6. Fright Night (1985)
Director: Tom Holland
Stars: William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Amanda Bearse, Stephen Geoffreys, Roddy McDowall
Honestly, we’re not entirely sure why most horror critics and fanboys hated last year’s Fright Night remake so much—it’s far from A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 bad. But that’s just the way it goes when you’re revamping a film as beloved as director Tom Holland’s 1985 original, starring Chris Sarandon (in a kick-ass performance) as a suave bloodsucker who moves next door to nerdy high school kid (William Ragsdale). A fan of late night monster movies, the gullible and easily shook teenager detects his new neighbor’s undead ways, and, naturally, nobody believes him—until it’s too late, of course.
Holland, who also wrote the film’s script, approached the material from a real horror lover’s standpoint, taking all of Fright Night’s genre elements seriously, especially the insane final act’s descent into a maelstrom of excessiveness—giant deformed wolves, vampire chicks, and random transformations are all par for the course. That Holland honors the genre while also staging all of Fright Night’s supernatural moments with a cheerful smile on his face gives the flick a timelessly fresh quality.