Fright Night, Fright Night, wait a minute that does sound a bit familiar. Like there’s already an eighties movie with that same title. And indeed there is. So, Fright Night 2011 edition is a remake of a popular horror comedy released back in 1985. When you run out of ideas, you simply go back to the eighties and do a remake. The only surprising thing is that his movie isn’t in 3D like most of the recent releases. Oh wait, there is a 3D version, I stand corrected. We will be following a young guy who starts to suspect that his new neighbor might be a vampire.
The premise is simple and yet surprisingly effective. And it worked well in the original movie that had no delusions about what it actually is. A charming B movie with a single goal in mind and that’s to entertain you. And if a couple of scenes are a bit scary, that’s only a bonus. Fright Night, 2011 edition, tries to do more while also emulating that trademark casual eighties atmosphere. An atmosphere in which anything is possible and you just accept it as fact. Your neighbor is a vampire, so what?
It ultimately succeeds in that, offering forgettable entertainment bolstered by a great cast. It’s not just about the vampire, who’s called Jerry by the way, but also about Charley Brewster, a high-schooler with a standard set of high-school issues. Colin Farrell was almost a perfect choice for the lead role although I think he viewed it more as just another gig. He’s just not tall enough to be as imposing as Chris Sarandon was in the original. The charisma and the skill are there but when you see him next to Toni Collette, all of that kind of goes away.
Next year we’ll get the opportunity to check him out in another remake, Total Recall. I don’t know what to think about Anton Yelchin. It’s like he’s great at playing confused but smart guys but nothing much more than that. Although this might be the consequence of him being type-cast time and time again. Imogen Poots was just as delightful as Amy and it was nice seeing her in something. I loved her in 28 Weeks Later and I think she has a great career ahead of her.
Charley Brewster is just an ordinary high school kid, living in the suburbs and enjoying the good life. All this will change when he finds out that his next-door neighbor is a vampire, and the problem is that no one will believe him. As he tries to convince people around him that they are in danger, Jerry the Vampire will tighten his grip on Charley and his family and friends. Left with no options and in dire danger Charley tries to get help from Peter Vincent a magician who claims that he kills vampires for a living (in his act). Will he succeed and will Peter help him is up to you to find out…
Fright Night is a big movie with that big movie vibe. It feels kind of important if you know what I mean. Like it belongs on the big screen although its theatrical run has not been the greatest. And for a big movie, it’s quite brutal. You’ll have to wait ’till the final third to see that but that wait will be so worth it. The special and practical effects were quite good but the lighting was a bit off. So, some of the scenes were just too damn dark although that’s just a minor complaint. At least you will get the chance to see David Tennant as a flashy fake vampire hunter dressed all in leather.
Director: Craig Gillespie
Writers: Marti Noxon, Tom Holland
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette, David Tennant, Imogen Poots, Chris Sarandon
Fun Facts: The famous writer and director Steven Spielberg contributed to the movie, most notably by suggesting that Jerry needs to have a much scarier appearance.