Last week here on iHorror I wrote up some quick preliminary thoughts on Fright Night 2: New Blood, based solely on the trailer and plot crunch. You can go back and read that before we proceed, if you’re interested, but the basic gist of all the words in that post is that this was looking to be one of the most bizarre and unnecessary horror sequels of all time. For one, the plot rundown read like another remake, rather than an actual sequel, with Evil Ed and Charley going through the exact same motions they went through in the entertaining 2011 remake, as if the 2011 remake never happened. I mean come on…Evil Ed was killed off in the remake, how the hell is he even alive in the sequel?! And the vampiric protagonist this time around is a female named Gerri Dandridge, eh? Give me a break, will ya?!
Though I was trying my hardest to reserve judgment until I saw the movie for myself, a luxury I like to afford all horror movies, it was pretty damn hard with this one, as I found myself completely unable to even comprehend the stupidity of the concept. Why remake Fright Night already, only two years after it was just remade? And why call it a sequel, if it quite clearly is not? I just couldn’t wrap my head around it all, and I was hoping that there was more to the story here, that would be revealed once the film was available for consumption.
Though it’s not hitting home video until October 1st, I was able to get my hands on an online screener of the movie this week, which I sunk my teeth into this morning. Is there more than meets the eye here, or is this direct-to-video sequel truly a completely pointless low blow to all fans of the franchise, as it appeared on paper? Let’s find out!
Not that it’s even necessary to get into the plot, but the basic rundown is that Charley, his friend “Evil” Ed and his ex-girlfriend Amy travel abroad to study at a school in Romania, and Charley quickly realizes that his sexy professor, who lives across the street from him, is a vampire. When Professor Dandridge sets her sights on Amy, Charley and Ed enlist the help of Peter Vincent, a dude who hosts a reality show called “Fright Night”, wherein he hunts monsters. Sound familiar? Yea, just a little bit!
As I expected, there’s absolutely nothing clever on display here and there’s certainly nothing more than meets the eye about the remake vibe, as I had hoped. Fright Night 2: New Blood is indeed a remake of the remake, a far inferior effort that completely disregards the events of the 2011 film and proceeds as if it was never made. This Gerri Dandridge character isn’t the sister of Jerry Dandridge (at least that would’ve made some sort of sense), as the female villain was in the sequel to the original film, and none of the characters (who are all played by different actors than in the remake) make any mention whatsoever about the events of the remake. In other words, the film is as unexplainable and unnecessary as the trailer led us to believe, and I still after watching it have no idea what the intention was or why the movie even exists.
Quite frankly, I’m keen to believe that this movie was actually made before the 2011 remake was, a failed effort to reboot the franchise that the studio decided to toss out and is only now releasing, figuring they’d call it a sequel and try to make a few bucks off of it. Or maybe they just wanted to make a shitty version of the remake, so that it would make the previous remake look like a masterpiece of modern horror. At least either of those two explanations would make some sort of sense, a whole lot more sense than the studio developing a severe case of amnesia and forgetting that the franchise was already given the reboot treatment, just two years ago.
Watching Fright Night 2: New Blood did in fact make me realize how good we had it back in 2011, and I was left afterwards with a serious desire to go back and re-watch that remake, in an effort to wash this one from my mind. I’m one of those horror fans who dug the 2011 Fright Night redux, and had a lot of fun with it, but right about now it’s looking a whole lot more awesome than even I found it to be, two years ago!
I’ve got no problem with bad horror sequels, and I even enjoy many of them despite the fact that they are pretty bad, but what I do have a problem with is a so-called sequel like this, that doesn’t even put forth any effort whatsoever. Aside from a change of location and a change of the sex of the villain, this movie is essentially a carbon copy of the remake, right down to small details and plot elements. Rather than actually attempting to continue the story from the remake, or creating a whole new story with new characters that would at least make sense as a sequel, they decided instead to just reboot the reboot, and they did a pretty piss poor job at it. Gone is the entertainment and gone is the likeability of the characters, an attempt to make the reboot hipper and sexier that only served to make it stupider and more idiotic. It seems like the goal here was less to be faithful to the franchise and more to appeal to horny teens who love sexy vampires and True Blood, an audience who will likely find as little merit in the movie as diehard horror fans will. It’s just plain not good, regardless of the fact that it’s a mislabeled remake.
I’m not going to blow things out of proportion and call this the worst movie I’ve seen this year, but I can assure you that it is the most pointless and unnecessary one I’ve seen, a slap in the face of Fright Night fans that never should’ve been conceived in the first place. With absolutely no merits whatsoever, I urge you to avoid Fright Night 2: New Blood like a vampire avoids sunlight and garlic. As far as pointless horror sequels go (if we can even refer to it as one), this is one of the biggest offenders we’ve seen to date. Less likeable versions of the same characters doing the same things we’ve already seen them do…that’s just about the definition of pointless, if you’re asking me!
No wonder so many horror fans have such blind hatred for all these endless remakes…