Prom Night; or I Had The Time of My Life Until I Was Axed in the Face

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Hello and Hallo-welcome to this year’s final edition of Slasher Saturday, where the only answer to pre-martial sex is a good stabbing! You join your reviewers, Andy and Lilly, as they don their prom duds and get ready for the best night of the lives–no matter how shortened-by-axe-murderer they may be.

Today’s film offering: Prom Night

Lilly: Our story starts with several kids playing a game of ‘Murderer’ being stumbled upon by three other children, one of which wants to join in. She goes into the building (an abandoned convent, which of course children love to play in) and her attempts to join in lead to a tragic accident (not to mention a tragic scene where her whole family, siblings included, show up to see her body being taken away–I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, get a SITTER, people).

Andy: Of course, there’s not any explanation as to why she’s being excluded; only that these kids don’t like her because they are angry, hateful jerks. As to why she’d want to play with these kids isn’t really touched upon either – they’re just a little bit too young to be the ‘popular’ kids, something I associate more with teenagers. And of course these kids immediately swear never to tell anyone about the tragedy because they’ll go to JAIL.

Lilly: Fast forward to six years later, and it’s prom night! Because nothing says revenge like getting it on prom night–or so Carrie taught us. The children have grown up and it’s time they paid for what they did, damn it! Throw in a few red herrings, like a man who was charged with the little girl’s murder getting loose and a creepy groundskeeper at the school they all attend, and you got yourself Prom Night.

As long time fans of Jamie Lee Curtis, we felt we might be robbing ourselves, having not seen this classic from 1980. Well, we weren’t. Surprise! A cheesy slasher I don’t like! Well. It was funny at times–at one point, a guy named ‘Slick’ punches the killer clear out of  the back of a van which I found hysterical–and Jamie Lee was fantastic in her dance scene, but…okay, well, a slasher having a dance scene I’m usually for (The Final Girls is a great example of this), but even Jamie Lee boogie-oogie-ooging couldn’t save this from being not all that great.

Andy: Yeah, this one commits the cardinal sin of horror movies anywhere; it’s really, really boring. There’s no sense of suspense or build up, the setup is long, long, looong, and there’s nothing I can really point at and say “Yes. This is a reason you should see this.”

Lilly: Some upsides? The children were scary enough to warrant the little girl’s accident while running from them–I wanted to run from them and I wasn’t in the spooky abandoned building. Then there was Leslie Nielsen, who was a great principal/grieving parent for as little as we saw him for his top billing. That man was a national treasure. And there were some brief glimpses at actual weighty moments, like when Nick, one of the kids who chased the girl (and JLC’s little sister) to her death, tries to admit his guilt to JLC because he cares about her, but doesn’t because, well. That’s a relationship deal breaker for most people.

Andy: Yes, but even then it’s not all that much, because even in the really drawn out snoozefest first half, the film still somehow fails to give us much sense of who these people are or what they’re like. They’re not even developed enough to be stereotypes – even the girl chiefly responsible for the death at the beginning only comes across as vaguely bitchy rather than the High School Villainess that appears everywhere else in movies. There’s not enough here to be angry about. It’s all just so boring.

Lilly: Some downsides? Well. A lot of it. Gratuitous breasts and bums, weird characterisation (why did Wendy hate that old lady she lived with so much, she seemed lovely!), a confusing ending, and why did the murderer start with a shard of glass and suddenly upgrade to an ax? Stay on message, murderer!

Andy: Not to mention the problematic elements of showing the tits of someone we last saw as a ten year old. You can probably skip this one.

Lilly: As long time fans of JLC, we’re saying don’t bother going, watching, and trying to enjoy this one–it’s just a collection of moments that have been bettered in other films, in other franchises, and even other JLC films! Go watch those! Prom Night, however, is a miss for us.

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I Know What You Did Last Summer; or Who We Did In On Our Holidays

o-i-know-what-you-did-last-summer-570Hello and Hallo-welcome to another edition of Slasher Saturdays, where sexy teens need to watch out, there are killers on the loose! You join your reviewers, Andy and Lilly, as they make a pact to never talk about what happened last Halloween again.

Today’s Film Offering: I Know What You Did Last Summer

Lilly: One of those films that slaps you in the face with a choker and some Spice Girls bubble gum, I Know What You Did Last Summer smacks of the nineties. Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr, and the minimally-named-by-comparison Ryan Philippe, Last Summer is the tale of a July 4th that goes horribly wrong when a quartet of teens runs someone over and tries to cover it up. Turns out, they ran over the wrong someone, because one year later, cue the menacing and murder!

