For the past few decades, Hollywood has engaged in a long-running trend of remaking classic horror films from the 70s and 80s. More than not, these update have lead to lumbering disappointments in capturing the spirits of their original source materials. Fortunately, this remake of the 1985 horror flick 'Fright Night' is one of the few exceptions that does its duty. Directed by Craig Gillespie, this stylish vampire horror film carries roughly the same story and characters, executing these elements with proficiency while paying respect to its original source material. What are filmgoers in for? Not a film that will necessarily provoke nightmares in your sleep, but will provide a campy, gory fun with a solid dose of humor in the mix. And to add a little spicing, it is done in 3-D which will allow viewers to experience the action flying at them before their very eyes. Although Gillespie never boasts any improvements over the original film, his greatest success lies within his appealing execution of the man-versus-bloodsucker tale. Set in the suburbs of Las Vegas, this film follows 17-year old Charley Brewster (played by Anton Yelchin), a popular high school student dating a hot blondie named Amy (played by Imogen Poots) and hanging with his pals Mark (played by Dave Franco) and Ben (played by Reid Ewing). With his social standings rising, his popularity has put his former best friend Ed (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) in the shadows. When a handsome young man Jerry Dandridge (played by Colin Ferrell) movies in next door, Charley soon finds his and his mother's life in danger upon discovering that he is not the man next door, but a blood-sucking vampire out for human blood. And the only one who can help him is no one other than a vampire television show host Peter Vincent (played by David Tennant) who has the expertise on the world of vampires.
Not once does this film try to be anything groundbreaking or particularly anything masterful. It is a teen-oriented vampire flick that knows what it is and embraces the soul that made the 1985 original at hit. And the good news is it knows how to have fun while not only splashing the screen with R-rated blood and gore, exhibiting intellect in the rules of surviving against a vampire. With the obvious rules being sunlight leads vampires into a fiery grave and the other way to kill them is by driving a stake through their heart, the story expands upon another notable rule involving the vicious monsters requiring an invitation to enter the house. If the house you enter is abandoned, the vampire exempt from the necessity of an invitation. This accounts to a scary, yet clever scene when Jerry enters the house that has been abandoned on foreclosure. As for the story, the director does a pleasant job on building up the tension that leads to an pulse- pounding climax. In the process, the film stays mostly engaging by not blanketing the atmosphere with endless dread but poking fun at the genre with character sprouting humor with witty dialogue. This aspect is greatly accomplished by the cast including Colin Ferrell, substituting Chris Sarandon who offers an unexpected cameo in one scene, as Jerry Dandridge who boasts a tasty performance as the infamous blood-sucker. Demonstrating a sense of wit and dark comedic appeal, Ferrell proves himself suitably fit in the antagonistic role. Then there is Anton Yelchin who shares some sweet chemistry with his co-stars including Imogen Poots as his girlfriend and most notably Toni Collette as his naive mother who makes for some humorous interaction with him, particularly in the scenes when he is imploring her about the sinister persona Jerry hides behind the mask. If there is anyone in the cast, however, that stands along Ferrell on stealing the show, it is David Tennant who boasts an energetic Russell Brand-like comedic presence with his wise-cracking humor and profane, yet explosively hilarious one-liners. Just wait for him to get a hold of some booze.
Fright Night is a stylish, witty, and fun vampire flick that invites viewers, particularly horror fans, in for some sweet campy fun. By almost no means does this film shed improvement over the original film from the 1980s. Nonetheless, Craig Gillespie's rendition of the vampire tale strikes with one hell of a bit.
Action / Comedy / Horror
Action / Comedy / Horror
A remake of the 1985 original, teenager Charley Brewster (Yelchin) guesses that his new neighbor Jerry Dandrige (Farrell) is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths. When no one he knows believes him, he enlists Peter Vincent (Tennant), a self proclaimed vampire killer and Las Vegas magician, to help him take down Jerry.
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November 27, 2011 at 04:27 PM