When you’re making a remake of a sequel to an original that has also been remade, you have already started out in a special breed of convoluted. Add to that convolution the fact that you use characters from the earlier film with no reference to the preceding events and you get a weirdly vapid, confusing, and empty film. In other words, you get Fright Night 2: The New Blood, the latest from director Eduardo Rodriguez and writer Matt Venne.
Fright Night 2 begins as Charley Brewster(Will Payne) has moved on from his fight with Jerry the vampire by going on a school trip to Romania. You’d think he’d be doing so in a quest to explore the newly learned fact that vampires exist, but nope. He doesn’t seem to even remember that vampires exist. Instead, he is fixated on Amy Peterson(Sacha Parkinson) his lady friend from the first film. They are now on the outs for some vague allusion to cheating. They are, though, on the same trip to Romania. Cause why not. Add in another super powerful vampire, this time a woman named Gerri whose existence strangely surprises Charley, and you have this picture pretty much wrapped up. You’d think the name Gerri, or even the fangs might trigger some memory of the first film in Charley, but you’d be wrong. It isn’t only Charley that has the amnesia though. Amy seems to think Charley’s vampiric assertions are ridiculous, despite the fact she saw some pretty solid vampiric assertions take place before. Peter Vincent(Sean Power) even returns with no memory of Charley or the past they share together.
Because of this narrative inconsistency, Fright Night 2 feels like a project that was made with no intention of it being a sequel or even being attached to the Fright Night universe in even the vaguest way. It wouldn’t be a shock to learn that Fright Night 2 was originally a generic “vampire picture” script sitting on the desk of some producer somewhere. That producer likely saw the general success of the Fright Night remake, decide to change some character names and ran with it, dollar signs in tow.
While this assertion will probably never be proven or disproven, the fact that Fright Night 2 is a generally lazy and cliched film is not really up for much of a debate. So many coincidences, blatant exposition, and blind leaps of logical faith fill the relatively short running time of the film one can’t help but feel a bit of boredom and detachment. It’s not that the film is badly made on a technical level, it is that the makers of the film have no real passion for their story or for the Fright Night universe in general. In all honesty, Fright Night 2 is a well crafted film. Skillful effects, effective cinematography, and solid editing are all found in the film.
And that’s the really painful thing about watching Fright Night 2. It’s not the weird amnesia of characters, it isn’t the painfully coincidental plot points, it isn’t even the addition of sonar to the vampire’s arsenal that pulls the film down into sub-mediocrity. No, what makes this film so damn aggravating is the obvious waste of resources on display. This film had a budget, and that budget is obvious when looking at the technical quality of the film. That budget, though, did nothing to create a compelling story or make any attempt at continuing the Fright Night mythos. And, in the end, that is what makes this film such a disappointment.