Andy: Which you might have deduced from the title, really. And the fact that this got taken off on The Simpsons pretty quickly. Not to mention everything else. In fact, along with Scream, I would put money on the fact that this is the other movie people remember from the late 90s teen horror revival, even if all they remember is the title.

Lilly: IKWYDLS covers some ground in the plot, from class differences to trust in the police to whether it gets cold enough in July in Maine to justify wearing large, black rain slicker. You’ve got poor Freddie Prinze Jr, struggling with the fact that he is poor (I think?) and doesn’t have family (that’s mentioned a few times) while the three others have rich families which is what is important, then there is Missy Egan, hanging out in her massive house ‘out in the sticks’ with no visitors. You could easily think ‘man, being poor sucks’ but then the film keeps going because being rich sucks, or so Sarah Michelle Gellar shows when her acting career doesn’t pan out and she ends up being home and working for her really bitter older sister. Basically, life just sucks in the IKWYDLS universe unless you are that creepy host of the beauty contest. He got away with oogling teenage girls on the regular with no comeuppance, sooo.

Andy: There is definitely a very interesting atmosphere hanging over the movie, from the opening onwards. There’s this wonderful sense of dark hopelessness hanging over the town, where fishing really does seem to be the only industry and getting out takes some real effort and willpower.

Lilly: Also, the whole ‘the police aren’t going to trust us, we are rich white kids’ thing doesn’t really translate to today’s climate. Like at all. And it’s awkward. But, it was those heady days in the 90s where everyone was afraid of the police thinking they murdered someone because they actually murdered someone, I guess.

So, as Andy says, this film is one of those films that you know even if you haven’t seen it. I hadn’t seen it until this year, but had the jist of it. Not the ins and outs, of course. Like if I got rang up by Ghostface from Scream and was asked who the killer was in this film, I’d definitely get killed because I had no idea–even when they thought they super know who it was, I was still accusing Freddie Prinze Jr. of being the killer since I’m classist, apparently. Poor kid so did it. And actually, the film was more batshit than I had originally thought it would be–but then, slashers do do that to you, I find. I admit I had a low opinion of slashers once, like it was all teens get killed by a killer, straightforward and all that. But it just isn’t straightforward. Even when it is clear who the killer is, there are still twists like one of the sexy teens are related to them or they are a ghost or something. Ooooo. You know? Which is why I was happy to do a Slashers Saturday this year. Give them a chance, is what I’m saying. They might surprise you, even if it is just with a delicious example of urban myths in action, where they all know a different story of ‘the hook’, or weird moments like a body being covered in crabs (the seafood kind, not the sexual ones).

Andy: Or the weirder moment where the body, and ALL OF THE CRABS vanish in like, 30 seconds. Or that was just dumb. Probably the latter.

Lilly: Or was it a third option, AWESOME? No. No, it was the dumb one. It was dumb. Though, come on, a killer running around with a body and a bag of crabs, unnoticed? Love it.

Andy: It was like something out of a Dario Argento movie. Seriously.

Lilly: So, the thing is, I Know What You Did Last Summer made me laugh. It had some moments that definitely would be scary if I was alone and watching it at night and maybe living in a fishing village at the time, but overall, it entertained me.

Andy: It isn’t what I would call good, and it takes itself far too seriously, which pushes it all the way through dark and gloomy to hilarious, and it’s been taken off too many times and it’s not very scary and the plot is nonsensical but also somehow predictable. It’s an artifact of its time, and won’t do you any harm, and is too silly to be offensive.

Kudos to one shot though – an overhead of a woman being menaced in an alleyway while feet away a parade marches past oblivious. Stopped clocks and all.

Lilly: Also kudos to the soundtrack, since alt 90s can get some. Anyway, go, watch, enjoy!

Oh, but if you want to google it, make sure you don’t just end up watching the music video for Shawn Mendes’ song of the same name. Especially because it has nothing to do with murder at all. Boo.

Andy: And it sucks deep-fried donkey ba…

[WE ARE EXPERIENCING TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES. SEE YOU TOMORROW FOR ANOTHER REVIEW AND ABSOLUTELY NO OFFENSIVE COMMENTS ABOUT SHAWN MENDES SONGS.]

Scream; or Not All Scary Movie Fans Are Murderers, Right?

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Hello and Hallo-welcome to another edition of Slasher Saturday! You join your reviewers, Andy and Lilly, who would be happy to explain the rules of horror films to you, if you’d just stop screaming.

