While the Ryan people were announcing that he wasn’t running for President (sigh), I was out watching FRIGHTNIGHT.  Very enjoyable vampire movie that does a smart job of incorporating some of the anxieties of the Great Recession.  That is tougher to do than it sounds.  The Great Recession has coincided with a decline in violent crime.  That makes it harder to credibly ground horror in the everyday.  FRIGHTNIGHT mixes not-so-new family disruption with Great Recession elements of home abandonment, and residential transience (it is set in a Las Vegas exurb) to create a recognizable and plausible landscape for the fantastic elements of the film.  Families you know just disappear -and not because of vampires.  Houses stand empty.  Social networks become both smaller and more tenuous.  And yet there is, initially, a very suburban (and suburban contemporary)  lack of fear of radical violence.  The protagonist worries that his (single) mother will be romantically taken advantage of by the hunky and a bit sleazy neighbor.  There is a scene where a nerdy kid, having just seen his closest friendship destroyed, is skateboarding at night.  His worst fear is of a local bully.  For all their real troubles, they have only the faintest idea of how on their own they really are.

Articles by Pete Spiliakos

Loading...

Show 0 comments