Another Sunday has come where I find myself absolutely dragging. Granted, I was out somewhat late last night but I still wasn’t expecting to be moving this slowly today. Well nothing better to get a lazy Sunday started with than a cheesy sci-fi movie. Today’s movie comes from the Sci-Fi Invasions collection and is one of the movies that actually fits the trend, to a degree. I will admit that I had never seen this movie before I bought this collection but have seen the poster several times throughout the years when ever I look up various lists of movies so I was actually a bit happy to finally be able to see it. So time to see how good, or bad, of a movie Night Fright really is.
The plot: Two kids are making out in their car in a secluded area of Texas when they hear a radio report about a fiery object that crashed to Earth nearby. As they finish listening to the report, they go back to making out when the girl sees something approaching the car and starts screaming. The next day, Chris Johnson goes to pick up his girlfriend Judy from her sorority house but when they get in his car, she is a little upset about him talking to his ex-girlfriend Annie. Heading out to the woods, the two go for a walk and discuss the flaming object that crashed. After declining an invitation to the beach by some passing friends, Chris ends up chasing Judy through the woods until they come across the bodies of the two kids. Meanwhile, Sheriff Clint Crawford and his deputy, Ben Whitfield, are at the site of the crashed object, which turns out to be a government rocket, but they are kept away from the actual area by some government agents that had already arrived on scene. Clint is surprised to see his old biology professor, Alan Clayton, show up and as they are talking, they notice an ambulance drive by and Clint gets a call about the bodies, forcing him and Ben to leave. Arriving at the scene, they learn that the boy, Buddy Williams, is still alive but the girl was dead, her face completely chewed up. When the local reporter Wes Blau shows up, Clint gets him to help look around as the three men split up. Wes finds some tracks and shows them to Clint and Ben, then Clint has Ben backtrack to see where the creature came from while Wes uses the radio to have someone make a mold of the tracks. Clint follows the trail, finding some strange hair caught in the branches along the way, when the tracks lead him to a dirt road. Clint sees a car coming down the road and when he stops it, he finds 4 kids in the car, including his fiance’s sister Darlene Scott, and when he learns that they were going to the beach, he tells them to go back to town, which angers the kids. Ben shows up and says the tracks lead to where the rocket had crashed and wonders if it had anything to do with this but Clint finds it hard to believe. Returning to the crime scene, Wes tells them that Buddy died in the hospital so Clint and Ben leave so they can tell the families what happened. Clint stops by the hospital and tells his fiance Joan, who is a nurse, that he has to cancel their dinner plans and Joan says she knows as she was in the emergency room when the kids were brought in. Clint also tells Joan that he stopped Darlene and her friends from going to the lake and asks her to talk to Darlene about dating Rex Bowers, who Clint feels will be nothing but trouble, and Joan says she tried but Darlene won’t listen. Meanwhile, Darlene, Rex, and their friends are at the local diner complaining about Clint stopping them from going to the lake when they decide to go ahead and go anyways. When Darlene’s friend sees Chris and suggests asking him to join them, Darlene says she will ask him, prompting Rex to get jealous when he learns they used to date. Darlene talks to some other people as she heads towards Chris but hears him on the phone with Judy making plans so doesn’t talk to him. At the sheriff’s station, Clint has Deputy Pat Lance get in touch with Professor Alan and then asks Wes to not print anything for a few days until they know exactly what they are dealing with. Chris picks up Judy and they head to the diner for some food, where the waitress, Betty, tells them about the party at the lake. Worrying about the other kids, Judy has Chris try calling Clint to tell him but when they can’t reach the sheriff, they decide to head out and warn them themselves. At Prof. Alan’s house, Clint shows him the cast of the footprint and Alan agrees with Ben’s thought that it looks similar to an alligator’s footprint but there were several differences. Joan returns home and finds a note that Darlene left saying she had gone to the lake and tries calling Clint but when she doesn’t reach him, she heads out to get Darlene herself. Ben is driving along the woods around the lake and when he sees the creature, he ends up getting his car stuck. As the creature approaches, he uses the radio to call for help but doesn’t get through to anyone and is killed. At the lake, the group of kids are all dancing and as the song ends, Chris and Judy show up and warn everyone to leave. Rex picks a fight with Chris over it and after Chris beats him, he warns everyone again before they leave. The majority of the party leaves the lake but Rex chooses to stay and sulk and Darlene stays with him. As the two make out in Rex’s car, the creature approaches them and seems to kill Rex while Darlene manages to run away, with the creature giving chase. Joan arrives at the lake and sees Darlene being chased by the creature and the two try to get inside a nearby cabin but can’t get it open. Clint shows up and distracts the creature long enough for them to get away but when his bullets have no effect on the creature, he is forced to run. Chris and Judy are driving along, talking about what happened at the lake when they come across the Ben’s car, and after they look inside, Clint shows up and the three head back to town. After getting in touch with the state police, Clint has Pat go with them to seal off the area, then speaks with Joan about Darlene. Something she says gives him an idea and he calls Wes to have him get in touch with someone for supplies. Alan shows up and speaks with Clint alone, saying that the creature was part of a government experiment that had crashed to Earth and that was top secret which is why he couldn’t say anything earlier. Clint has Chris get some supplies from his father’s construction company and makes plans to set a trap for the creature. Meeting in the woods, Clint and his posse lay in wait for the creature but the creature gets around them and attacks Chris and Judy in their car. Chris and Judy run to where the Clint is, who tells them to take cover before he leads the creature to the trap, a decoy filled with explosives, which Clint detonates when the creature grabs it.
For a low budget movie, this was actually pretty decent. The acting was ok, if a bit dated, and the main characters did a pretty good job in their roles. The story was interesting, and there were a couple of interesting sub plots involved, especially the one that was showing up in the 60’s of the teenagers rebelling against authority figures. The creature was interesting although you never really get a good look at it until towards the end of the movie. My biggest complaint about the movie is that there were plenty of times where the film was too dark to be able to see some things clearly, mainly the creature, but on the whole, it is a decent movie to watch if you like this particular genre.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5