Fright Night 2: New Blood

Charley (the unappealing Will Payne) and his pal Evil Ed (the even more unappealing Chris Waller) take a class trip to Romania, where low budgets for such sequels go far. Says Charley will all the enthusiasm he can muster, “So … Romania, huh?,” and viewers may agree. 

But then our show’s vampire, college professor Gerri Dandridge, shows up. This educator looks nothing like Colin Farrell and everything like a Hot British Babe. She’s played by Jaime Murray (an oft-unclothed player of TV’s Spartacus and season two of Dexter) and is the only thing keeping Fright Night 2 from being a total bust. 

She’s after Charley’s ex-girlfriend (Sacha Parkinson) because the prof is actually killer Countess Elizabeth Bathory. Who’s that, you ask? The minimally animated comic-book sequence in the middle of the movie will explain that. Or you can just take Ed’s explanation to heart: “She’s like the ultimate she-bitch, bro!” 

This ultimate she-bitch requires the blood of not only a virgin, but a virgin born at the stroke of midnight. (Geez, the specifics of cinematic vampire lore these days!) The boys lean on “reality”-show monster hunter Peter Vincent (Sean Power) for help; conveniently, he’s in town. 

Fright Night 2 screenwriter Matt Venne specializes in direct-to-DVD/Blu-ray sequels. Although they’re clearly done for commercial reasons above all else, I’m not against them by definition; in fact, Venne’s previous one, 2010’s Mirrors 2, proved a great deal of fun. That fun is what this mostly lacks, hampered by dreadful performances from Payne and Waller; the latter can’t even speak straight when his character bares fangs, but that’s the least of his problems. 

Again, only Murray approaches the material from the proper wavelength, giving it more juice than it deserves. It would deserve so much more by default if only director Eduardo Rodriguez (Curandero: Dawn of the Demon) had ordered up a real sequel instead of a mostly carbon copy.  —Rod Lott

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Rod Lott

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