Fright Night is a 1985 American vampire comedy horror film written and directed by Tom Holland and produced by Herb Jaffe. It stars William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall and Amanda Bearse. The film was released on August 2, 1985 and was followed by a sequel, Fright Night II in 1988, and a 3D remake in 2011, which was followed by a sequel in 2013.
Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) is a teenage fan of horror films. He stays up late at night to watch the horror movie TV series "Fright Night" hosted by actor Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall), who played a vampire hunter for many years in horror movies.
One night, while he's in his room with his girlfriend Amy Peterson (Amanda Bearse), he sees two new neighbors moving in next door and they appear to be carrying what looks like a coffin. After he learns that a young woman who went to the neighbor's house had been murdered, he begins to spy on them, until he sees one of them, Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon), baring his fangs to bite a woman's neck. He tells his mother (Dorothy Fielding) what he saw but she doesn't believe him. He tries to tell his friend "Evil" Ed (Stephen Geoffreys) and girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse) but they also believe Charley is mistaken and begin to worry about his mental wellbeing. In desperation he calls the police but when he reveals his suspicions to them they believe he's pranking them and ignore his claims. That night Charley gets a visit from Jerry himself who offers Charley a choice: "Forget about me and I'll forget about you." Charley tries to use his crucifix on Jerry but the latter stops him and slowly tries to push Charley out the window to his death. Charley stabs Jerry's hand with a pencil. Enraged, Jerry destroys Charley's car in retaliation and warns Charlie that he plans to do much worse to him later.
Charley turns to Peter Vincent, who after a long and mediocre career has become cynical and dispirited, for help, but the actor dismisses Charley as an obsessed fan. Amy and Ed fear for Charley's sanity so they ask Vincent to "prove" that Jerry is not a vampire by having him ingest what they claim is "holy water", but it turns out to only be tap water (Jerry having claimed to Peter that ingesting actual holy water would be against his religious convictions).
Vincent accidentally discovers Jerry's true nature after glancing his lack of a reflection in his pocket mirror, which causes him to accidentally drop and smash the mirror. With this terrifying knowledge Peter flees but Jerry learns of Peter's discovery after finding a piece of his pocket mirror on the floor.
Amy comes to believe that Dandridge is a vampire, but Evil is not convinced, and wants to hear nothing about it. As he leaves, he takes a dark alley, only to encounter Dandridge. He tries to run, scared, but Dandridge keeps up and bites him, changing him into a vampire.
Back at his house, Vincent is scared and tries to shake off his feeling of dread. Just then Ed knocks on his door, claiming that there's a vampire out there. Vincent lets him in and Ed reveals that he's now a vampire. He then attacks Vincent, who narrowly escapes by injuring him with a cross. Ed slinks away, threatening Vincent with telling the 'Master'. Meanwhile, Jerry chases Charley and Amy into a night club. While Charley is trying to call Peter for help, Jerry hypnotizes and abducts Amy, who bears a resemblance to Jerry's lost love. With nowhere left to turn, Charley attempts to gain Peter's help once more.
Peter, still frightened from having dealt with vampire Ed, initially refuses, but then reluctantly resumes his "Vampire Killer" role as Charley approaches his neighbor's house. The two are able to repel Jerry's attack using a crucifix, though only Charley's works, since he has faith in its spiritual power. Billy Cole (Jonathan Stark), Jerry's live-in carpenter and daytime protector, appears and knocks Charley over the banister and to the ground. Peter flees to Charley's house, finding that Mrs. Brewster is at work, and is attacked by Evil Ed, who takes a wolf form. Peter apparently kills Ed after staking him, but removes the stake afterwards. An unconscious Charley is taken to Amy who has been turned into a vampire by Jerry. Peter says the process can be reversed, but only if they kill Jerry before dawn.
Charley and Peter are then confronted by Billy, whom Peter shoots, on the assumption that Billy is human due to having a reflection and appearing during daytime. However, this only proves that he is not a vampire, not that he is human. Billy rises again and is only killed when staked through the heart by Charley, dissolving him into goo and dust. Jerry appears, but Peter is able to lure the overconfident vampire in front of a window using a crucifix (which now works against Jerry in the hands of Peter, due to his renewed faith in its abilities). Just before the morning sun lights him ablaze, Jerry turns into a vampire bat and attacks Peter and Charley before fleeing, wounded, to his coffin in the basement. Charley and Peter go in pursuit of Jerry; Peter breaks open Jerry's coffin and tries to stake him through the heart whilst Charley has to fight off Amy, who has completed her transformation. By breaking the blacked-out windows in the basement, Peter and Charley are able to expose Jerry to the sunlight and kill him. Jerry's death leads Amy to become human again, and the three embrace.
A few nights later Peter returns to his Fright Night TV series and announces a break from vampires, instead selecting to present an alien invasion movie, watched in Charley's bedroom by Charley and Amy. The last shot shows two red eyes appearing from the darkness of Jerry's house and Ed's voice laughing and saying "Oh, you're so cool, Brewster!".
- Chris Sarandon as Jerry Dandridge
- William Ragsdale as Charley Brewster
- Amanda Bearse as Amy Peterson
- Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent
- Stephen Geoffreys as Evil Ed
- Dorothy Fielding as Judy Brewster
- Jonathan Stark as Billy Cole