anything he wouldn’t do. Which doesn’t narrow it down. According to him, that’s just minigolf and sushi. Eh, nothing wrong with either of those things.
Then he leaves for real, and Amy and Charley get back to the sexytimes after she makes him promise they’ll really be alone now.
Cue the credits over scenes from the movie and a version of “99 Problems” that I’m kinda digging.
Nostalgia Glasses Off
So, I came into this recap not entirely sure where I stood on this movie, but after watching it again and writing this, I really like this version. I wish we could have gotten into more of the vampire mythos, because that was shaping up to be really interesting. I will never be a fan of CGI blood. Some things in this movie were shot solely to look good in the 3D version, and it’s very obvious, which makes it slightly eyeroll-worthy.
I don’t want to talk about the rampant misogyny, but it’s there. Whoo boy, is it there. Could really do without that. With a female screenwriter (and a Buffy screenwriter!) I have no idea how we got what we got, but there’s no excuse for it. Fuck outta here.
The cast is great, but uh . . . I think we’ve established I might be a little bit biased, so . . . yeah . . .
Anyway, I would definitely recommend giving this movie a chance on its own merits, without comparison to the OG version. Because Ed was right – Jerry isn’t noble or lovesick or brooding (or, I’d add, seductive. He’s hot, yeah, but seductive is a different beast altogether); he really is the fucking shark from Jaws: predatory, cold-blooded, dead-eyed, hungry, and if you gutted him you’d probably find a couple license plates in his stomach. Okay, maybe not that last part.