I Do Movies Badly: Fright Night
Happy 200th episode to and from I Do Movies Badly! But enough mushy stuff. Let’s talk about the original Fright Night, a film that seems to be find its queer coded vampire character infinitely more fascinating than the other characters but one that also casts him as a corrupter of youth and a sexual deviant. Or maybe that’s just the POV of its main character, who hates the feelings that his next door neighbor has awoken in him…
It’s actually quite common for horror films to find the villain more interesting than most characters (such as anyone played by David Manners in old Universal monster movies). Plenty of such films are named after the villain, and if they become a running series will often follow that villain while replacing other characters.
The main reason to discount a director’s statement about their own intentions (even if they can be presumed to have some expertise on their own work) is that it is “extra-textual” (unless the film by default includes the director’s own voiceover about it). The film itself is the “text”, and is what every viewer experiences. Sometimes when you discuss films you seem to be positively straining AGAINST the text in order to fit some interpretation to it. Better to foreground the text and see which interpretations seem to naturally emerge from it.