Today’s film offering: Scream

Andy: It felt only right to review this 90s classic. If The Blair Witch Project was all about looking forward to what horror was to become, this movie was all about looking back – an ironic, post-modern take on the slasher glut that had utterly taken over the horror industry since the early 80s. If Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon had the conceit that all slasher villains existed in the real world, this one has it that the victims have at least seen all of the slasher movies.

The plot concerns one Sidney Prescott, who while still grieving after the horrific killing of her mother, is embroiled in another series of brutal murders – this time of her school friends. It’s almost like she’s caught in a horror movie, and everyone knows that there are certain rules you have to follow if you want to survive…

Lilly: Well, everyone does by the end of the film, since you get those rules listed off to you, just in case you didn’t get it.

Scream was one of those films I hadn’t seen but had heard of for years, and seen the spoof of in Scary Movie. Now, having seen it, I’m sort of surprised how much of a copy Scary Movie was with just a few late nineties gags fitted in. To the point where I was sort of having flashbacks to Scary Movie plot points as it went along. But maybe that’s just because 90’s heartthrobs all look like goofy comic relief. Or murderers, as I kept saying throughout the film.

Andy: Yeah, Scary Movie was a weird one, because they were parodying something that was all ready so self aware and witty. Which, whatever you think of Scary Movie, are not two adjectives that can really be applied to it.

Lilly: Now, having missed out on all the years of enjoying this film, I’m almost embarrassed because it was completely up my alley. Serial killer, sarcastic teens, 90s alt rock, and Henry Winkler. Henry Winkler is in it, people! Not only was he in it, he is like film MVP in my opinion, for ripping into two teenager boys who were making really, heartbreakingly inappropriate jokes–in this day and age, it was so satisfying to watch a principal yell at two asshole kids for being assholes, let me tell you. Or maybe that was just me.

Andy: There is definitely a running theme of a youth that had been somewhat corrupted by horror – a police chief remarks that two decades ago he wouldn’t have thought the kids in this movie capable of murder, but now he’s not so sure – and it does seem to be the only thing that they talk about. Even the killer quizzes his victims on horror trivia pre-stabbin’.

Lilly: This is definitely a cinematic answer to the age old question ‘Do violent films make people violent?’. All these kids knowing all these horror films,  does it bring it all on them? Oooooh. Wait. As we approach having reviewed over 90 films this year, I don’t like that thought. That said, a lot of people seemed to know a lot about horror films, like Officer Dewey knowing about The Town That Dreaded Sundown. I mean. Really? Or did I miss my era, the early 90s, where everyone knew random horror films off the top of their heads? Damn it.

Andy: People other than us, I mean. This is very much a movie that demonstrated that saturation in pop culture definitely creates an effect, even if it’s just an audience that is informed in one specific way. 

Lilly: So, we watch as a teen struggles with the town’s ideas about her late mother and the present day murders, and it’s sort of hard not to feel some sort of awkward about how today’s ‘locker room banter’ is seen performed so lightly about a woman who was raped and brutally murdered. She was the town bicycle, so it was fine, right? Right? And then, we have the opposite end of the spectrum, as Sidney struggles with not wanting to have sex with her boyfriend and feeling guilt over that. Hi, my name is Scream, and I’m apparently very relevant in 2016. Sidney’s best friend, played by the beautifully bleached blonde Rose McGowan, makes the point that Sidney doesn’t need to have sex if she isn’t ready, and it isn’t a matter of life or death (as is said in the rules) and ugh. I could merrily discuss that side of this film for days, but won’t. For the sake of not babbling. But please, get me on it in person, and I will.

Andy: Plus it has that rarest of character types – the guy who likes the main character and has no chance, but isn’t creepy or desperate beyond what you’d expect. How often do you see that? (Note: I may have a kinship with this character because he’s the one who iterates the actual horror movie ‘rules’, and while this could lead to him being something of a social outcast, being the guy waaay more into horror than even his friends, it essentially gives him this awesome sense of prophecy).

LillyScream surprised me. I was scared by the first scenes with Drew Barrymore, I was amused by the growing notion that there were ‘rules’ to surviving a horror film, and I was impressed by the fact that the ending wasn’t typical (and more importantly wasn’t pretentious about being not typical). When I think of loving horror spoofs, this definitely is on my list now. And when I think of fashion pointers re: baggy shirts and a deep red lip? Also thinking of this.

