Horror

FRIGHT NIGHT (2011)

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Directed by: Craig Gillespie
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 106 min.

When Ed tells Charley that his new next door neighbor, Jerry, is a vampire, Charley laughs it off.  He doesn’t need his precarious position in the popular clique and his relationship with his hot girlfriend, Amy, to be threatened by any of that babyish dweeb stuff he and Ed used to be into.  And seriously, “Jerry the Vampire?” Really?  But when Ed disappears, Charley begins to pay more attention to his nocturnal neighbor and discovers that Jerry is, in fact, a bloodthirsty monster—and now Charley is on his radar.  In order to protect his mom and Amy, Charley seeks help from Las Vegas nightclub magician and vampire expert Peter Vincent.  But Vincent’s “expertise” and Charley’s determination may not be enough to defeat Jerry and his vampire army.

This remake of the 1985 horror film of the same name doesn’t take itself too seriously.  David Tenant is hilarious in the role of Peter Vincent and Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays pretty much the same role he played as McLovin in Superbad, except that this time he is also an undead vampire slave.  There were some moments of good suspense, and plenty of gushing blood, but the film is really more entertaining than terrifying.  This would be a good movie for a Halloween party—scary at points, fun to laugh at with a group of friends, and not so engaging that you’d be worried about missing something if you got up to pop some popcorn.

Thanks for the recommendation, Steven!

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948)

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Director: Charles Barton
MPAA Rating: Not Rated (released before MPAA Ratings)
Running Time: 83 min

When Chick and Wilbur are preparing to deliver two large crates to McDougall’s House of Horrors, they receive a mysterious phone call from a Mr. Talbot warning them of impending danger.  Chick dismisses the phone call as superstitious nonsense and orders Wilbur to help him with the crates.  In the middle of their delivery, however, Wilbur discovers that the crates contain the real bodies of Dracula and the Frankenstein monster and that they are both alive.  Before Mr. McDougall arrives to inspect his merchandise, the monsters have escaped and Chick and Wilbur are arrested.  Joan Raymond, who works for McDougall’s insurance company, arranges for their release so that she can tail them–hoping they will lead her to what she believes to be the stolen wax figures of Frankenstein and Dracula.  Meanwhile, Talbot shows up and announces that he believes Wilbur that the monsters are alive.  He also claims to be a werewolf, which neither Chick nor Wilbur fully believes.  And as if matters weren’t complicated enough, Wilbur’s girlfriend, Sandra, seems to be somehow involved with Count Dracula.  Everything will come together when Chick, Wilbur, Sandra, Talbot, Miss Raymond, and McDougall attend a costume party near Dracula’s mansion.

Abbott and Costello are a classic comedy duo, perhaps best known for their “Who’s On First?” routine. Meet Frankenstein is my favorite of their films, as it combines all of their wonderful slapstick, wordplay, and silliness with a dose of creepy suspense.  Also, Bela Lugosi as Dracula!  If you like silly comedies and classic films, you should definitely check this one out.