The latest Hollywood remake has arrived on our doorsteps this weekend in the form of Craig Gillespie’s Fright Night a remake to the 1985 cult film. Since most of the vampire films these days seem to be either Underworld or Twilight related, I had high hopes that this remake would help bring me back into the world of nocturnal bloodsuckers. So does this movie satisfy and redeem the vampire genre, or has does the remake fall into the failures that most vampire movies have become? Read on to find out.
For those who haven’t seen the trailer, here is a quick preview to whet your appetite. Fright Night is about a lanky teenager named Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) living out in the Vegas desert with his mom (Toni Collette), his incredibly beautiful girlfriend (Imogen Poots), and his best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Although the nervous Charley seems to lead a normal, albeit, boring life, until his new neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves in. However, Charley soon learns out that his neighbor is nothing but ordinary and embarks on a mission to discover if Jerry is a vampire.
At least that was what it was supposed to be. It doesn’t take long for this movie to quickly reveal to Ed and Charley that Jerry is in fact a vampire. Perhaps it was because the trailer already revealed he was a vampire, but the lack of sleuthing was a little disappointing on the character development. Any background information on the characters is revealed through shallow dialog that’s filled with the F word and some catchy one-liners. Regardless it doesn’t take long for gore, slash crazy, and scream filled mayhem to arrive on screen, approximately one minute.
Unlike most of the vampires in Twilight and Underworld, Fright Night’s vampire prefers to spend his time tearing out the throats of Vegas locals resorting to any measures to get the job done. The camera work happily captures all the bloody attacks on screen, which should fill any fan of horror genre with delight. Gillespie’s crew has decided to trade story and character development for lots of simple killings, occasionally choosing a different fate for a select few. It isn’t until the last third of the movie that the pace begins to pick up and the characters change their traits.
The first two thirds of the movie were pretty boring for me as the mundane characters kind of just talk with no real point. A few scenes that were geared toward revealing Jerry as a vampire were well shot, but were pointless since they all pretty much knew he was a vampire from the start. Obvious camera shots and the predictable story line also eliminated the shock and surprise the movie was supposed to offer, the only thing jeering the audience was the loud noises. Those who jump at everything in a horror movie though will probably look like Mexican jumping beans. Eventually Charley gets pushed to the limit and the hunt commences. Here the movie gets exciting, a little unpredictable, and actually the kind of movie we were all hoping to see. The hunt brings together all those old traditions of killing vampires, and puts them in the hands of some of the most unlikely people you would expect to see in this predicament. The introduction of Peter Vincent (David Tennant) into the mix adds that Russell Brand style comedy, while also bringing some additional background information that was lacking in the movie. As a result the dynamic duo scenes are what save this movie from being a big flop as the two bring the action, comedy, and the drama that audiences should love.
Overall Fright Night is probably one of the best vampire movies seen in a long time. Finally the vampires are back as being sinister, blood thirsty and deceptive threats instead of the glittering, teenage eye candy that we’ve recently seen. Although it starts out boring and predictable, the ending of the movie is definitely a reason to eventually see this movie. However this movie is probably not worth seeing in theatres, especially in 3-D, unless you just want surround sound screaming and blood squishing sounds. Thus I’ll give Fright Night a 6.0-6.5 for some beautiful girls, decent story, and unique vampire hunting. Tune in next time!