Andy: I was a bit worried about approaching this one again, fearing it wouldn’t have aged well. But while the fashion, and the music, and some of the language definitely places this film firmly within his era, its underlying blend of wit, whodunnit and scares means it hasn’t truly dated. It’s still a very entertaining watch. It’s a heavy recommend from both of us.

Lilly: I would heavily suggest watching this one if you haven’t, and watching it again if you have, but a long time ago, because it’s fun, and because it does have some really great moments that throw back to old horror films–like watch for a certain famous janitor who was hard done by to show up! Priceless.

Fright Night Double Bill; or An Apple A Day Keeps the Vampire at Bay?

Hello and Hallo-welcome to Twofer Tuesday, a double bill of deliciously devilish delicacies that we dissect with our decidedly dry wit! Join your bloggers, Andy and Lilly, who think you’re so cool, Brewster.

Today’s Film Offerings: Fright Night

The Colin Farrell cloud is somehow more creepy, and he's smiling.
The Colin Farrell cloud is somehow more creepy, and he’s smiling.

Lilly: Both! Because one film was not enough for how frightful that night was, apparently.

Picture it: the 1980s. Wait, you don’t need to, because Tom Holland’s Fright Night from 1985 paints that picture brilliantly. A tale of a horror-film loving nerd (wait…) who finds himself suddenly living the terrors he is used to enjoying on screen, Fright Night is a classic tale of the boy who cried ‘vampire’. Charlie Brewster, a nerdy teen with a sweetheart named Amy, is menaced by his new neighbour, Jerry Dandridge, who may or may not be a vampire–he super is, which we find out pretty early on in the film. The rest of the film is Charlie’s attempts at getting other people to believe this, which fail at varying levels. Eventually, however, enough people die to make it apparent that Jerry isn’t just the charmer next door.

Andy: Picture it: the early 2010s. A tale of an ex-nerd who is menaced by his new neighbour called Jerry Dandridge, who may or may not be a…yeah, you get the idea. We’re in remake land!

Lilly: Not just remake land, but the even more exciting territory of good remake land!

Andy: A little detour:

Now obviously we’re not a massive fan of generalisations here, and there are all sorts of people who hate remakes on general principle. The arguments seem to be as follows: 1) Hollywood is out of ideas, 2) Remakes are cheap cash-ins trading on the name of the original and 3) All of them are bad anyway.

I can’t speak for Lilly, but I find the idea that Hollywood is ‘out of ideas’ particularly now is frankly a little bit silly. Remakes are nothing new at all – the first film we reviewed this Hallowfest was House of Wax, which was a remake of an earlier film called Mystery of the Wax Museum from 1933. In fact a lot of ‘classic’ horrors are remakes – one of the most famous is John Carpenter’s The Thing, a remake of another movie from 1951 called The Thing from another World directed by Howard Hawks.

Lilly: Not to mention Frankenstein, which we are reviewing later on in the month, was originally a film made by Thomas Edison (surprise!) which was then remade by James Whale which was then remade by everyone ever. And with each remake, you get new things piled onto old ideas, so the notion that Hollywood is ‘out of ideas’ is ridiculous–at the very least, they had one idea, which was to remake a film, after all. Pfft.

Andy: As for the second point, sometimes, yes. There is no doubt in my mind that the slew of slasher remakes from about 5 – 10 years ago was driven mostly by the fact that cashing in on 80s nostalgia was big at that moment in time. However, all movies set off with the intention of making money, and at the end of the day, the people greenlighting these things are just trying to minimise their risk.

Lilly: Lots of things trade on names, by the by. Think about trailers which say ‘and starring Whoever, star of This Other Film You Loved So Maybe You’ll Love This One’.

Andy: Look on the bright side – remakes almost always spark a renewal of interest in the original, and next time you feel a remake is stepping onto sacred ground, take comfort in the fact that a special edition DVD or Blu-ray set is almost certainly coming for the old classic. And if the remakes are really bad, they tend to drop off the radar very, very quickly. Who remembers Gus Van Sant’s Psycho, for goodness’ sake?

Lilly: I do and I thought it was aggressively alright. So there.

Andy: As for them all being bad, well, that is a matter of opinion. In this particular case, we may disagree. End of detour.

Lilly: Thanks for joining us!

Andy: The other thing is that while zombies tend to be my thing, Lilly’s much more about the vampires. I don’t hold anything against the toothy bloodsuckers, but I just don’t love them in the same way. However, there are one or two vampire movies that I like a lot – Christopher Lee is awesome whatever he’s doing – and I’ll generally get behind any story as long as it’s entertaining. It’s just that she’s a tad more ‘qualified’ than me.

