Fright Night 2: New Blood, the sequel to the 2011 Fright Night is every bit the let down that I thought the 2011 remake was going to be. It managed to be a let down from the very first moments as it is in fact not a sequel at all. Fright Night 2: New Blood is another rehashing of the 1985 Fright Night and it’s sequel. Though it has jack all to do with that sequel other than the antagonist being a female vampire. Fright Night 2 completely ignores the previous film with none of the actors returning to reprise the roles. Making me wonder, if the story in no way bares any connection to the film prior, is it still a sequel? Shouldn’t the title of this film be Fright Night: New Blood?
Charlie Brewster (Will Payne) is on a week-long student exchange program in Romania with fellow students, including his friend Ed (Chris Waller) and ex-girlfriend Amy (Sacha Parkinson). Amy and Charlie having recently broken up because Charlie cheated on her, maybe… it’s never explored that deeply. On the first night, Charlie watches two women across the street from his hotel window get frisky, when one notices. Though she doesn’t seem to mind. Charlie notices that the other woman is bleeding, but the time he calls Ed over the curtains have been closed. At class for European Art, he meets his professor Gerri Dandridge (Jaime Murray). Who just happens to be the woman who noticed watching earlier that night. Later while on tour of a local castle, Charlie sneaks away and comes across Gerri get personal with another student. She once again notices him, causing him to look away and when looks back they’re both gone. When he and Ed return to the hotel that night the police are present and after inquiring to what happened, he learns that the student from earlier is missing. When in his room while watching the police leave, he notices Gerri in the window across the way. Then he witnesses her leap from the window with what appears to be a body wrapped in black trash bags, load it into her car and drive into the night. So he does what any idiot would do and sneaks into her home, where he finds a strange sacrificial chamber. When he hears Gerri return, he quickly hides inside a coffin and watches as she kills and drains a woman of her blood. She then bathes in the woman’s blood returning her youth, she then notices him. Though due to plot armor he manages to get away. He goes to warn Amy, though when he arrives Gerri is already there and manages to make him look crazy. Though the next morning Ed is more willing to believe Charlie and even identifies Gerri as Elizabeth Bathory a powerful vampire. Armed with this knowledge Charlie and Ed seek out the Peter Vincent (Sean Power), a TV personality that host the reality monster hunting show Fright Night. Who agrees to help them for an exorbitant fee. Though he quickly abandons them after they meet up with Amy, when he realizes they looking for a real vampire, something he doesn’t believe in. While riding the subway Gerri appears once again and in full vampire glory attacks them, with Ed sacrificing himself to let Charlie and Amy escape into the tunnels…
Where I cut off is actually where the film gets good, which is about sixty percent of the way through this slog fest. The first chunk of this film is poorly paced and at times criminally boring. As if you’ve seen the film that this film is supposed to follow your basically just relearning all the things you already know. Vampires are real, Peter Vincent is a fake, ect. But once we reach this tipping point and Gerri develops some actual fangs things get marginally better.
Speaking of Gerri, Jaime Murray is by far the best actress in this film and manages to hold it together. She manages to be sexy, scary and intelligent. Though that last attribute wanes as the film goes on. Murray nails the role here and seems to be the only actor to be pulling their weight. She also manages to be the film’s most like-able character behind Amy. Though she lacks any real defining feature beyond being the love interest.
The effects are straight up laughable when they actually try to use them for scares. Gerri’s full vampire form is simply ridiculous. The film manages to more tension and fright with the camera work, like when Gerri chases Charlie and Amy through the Subway tunnels then the catacombs. Also when she enters the blood bath an old woman only to emerge young and beautiful once again.
Final thoughts, of all the Fright Nights this is by far the most skippable as it’s just another rehashing of a story that was already retold once and just a few years prior. While I never expect much from straight to home video horror films, Fright Night 2: New Blood is the bottom of the barrel. With only a couple of strong points, though non strong enough to be a saving grace. 3/10