Fright Night is one of the best vampire films ever made and, I would say, one of the best horror films of the 1980's. It seamlessly blends camp and horror to create a film that is equal parts goofy spoof and straight-up vampire horror. This film creates a ghoulish atmosphere in a suburban neighborhood of all places, with the monster being your own neighbor.
Chris Sarandon portrays iconic 80's villain Jerry Dandrige, the vampire next door. I honestly believe that without Sarandon, this film would have never achieved the cult status it has today. He plays Jerry as a sadistic, intelligent, and seductive monster. The only thing you're sure about him is that he's dangerous and he wants to kill. Alongside him is Roddy McDowall as TV vampire killer Peter Vincent, who is a great unlikely hero. The rest of the cast is actually kind of forgettable, which isn't good, but the creature effects and incredibly haunting score more than make up for it.
I consider Fright Night to be in my top ten favorite horror films, as it does a tremendous job of turning a hilarious concept into a genuinely scary horror film. Vampires aren't scary anymore, unfortunately, so it's fun to look back at a time when they could really let loose with a good, old-fashioned scary vampire. Fright Night is one of those films that still looks great after all these years and puts the remake to shame, thanks to its memorable monster and unexplainable staying power.