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Fright Night 2: New Blood (2013)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 10/1/2013
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 10/19/2013
At first, Hollywood became obsessed with horror movie remakes, especially remakes of movies which many considered to be classics. (Of course, sprinkled in there were Americanized redos of many foreign films, especially ones from Japan and China.) This trend then spawned a series of sequels to remakes. Does it get more dodgy than that? Entries like 2007'sThe Hills Have Eyes 2 or 2006's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning show us just how much the bottom of the barrel can be scraped. And just when we though this extrapolation couldn't get any stranger, we get the remake sequel reboot with Fright Night 2: New Blood.
Charley Brewster (Will Payne) is on a study abroad trip in Romania to learn about history and architecture (I think). He's accompanied by his best friend "Evil" Ed Bates (Chris Waller), with whom he rooms on the excursion. Also in the group is Amy Peterson (Sacha Parkinson), Charley's ex-girlfriend. Charley wants to make up with Amy, but she isn't interested. Their class is being taught by Gerri Dandridge (Jaime Murray), an attractive woman who immediately give Charley a strange vibe. He sees her from his window and he's convinced that he witnessed her murder someone. Charley follows Gerri and sees enough to know that she's a vampire. He tells Evil, who decides that they should contact Peter Vincent (Sean Power), the host of the show Fright Night, as he's also in Romania. As Charley begins to learn more about Gerri, Amy gets involved as well. This group will soon learn that their history lesson is only beginning and that a vampire is not an easy thing to kill.
Going into Fright Night 2: New Blood, I assumed that it was another sequel to a remake and that it would be a follow-up to 2011's Fright Night, which was a remake of 1985'sFright Night, although I did note that Fright Night 2: New Blood was coming from a different company. I quickly surmised that Fright Night 2: New Blood is not a sequel to either of the previous Fright Night films. Instead, it is sort of a new remake or a reboot if you'd prefer. As it takes all of the main characters from the other movies (even the ones who died) and puts them in a new location. Save for the fact that Gerri Dandridge is now female and that Charley and Amy are on the outs, nearly everything is exactly the same -- Gerri is still Charley's neighbor, no one believes Charley, Peter Vincent is contacted for help, Gerri learns that Charley knows what she is and begins to torment him, etc. Really, the only thing that's missing is Charley's mom.
This bizarre experiment means that Director Eduardo Rodriguez and Writer Matt Venne could actually do something new and different with the franchise, but they don't. Aside from the list of elements above which are exactly like the other movies, Fright Night 2: New Blood doesn't do anything to separate itself from the pack of other low-budget, direct-to-video vampire movies out there. We get the expected bits of gore and some brief T&A, but no twists or gambles. The finale does veer away from the other Fright Night films some what, but the resolution is still the same and when the credits roll, we are in the exact same place which we were when the other movies ended. That aside, the movie is pretty pedestrian stuff, as there are no jump scares, no suspense, and no attempts at being the least bit creepy.
Has Fox created a new trend with Fright Night 2: New Blood? Can filmmakers now just keep remaking a movie over and over again, changing little bits here and there with each new incarnation? I certainly hope not. The last thing that we needed was a sequel to the last Fright Night, but I suppose that there was a way to show what Charley did following that film. I never expected to be confronted with another remake, let alone such a lackluster one. As if we didn't already know it, this is definitive proof that Hollywood needs to dig up some original stories.
Fright Night 2: New Blood goes into Xerox mode on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD which runs at an average of 30 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, showing no notable grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look fine, most notably the red blood, and the image is never overly dark or bright. (Although some scenes border on being dark.) The image is fairly detailed and some shots display good depth. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 4.4 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects are well-done in some scenes, especially those in which things are happening off-screen. The subway scene and the finale offer pretty good surround sound effects, and we get some detailed individual sounds at times. The subwoofer is evident, but never overwhelming.
The Fright Night 2: New Blood Blu-ray Disc contains just a few extras. We begin with an AUDIO COMMENTARY from Eduardo Rodriguez, Alison Rosenzweig, and Michael Gaeta. "Fright Night Webisodes" (12 minutes) offers us a full-length look at segments from the Fright Night show which is discussed in the film. Sean Power appears here as host Peter Vincent, who takes who through two infamous castles. "Dracula Revealed" (6 minutes) has Rebecca Johns, author of The Countess kicking off a discussion of the history of Dracula, how Elizabeth Bathory fits into vampire lore and how it was incorporated in to the film.
Review Copyright 2013 by Mike Long