Having watched it again, especially after watching the new version of the film just a week ago, it was a new experience. For those of you who may have missed my review of the remake you can catch that here.
This movie was one of the best horror movies of the genre, in its day. Set back when the world had crazy fashion and music. There two elements of the film do not translate well for anyone of today's audience. If someone that has not seen the file in the original era were to watch it today this would be glaringly obvious.
This film has a slightly different premise than the remake does. We have Charley Brewster who is a geeky average teenager making out with his girlfriend when he happens to get up and look out the windows to see a coffin being delivered in the middle of the night to the vacant neighbors house. This of course starts his obsession with his new neighbor. Sometimes, it really is best just not to ask questions.
I noticed that we have many of the same scenes in the remake as we do this original. However many of the scenes have been shaken up a bit to make them more modern. I don't quite remember Peter Vincent being quite so much of a wuss when I watched it the first time. However they did improve that for the remake, I was glad about that actually.
I have to admit that some of the creature makeup is a bit cheesy but overall it still looks pretty good even for being such an old movie. They did an excellent job with the house next door where Jerry Dandrige moves into, it looks like a vampire's lair.
If you like scary movies and you don't mind a bit of cheese, then I would suggest this movie. Not quite as bad a the Friday the 13th movies, lets face it they really don't stand the test of time. The effects were so bad they made me laugh. Imagine if you will a stormy night for the special effects we are going to pull out the stock lightning noise and shine a yellow flashlight on the actors and make it flicker, I think you see my point.
This movie however is still a touch on the scary side, sure the chase scenes are not terribly scary by today's standards. Certainly compared to the remake this one is almost laughable but that is the point. What scared us in 1985 has been done in 1000 movies by now. I am glad that the remake paid such close attention to detail and stayed true to the original story like they did. The story is fairly timeless, especially with all of the books out there themed around modern day Vampires and Werewolves this film still fits in. Both the original and the remake are great stories.
I am a bit disappointed that they went with the terribly cliché horror movie ending though. You know what I'm talking about, we killed the bad guy, but wait look over there, you missed his apprentice, or he's not really dead. These are crappy endings as far as I'm concerned.
I give this film three and a half out of five smiley Mike heads.
I might have rated it higher but I'm not really into horror as a genre anymore and the fact that the wardrobe and music are terribly 80's.