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Fright Night (2011)

  Tags: Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Colin Farrell, Columbia Pictures, comedic, Craig Gillespie, Dave Franco, David Tennant, dreamworks, Emily Montague, fright night, Imogen Poots, remake, Sandra Vergara, Tom Holland, Toni Collette, vampire

Your rating: None Average: 7.1 (9 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

frightnightposter1.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Craig Gillespie
Runtime: 
106 minutes
Cast: 
Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette, David Tennant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Imogen Poots, Sandra Vergara, Dave Franco, Emily Montague


Like many other fans, I hate remakes and especially the idea of a Fright Night remake. Despite that fact, I still try to see these films with somewhat of an open mind, especially if the original had room for improvement. Fright Night, however, I thought was perfectly fine the way it was, but naturally the studio thought otherwise. Either way, I went in with low expectations and came out rather surprised and pleased at how much of an entertaining flick it turned out to be.

Although the movie kept the general theme of its predecessor, and aside from the characters, some of the dialogue and a similar scene or two, this remake is pretty much an entirely different film, which is a plus in my book. If you're not familiar with the source material, Fright Night tells the story of a young man, who suspects his new neighbor (Colin Farrell) is a vampire and the cause of all the disappearances in their small community.

There are many changes from the original, and as expected, not all are good. For one, I really had a hard time liking the new Charley Brewster, especially early on since he's more of a dick character, specifically to his friend Ed. Speaking of which, Ed is in the film even less than he was in the original, but Christopher Mintz-Plasse does the best he can with the limited screen time he's given. And it's not Charley who suspects his neighbor is a vampire, but Ed, who later convinces Charley.

On a plus side, I really liked David Tennant as the new Peter Vincent, who is now a young and very lively (and very drunk) smart-mouthed Vegas magician. I'll always love Roddy McDowall as the original Peter Vincent, but Tennant really brought forth a fun and memorable persona, and the banter he had with his female assistant is hilarious. Colin Farrell as the vampire "Jerry" seriously surprised me. He pulled off the role quite well, and his character is now more devious than ever, playing games with his victims -- a change to the character that I really liked.

There are quite a few nods to its predecessor, reusing some of the more memorable lines and even throwing in a great cameo from Chris Sarandon (the original Jerry). Luckily, the filmmakers kept the freaky, large shark-mouthed look to the vampires when they'd fully change, but unfortunately they used CGI for that and a majority of the other scenes and transformations, so it looks a bit cartoonish at times. I'm also rather disappointed by the lack of gore and potentially cool kills that the movie could've offered, but we discover later in the story that there's a reason for the lack in the kills department.

The biggest complaint I have with the film would have to be some of the glaring plot-holes towards the end. I don't want to spoil anything, but let's just say A LOT happens, which you'd expect would get some huge attention from the authorities, but for whatever reason doesn't and is pretty much shrugged off after a few simple lines of dialogue.

All negative aside, it still managed to be a fun flick from the start and it's nice to see some deadly vampires on the big screen once again. There are even a few pretty cool sequences that I enjoyed quite a bit, namely the entire chase sequence involving Jerry coming after Charley, as he tries to make his way into the city. However, the climax was a bit disappointing since you expect some great showdown, which doesn't really occur, but I suppose what we're given was satisfying enough.

Fright Night could've been a pointless carbon copy of the original, but instead, turned out to be a surprisingly amusing and enjoyable effort from an overused sub-genre. There are a lot of pros and cons for the changes made to the characters and story, but for the most part stayed true to the theme and offered some entertaining and fairly memorable scenes. Despite the excessive use of CGI and some glaring plot-holes towards the end, I liked the flick and had fun watching it.

Posted on August 22, 2011 - 9:44pm | FrighT MasteR

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