Eye For Film >> Movies >> You're So Cool Brewster! The Story Of Fright Night (2016) Film Review
You're So Cool Brewster! The Story Of Fright Night
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
Few horror films have had the lingering impact of Tom Holland's Fright Night. This documentary is part tribute, part analysis of what made the magic happen, part guide to making a cult hit. It's nicely framed by Fright Night's iconic horror host, Peter Vincent (with Simon Bamford standing in for Roddy McDowell), and there are numerous other little touches that fans will love.
Tom Holland describes himself as a horror fan, Fright Night as the film he had longed to write but didn't think himself capable of until he just sat down and did it. He talks us through the story of the film and the casting decisions made along the way, with many of the stars present to discuss their experiences and their co-stars (always kindly but not always in a flattering way). There's also a section on the special effects, full of examples of the innovation that existed before CGI; and a section on the music, with input from composer Brad Fiedel and even from the J Geils Band, who contributed a song.
Combining present day interviews with interviews shot when the film was made, this documentary also uses clips from the film and behind the scenes footage that helps to illustrate how key performances were elicited and effects put together. The actors - especially those who were young at the time, who might not relate as closely to their former selves - reflect on their roles with notable honesty and talk about how being known for Fright Night has affected them since. Throughout, there is the same sense of warmth and humour that made the film so endearing. Holland, meanwhile, opens up about the many happy accidents that led to things working out as they did.
Although this is principally designed for fans and you will need to have seen Fright Night at least once in order to appreciate it, it's entertaining enough that its appeal extends beyond obsessive geekery. Anyone interested in filmmaking will find it educational and some of the special effects material is fascinating. There are some great anecdotes from the set and, finally, a brief discussion of Fright Night II. One of the most notable things is that, though Holland admits to bullying William Ragsdale all the way through, nobody seems to have a bad memory of this film, and perhaps it's their enthusiasm, coming across onscreen, that made it so much fun.Reviewed on: 20 Dec 2016