Fright Night Part II (1988)

fright night part 2 1988 movie poster
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Peter Vincent, advances story

Loses humor, not as good of vampire

Movie Info
Movie Name:  Fright Night Part II

Studio:  New Century/Vista

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  December 8, 1988 (Australia)/May 19, 1989 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R


It will be love at first bite

Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) is trying to forget his past and get over believing vampires are real with the help of his psychiatrist (Ernie Sabella) and his girlfriend Alex Young (Traci Lind).  When Charley is seduced by a strange woman named Regine (Julie Carmen) in the night, he wakes up feeling strange and slowly having more and more desire for blood.  Now, it is up to Alex and Fright Night horror host Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) to rescue Charley from Regina, but this time it is personal…Regina is a Dandridge and plans to punish Charley for killing her brother Jerry.

Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, Fright Night Part II was the sequel to the surprise 1985 hit Fright Night.  The movie had a limited release, but since its release has become a cult hit.  Despite its popularity, the film is currently not available on DVD or Blu-Ray.


This…is Fright Night?

Fright Night was a great film which had a lot of fun with the vampire genre which had kind of died.  By the time Fright Night Part II was released, a superior horror film that turned the genre on its head was already released in The Lost BoysFright Night Part II just couldn’t compare.

The story of Fright Night Part II does advance the story, but loses a lot of the fun of Fright Night.  The destruction of Charley just isn’t as fun as the neighbor from Hell story of the first film.  It is nice that McDowall’s role is boosted for the film, but Julie Carmen’s sexy Regine isn’t as fun as the smug Jerry Dandridge.  With a lesser vampire the ending loses steam.


Hey, vampires…eat cross!!!

The movie does benefit from the return of Ragsdale and McDowall but it lost out in that both Stephen Geoffreys (Evil Ed) and  Amanda Bearse (Amy Peterson) didn’t return for the sequel.  The filmmakers tried to replace Evil Ed with stoner surfer guy Louie played by Jon Gries, but his “bull’s-eye” doesn’t bring laughs like “You’re so cool, Brewster”.  Julie Carmen has the looks, but Regine, as mentioned, is lacking.  Fans of The X-Files will find the alien bounty hunter big man actor Brian Thompson playing one of the vampires.


Don’t you love me?

The movie looks cheaper than the original film which seemed very inventive.  The look and sound of the film feels so old compared to movies like The Lost Boys and the other edgy vampire film Near Dark (1987).  I wish that the movie had a bigger budget and a bigger push to make the movie really feel like something new and different.

Fright Night Part II is a decent follow-up to the original film but loses the fun.  I like that the story isn’t just Fright Night again, but I wish that there had been some tweaks to make it a better film.  Fright Night Part II marked the end of the line for the series, but Fright Night returned in a 2011 remake.

Related Links:

Fright Night (1985)

Fright Night (2011)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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