July 8, 2010
FRIGHT NIGHT -- Cover Criticism
Fright Night may have a lot of gay sub text (find out what I mean in my review), but its VHS art is straight up iconic. People know it, but is that enough to give it classic status? Will it be classic, characterless, or criminal?
How can you argue with this? Although this art does not represent any of the film's camp, its iconic demonic cloud is guaranteed to hook any passerby. In the bottom-half of the frame, a lonely, isolated house is penned in by trees on both sides forcing your attention to the curious figure in the window. Who could it be? Why are they so alone? Are they watching you -- a stalker or voyeur? The painted quality of the image saturated with grainy shades evokes a dark, story-book quality that offsets the creep-factor. But then your eyes are funneled upwards into the unfurling cloud of hell. From the center of a swirling mass of frightful shapes, the unmistakable face of a horrible vampire with piercing eyes impales you from across the room. It draws you nearer to its crooked maw. The person in the window is a victim! Unaware of the horror building behind them! And if you were like me, a kid who loved to be scared, this artwork certainly got you to beg your parents to rent this. Or you grabbed it yourself. No photoshopped headshots from promo stills. No busy, digital-sheen after effects. Just classic composition with effective visuals = horror win