Judge Roman Martel has stared into the black endless maw of horror—and its name is Fred.
Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who love Fred Figglehorn (Lucas Cruikshank, Figgle Chat with Fred Figglehorn), and those who would love to see him smashed slowly by a steamroller (head first, so you won't have to hear the horrific screaming).
To those who love Fred and all of his antics, I'll give you the good news first: Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred delivers a full-fledged, Fred-tastic adventure. It all starts when Fred becomes convinced his music teacher, Mr. Devlin (Seth Morris, United States of Tara), is a evil vampire bent on turning the whole school into an army of the undead! Is Fred's Mom (Siobhan Fallon, Baby Mama) really dating this guy? Has Kevin (Jake Weary, Altitude) already succumbed and transformed into a vampiric minion as well as a bigger jerk? Not only that, but this weird girl keeps following Fred around. Is she a stalker? Will Bertha (Daniella Monet, Victorious) be able to help Fred? Find out the answers to these questions and more (like can you really make a sandwich using a Twinkie, peanut butter, and jelly?) in the exciting spooky sequel to Fred: The Movie.
Everything you love about Fred is here: the ranting, the screaming, the squeaking, the whining, and the prat falls. Cruikshank is in top form, keeping the energy high and the antics fast and furious. The story itself is silly and allows for plenty of great moments, including a hilarious parody of Twilight and a spoof of pretty much every scary movie ever as Fred tries to escape Mr. Devlin's house of horrors.
The rest of the cast is pretty good too. There's a new gal playing Bertha, but she does a good job. It was also great to see John Cena (The Marine) as Fred's dad…living in a refrigerator.
Presented in standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, the televised transfer is crystal clear. The audio is equally good, allowing us to hear each of Fred's piercing shrieks in full Dolby 5.1 surround. For extras, we get three featurettes dealing with the making of the movie and Cruikshank talking about making his Figgle Chat videos for YouTube. We also get three Fred videos made during the film. All in all a great package for any Fred fan.
For the rest of us…
According to IMDb Cruikshank favorite movie is Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and television series is Saved by the Bell. That pretty much sums up the Fred experience. Take Jim Carrey at his most manic and muggy, combine him with Screech, and shove a helium tank up his butt—the result is Fred. This is a comedic character whose sole purpose is to be as annoying as possible for the sake of generating laughs.
Every few years we get a character like this and a portion of the populace finds it the funniest thing they've ever seen. I know, I was there for the the pain that Urkel unleashed during the all-powerful reign of Family Matters. Once, I even defended the comedic prowess of Pauly Shore. We all make mistakes.
Fred falls in line with these characters: a comedic god to some, a nightmare of untold horror to others.
In small doses, Fred can actually be funny. His 2-minute shorts are just about enough for me to smile or chuckle, but 83 minutes of high pitched shrieking, whining, and mugging nearly killed me. However, I'm a veteran reviewer who has seen things that would make most people curl up into the fetal position and whimper for a swift death. I can take it.
My wife and my cat couldn't. At first, I thought my wife had fallen asleep, but no…Fred's piercing screams had unleashed a sonic blast too horrendous for her untrained ears and she was rendered unconscious. I asked her later if she remembered much of Fred 2. She kept mumbling "that voice…that horrible voice…"
The cat left the room after two minutes. I thought he wanted to sleep in the sun spot. I was wrong. A few hours later, as I walked by the closet (which was mysteriously open) my cat shoved me in and locked the door. This is amazing, since we don't have a lock on the closet. A note was slid under the door. I read it by the thin light seeping under the door, "Stay in there and think about what you did. I'll let you out when you promise to never watch Fred again." I knew it was the cat's writing, because he always uses in crayon.
And so friends…that was my experience with Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred. To quote one of my favorite comedians from Mystery Science Theater 3000, "Every generation has their Pauly Shore." Ladies and gentleman, I give you Fred.
Guilty. Kill Fred…please!
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