Friday, September 09, 2011

Small Bites: Buried and Fright Night (1985)

Why did it take me so long to see this film? It delivered on the suspense and offered up an ending that was truly satisfying. The idea of telling a story from inside a coffin has been attempted on television before but usually had several external shots of the rescue team scrambling to locate the individual trapped. However, it is rather daring to attempt this concept in a feature film format. Director Rodrigo Cortes pulls it off wonderfully by building the suspense slowly. He allows time for the audience to breath before throwing another obstacle for Paul (Ryan Reynolds) to overcome. For his part, Ryan Reynolds gives a great performance as a man thrown into an unbelievably tough situation. At a brisk 95 minutes, Cortes and Reynolds successfully hits all the right emotions needed to keep the film suspenseful to the very last frame.

Fright Night (1985)
For a film released in 1985, Fright Night holds up surprisingly well. In many ways this plays like The Burbs with vampires. Actually, since Fright Night was releases before The Burbs, I guess it is the other way around. Regardless, if you have seen one you have an idea of what to expect from the other. What makes the film work are the performances from Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowall. Sarandon gives Jerry Dandridge, the vampire, a seductive charm that shines even when he is being menacing. McDowall on the other hand steals every scene he is in with his sly humour. Of all the characters McDowall’s Peter Vincent is the most interesting as you spend a good portion of the film wondering if he is a television fraud or if has actually hunted vampires before. The only performance that did not sit well with me was Stephen Geoffreys’ work as Ed. He was just too annoying for my liking and kept taking me out of the film. Granted much of that could have been a result of the way the character was written, but Geoffreys overall performance does not help matters much. Despite the popularity of the vampire genre in current pop culture there is something about 80’s vampire films that win me over every time. While Fright Night may not be a scary film, it definitely is an entertaining one.


  1. Glad you liked Buried. Pretty solid movie with an excellent performance from Reynolds. The concept is a bit too thin for a full feature film, I thought but given the premise, this was very good filmmaking in action.

  2. @Castor - The concept could have been fleshed out a bit more, or at least give a stronger reason like Oldboy, but I thought they did the best they could with what they had to work with.


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