Lilly: I’m a big vampire freak, in other words. True thing. So, let’s get down to business. Again, much like with the Hostel films, we have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get to it!

Looking at the 1985 version of Fright Night, you actually get a cool insight into the attitude of the time towards horror fans. Nerds who spend Saturday night at home, watching old schlocky films with far too many descriptors in the title (think The Dark Night of Terror on Black Mountain of Blood and Doom with Monsters) are the protagonists of this film and who the audience is supposed to be able to relate to. ‘Sure,’ you should be saying, as you, I don’t know, admire the feathering in Amy’s hair-do, ‘I can so relate to that nerd because I, too, am a nerd’. Horror wasn’t seen as cool or shocking to mainstream genre film go-ers and you can feel that this film is playing with that. Only dorks like horror, and this dork is the dorkiest–but is he? Because he, spoiler alert, manages to get himself together enough to try and be the hero, not just the nerd who watches tv at home. His knowledge of horror helps him out, and it’s just…fun. That’s the best word for it.

Andy: Equally interesting, the character in the 2011 version seems to be trying to move away from the stereotypical ‘nerd’. He has his girlfriend, his Mum and his useless motorbike, but in the not too distant past he seems to have embraced the really nerdy end of the spectrum – the kind where you basically record yourself LARPing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course, but it’s very telling that Evil Ed uses this footage as leverage when Brewster’s loyalty as a friend is called into question. Also, he’s the one that needs convincing rather than the One Sane Man. A skeptical character who’s nevertheless obsessed with image? This seems a bit more ‘modern’ to me.

Lilly: Also fun is Peter Vincent, who, in the original, is a great shout out to Larry Vincent, or “Seymour Sinister”, a horror host who hosted Fright Night on a local LA station for five years in the early seventies–the man whose death lead to the invention of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, to fill the position. And did she ever fill it! But I digress. Vincent is a great way for those who aren’t relating to Brewster to get into the film–he’s just trying to keep his job even though horror hosts are going out of style, and now vampires are real? Poor guy!

When it comes to vampires, Fright Night has a weird mythology in itself which does have some regular staples–stakes, blood from the vampire turning his victims, flying, turning into bats and animals, etc.–and some lesser used ones, such as the vampire form being massive and bat-like. A lot of fun for the special effects and make up team, no doubt. Vampires needing to be invited in is an important plot point in both versions (and how 2011’s Jerry gets around it is super sinister). It also features familiars, which we see with the live-in carpenter friend who is…whatever he is. Watch the film and let me know because I still have no idea (which might be why his character is absent from the remake).

Andy: One of the most interesting elements (Lilly will tell me if this is an original idea) is that crucifixes require faith to work – this makes them much more tricky and less of an instant protection.

Lilly: Well, that’s a weird one–I mean, remember The Fearless Vampire Killers where the girl holds up a cross and the vampire responds with ‘Oy vey, have you got the wrong vampire!’ implying the object has to be holy to the vampire themselves…but then in Forever Knight (have I made you watch that yet?), any holy item can affect them, including ancient Egyptian relics. I love that trope, though–why wouldn’t they need faith to back them up?

Anyway. Moving on. Amy, the sweet girlfriend, is a lot less…experienced in this film than in the remake, and that’s super interesting, just like how Brewster is the doubting one and not Ed in the 2011 feature. I am a firm believer in not comparing a remake to the original in the sense of one being better than the other–just like you don’t say ‘the book was better’ when watching a film because that’s silly–but I am always curious as to why certain elements are changed. Who thought 2011’s audience would better relate to a doubting protagonist who was a reformed nerd? Who thought Amy had to be more sexualized, and more aggressive with her doubts about Brewster’s vampire troubles? And who thought Charlie’s mom had to have more of a role?

Andy: To be fair, she was so inconsequential in the original I had to think hard about anything she, y’know, did or said. And you can’t sideline Toni Colette.

Lilly: And Ed! Evil Ed was so much more sympathetic in the 2011 version, a bullied, lost nerd who no one listens to, not even his best friend, compared to the Evil Ed of 1985 who was just. So. Awful. With his weird laughter at literally everything. Don’t get me wrong, I have dealt with teenagers like him in my former occupation but still. I wanted him dead ASAP just so I wouldn’t have to hear him anymore. Did someone comment on that, so he was changed? Or did it fit the new story better? Or what? What!

