Director(s): Craig Gillespie
Writer(s): Marti Noxon
Reviewed by: Christine Lambert on
Release Date(s)Aug 19, 2011 - Wide
Fright Night is a remake of the 1985 film of the same title. The movie jumps right into the action with the opening scene of a young teenage boy in Las Vegas trying to escape the malevolence that has already murdered his parents in their home. That teenager is of course missing from roll call at school the next day and that is where the audience is introduced to the plot of the movie. Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays Ed, a nerdy, but smart kid who tries to convince Anton Yelchin’s Charley that his new neighbour Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire and that their friend missing from school is a potential victim.
At this point in Charley’s teenage world, he doesn’t want to associate with Ed let alone believe wild stories about neighbours who are vampires. Charley hangs with a new crowd, a popular one that includes his very beautiful and sought after girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) and that does not include his old life of role-playing with toy swords. But once Ed disappears too, Charley starts doing some investigations of his own and after some questionable observances is convinced that Jerry is indeed a vampire! The problem Charley now faces is trying to convince his mother (Toni Collette), who is already smitten with her handsome neighbour, that he is dangerous and not to invite him inside the house.
This remake of Fright Night comes at a good time when audiences are inundated with images of caring, valiant vampires that sparkle. Contrary to these popular images, Fright Night shows the original portrayal of vampires as cold-hearted killers. At one point, Jerry brings home a stripper and she protests his advances. This scene clearly shows that either vampires don’t care about their victims, or that Jerry missed the “no means no” talk at school. The only chivalrous acts are those by Charley trying rid his neighbourhood of a monster. He tries to get help and information from a self-proclaimed vampire expert, Las Vegas performer Peter Vincent (David Tennant). At first that proves fruitless, as Peter is more concerned with his alcohol than anything Charley has to say, but as common as Hollywood endings, Peter comes around and helps the young lad.
Fright Night is a thoroughly entertaining movie. There is a nice mixture of humour in the film at the appropriate times. This updated version is in 3D and while some films have jumped on the bandwagon for no other apparent reason then they can, the 3D aspects of Fright Night really lend nicely to the jump-worthy moments. Farrell’s slick and flawless evil character is played with ease while the hurried, frantic character of Charley played by Yelchin is done equally convincingly. Chris Sarandon, the original Jerry from the 1985 version, is seen in a cameo that pits one vampire against another.
While this version of Fright Night is not a particularly scary experience, it is an incredibly entertaining one and worth the almost 2 hours that are gone in an instant.