I saw Fright Night during the day on Friday, then almost immediately after it went to a weekend long bachelor party for my friend, so I’ll try my best to review this movie despite the fact I probably lost a few brain cells before it had a chance to really soak in.
The original Fright Night seemed like a movie that perhaps didn’t need the remake treatment, but I was pretty surprised at how much I enjoyed the new one. Of course with the vampire craze of the last few years, how could they NOT remake Fright Night? At the very least, they did what most horror remakes usually fail at doing – keeping it fun. Fright Night does a great job of never getting heavy handed. It’s just a nice little story about living next to an asshole vampire.
In the original (which I haven’t watched since college) there was at least initially a little mystery involved as to whether the neighbor was actually a vampire, I think…? I don’t know what the original’s marketing campaign was; if they gave away he most certainly a vampire before you walk in the theater or not. But for the new one, they pretty much establish in the commercials that Colin Farrell is a vampire. And they don’t bullshit you about it in the movie either, trying to build up a mystery about something you already know. From the first scene to the last, it’s blatantly apparent that he’s a vampire. And it kind of *sucks* to live next door to him (rimshot; thank you, I’m here all day, folks).
One thing I really liked about the movie is that it didn’t beat around the bush too much, it stayed relatively on track and focused on the vampire element. There is some character development of the main character, and it’s appreciated, but maybe not even all that important in the long run. Establishing he used to be a nerd? I guess that’s to show he has the nerd skills to fight a vampire when the time comes, a skill a non-nerd wouldn’t be capable of? Or something? I suppose it did make him more relatable; to know he did have some kind of personality at some point in his life.
The acting in the movie was really good, well, at least from Colin Farrell as Jerry the vampire (they make fun of the name several times in the movie). He plays the prickish monster angle pretty well. He didn’t really have all that many lines, and I know that helped the performance. That’s not so much a slam on Farrell, who has done some fine acting work in the past, but more so that Jerry the vampire benefited from being a passive aggressive jerk. One of my favorite moments from the film is Jerry casually walking around the main character’s house while they are all staring at him, and he nonchalantly digs up a gas line and lights their entire house on fire. Like it was no big deal to casually blow up someone’s house. It’s that kind of mayhem that made Jerry a very interesting villain, and made the movie better all around. Wildcard!
Anton Yelchin (the Russian kid from the new Star Trek movies) was adequate. Not great. Sounds like he forces a lot of his lines. Christopher Mintz Plasse was fine as the nerdy smart ass. He’s done that before, he knows the deal. Toni Collette is OK as the mother, but I take it almost anyone else could have done her role just as good or better. David Tennant, who I’ve just learned is a former Doctor Who (so that’s why everyone is crapping their pants over some guy I’ve never heard of), is pretty funny as a “vampire killing” Las Vegas magician. He’s funny without ever going TOO cartoonish for his own good. And the girlfriend is played by an incredibly attractive actress with an awesome name – Imogen Poots. Her acting is only maybe slightly above average, but she is beautiful… Need more Poots! Now that I look her up on IMDb, she was also in Solitary Man and 28 Weeks Later, and she was good looking in both of those too. Make her the new James Bond girl or something, Hollywood. Make Imogen Poots a star, please.
I saw Fright Night in 3D, which actually had some neat “in your face” moments. But it was really dark, especially in some of the abandoned house scenes. It almost looked like the cinematographer made an exposure mistake. Very hard to see. But I’m sure it was just 3D darkening.
Overall, it’s a really fun movie if you’re into the horror genre. It’s not particularly scary or anything, but it is moderately gory. But gory without being torture porn. Just blood spurts and such (it’s vampires, c’mon!). It’s *almost* a horror comedy, but in my opinion I don’t feel like it ever truly enters that realm. More just a good horror movie that’s also kind of funny. Most importantly, it’s entertaining. Never felt bored throughout it, and I was actually interested in most (if not all) of the characters and what happened to them.
It’s much more True Blood than Twilight, if that makes sense to you.
7.5 out of 10