Musings in the Dark: Horror 102: Vampire Horror


Horror 102: Vampire Horror

My final entry for this year’s celebration came down to, once again, me trying to decide between two of my favorite vampire movies: 30 Days of Night (2007) and Fright Night (1985).  30 Days of Night is about the takeover of Barrow, Alaska (the northernmost city in Alaska that can go a solid month without daylight) by vicious, feral vampires, led by the incomparable Danny Huston.  I love this movie because the vampires are ferocious and monstrous, the way vampires should be.  Consider this my commentary on Twilight vampires and to an extent, Anne Rice’s vampires.  I prefer for my vamps to be fucking savages.  

My choice for this category is Fright Night, simply because I caught it at a tender young age and it stuck with me for decades.  It worked its way permanently into my writing and even now, 35 years later, I still find myself thinking about the life of Jerry Dandridge, played to perfection by a then-superbly handsome and suave Chris Sarandon.  I still listen to the soundtrack. 

Many a fantasy was had...

The movie follows the exploits of Charlie Brewster, a horror movie head who learns that he lives next door to a vampire.  Young women are being brutally murdered and Charlie has every reason to believe that they fell victim to his neighbor, Jerry Dandridge.  Charlie tries to ask for help from his friend and girlfriend, and then from horror legend Peter Vincent (played by Roddy McDowell).  Of course no one believes him.

Jerry fixates on Charlie’s girlfriend Amy (played by Amanda Bearse), as she reminds him of his lost love.  He makes it his mission to seduce her and turn her.  That club scene is legendary and the songs that play while Jerry dances with Amy wormed their way into my brain and haven’t left since.  Jerry leaves with Amy and tells Charlie to come to his house later or he will kill her.  Charlie obeys but comes with Peter Vincent, ready to do battle with Jerry and Billy, his human familiar.  Charlie and Peter successfully kill Jerry and Billy, and manage to save Amy’s life.

I love, love, love, LOVE Fright Night.  Sarandon’s Jerry Dandridge is my favorite vampire, hands down, and that’s saying something since I am a Dracula fan.

This ends my celebration of Halloween for 2020.  I really enjoyed it and I hope you did as well, Dark Dilettantes, even though I wasn’t able to complete my list.  So I will put the remaining titles here:

Ghost Horror:  The Shining (1980)

Haunted House Horror: The Amityville Horror (1979)

Psychological Horror: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Zombie Horror: Train to Busan (2016)


  1. I am not shock that Fright Night was your pick. You love that old school horror.

    Have you ever seen a movie named Splice? Check it out if you have not. It might be right u your alley.

    Hey I want to hear your thoughts on Train To Busan. I think I recommended that one to you too. Have you seen the second one? It pales in comparsion to the first. I can't believe it is the same team of people made this one. It is too Fast And The Furious for my liking.

    1. I've heard of Splice and read some reviews...I think I will give it a shot. And yeah, I watched Train to Busan and LOVED it!! Love the father's character dynamic and that little girl acted her ass off at the end. I love how the characters made good decisions and things still got fucked up. Best zombie movie ever, as far as I'm concerned.

    2. One thing Train To Busan absolutely got right is they made you care about all these characters. I still can't believe bid Daddy-O got bite. How the hell can they kill off big daddy-to-be. That was messed u. And even the homeless guy that sacrifice himself close to the end, I felt it for him too.

      Someone made a comparison of Gond Yoo's character. They said he started off like that asshole business man who was throwing people to the zombies in order to save himself. And as the movie progressed his character shifted more into becoming like big daddy-to-be. I have to say I agree.


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