Andy: They’re both odd time capsules of when they were made, so unpacking them raises all sorts of interesting questions.

Lilly: The pace of 1985’s Fright Night is a lot slower and has a lot less scenery changes than the remake, but that was definitely the style of the time. It was just the story of a boy and his neighbour, not saving the world as we see in 2011’s narrative. It kicks off soon enough so that you aren’t left waiting–you know Jerry’s a vampire from twenty minutes into the film, and the rest of the time you are wondering how Brewster will make it out of this.

Andy: The pacing is so off in the original that you’d swear the remake was the much shorter film. They are in fact, exactly the same length.

Lilly: Before we spend more time on the 1985’s fun (I could talk about Evil Ed’s wolf scene for aaages), let’s talk about 2011’s Fright Night (in 3D!)

Charlie Brewster, as mentioned, is a former nerd and current cool guy who is trying to balance his new life and hot girlfriend with his old life and weird friend, Ed. His oh-so-real struggle is broken up when Jerry moves in next door, a handsome guy with dark eyes, a charming smile, and no reflection. Whoops, he’s a vampire, and only Ed seems to believe that.

Andy: Although with the addition of him not appearing on digital film either, which is a fun update. So how do the characters compare?

Lilly: First, let’s talk about Jerry. Now, Chris Sarandon was a fantastic Jerry, and so is Colin Farrell. One (Sarandon) is a suave sort, wearing turtlenecks and charming people with a smooth, calm demeanour. The other is, as Ed quips, ‘The shark from Jaws’. I loved both (and Sarandon even had a fun cameo as ‘Jay Dee’–get it? Jerry Dandridge, eh? Eh?–in the remake) but there was definitely a big difference in their approach. One was all charm and cocktails after dark and the other was all raw animal energy and smirks around sharp teeth. The physicality of the vampire didn’t change between films–there was still far too many teeth to be sensible in their mouths at times and sassy long nails-which was nice. Kept them in the same mythos, so to speak. Even with the added history in 2011’s film, a neat addition to the story of Jerry.

Andy: Chris Sarandon seems to be carrying baggage from the ‘classy’ era of vampires – he looks good, all the time. 2011 Jerry seems to be happy in a wifebeater, confident in his vague hickishness – he’s much better disguised.

Lilly: Peter Vincent. David Tennant can admittedly do no wrong in my books, but this character was perfect. While 1985’s was a throwback to Seymour Sinister, 2011 sees us facing a Criss Angel wannabe, and I loved it. I’d go to his magic show. Twice. And watching him disrobe and take apart his own character in front of Brewster is fantastic–it’s like watching Jerry change from charming neighbour who gets the ladies swooning to his more threatening self, all dead dark eyes and fangs, but in reverse. Vincent’s character gets a bit more development in this film (a common thing in this film, actually, everything seeming to go just a bit deeper than the older film) and it was well worth the time to explore him. He adds so much to the story, and is hilarious to boot.

Andy: There’s not much to say about how brilliantly realised this character is, other than the obvious – it’s David Tennant, in leather pants, swearing and being cowardly. Every moment he’s onscreen is a scream.

Amy, though, the eponymous girlfriend, is a swing and a miss. While it may be very 2010s to have a sexually liberated woman, she’s too aggressive. At one point, something’s clearly bothering Charlie, and she almost forces him to have sex. The scene is uncomfortable – imagine if the roles were reversed – and her character never recovers.

Lilly: It’s true. Even if you were looking at it as an inversion of Brewster’s pressuring of her in the original film, it’s resolved in a way that makes her come off pretty badly. 1985 Brewster ends the fooling around because he’s freaked out, and 2011 Amy ends the fooling around because she’s annoyed by him being freaked out. Does he often look out the window and try and avoid sex by claiming his new neighbour is going to hurt the go-go dancer neighbour? She certainly acts like he does.

The story itself is a great one, and these films are both ones I’d recommend, especially if you are a vampire fan such as myself. Especially with the 2011 remake, you get a lot of fun nods to vampire tropes that make the genre what it is. They are both a bit comedic, a bit camp, and still scary when they need to be, and I can really get behind that.

Andy: Same. Even as a non-vampire fan, these films have enough to offer that they’re worth a watch. I think this is one of those rare occasions where the remake edges out the original – it’s paced better, the cast is better, it’s funnier – but neither are bad films in the slightest.

As a side note, the remake has one of the best credits songs ever. If you’re into that sort of thing.