Archive for the ‘Fright Night – 2011’ Category

Fright Night (2011) – review

Fright Night

We live in a movie going world in which every 2 out 3 films that is released seems to be a re-make, the horror genre being the largest culprit.  While many of these re-makes should never see the light of day and rob us off our hard earned money, Fright Night does not fall into this category.  Surprisingly it is a fresh take on what I consider to be a classic and under-appreciated horror film of the 80’s.

Anton Yelchin (Alpha Dog, Charlie Bartlett) plays Charlie Brewster, a high school kid living in Las Vegas who has recently shed his dork moniker in favor of hanging out with the cool kids and getting a smoking hot girlfriend, Amy (Imogeen Poots).  By doing this he has alienated his best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Superbad, Kick-Ass) who he used to enjoy larping with and watching geeky sci-fi shows as well.

Charlie lives with his single mother (Toni Colette) who is a real estate agent in the Las Vegas market.  They live in a suburban complex in which each home is a generic, carbon copy of the one next to it.  All is well and peaceful until Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves in, because he just happens to be a vampire, and all the ladies love him including Charlie’s mother.

While Charlie is off being super cool it seems some students at the high school have gone missing and no one knows what has happened to them except good old Ed.  Ed has figured out what Jerry really is, and he asks Charlie to help him.  Charlie of course blows this off thinking that Ed has lost it with all his fantasy role-playing, but when Ed goes missing Charlie begins to see the truth of what Jerry really is.

There are actually some really terrifying scenes in which Charlie gets caught in Jerry’s house while trying to help his stripper neighbor that are spilling with suspense, and Anton Yelchin is excellent at going from a kid that is just trying to fit in at high school, to this character that realizes he has alienated his friends and is now in the throws of losing his loved ones, until he is willing to sacrifice his own life in order  to save them.

Charlie is so willing to do whatever it takes that he seeks out the help of Peter Vincent played by David Tennant (Dr. Who).  The character of Peter Vincent has been transformed from a late night horror film host to a Chris Angel Mindfreak-esque character that performs at the Hard Rock Vegas.  His shows are seen by all as he mystifies the crowd with his magic and knowledge of the supernatural.

Charlie believes that Vincent can help him.  Vincent at first believes Charlie is a reporter asking for an interview, but soon realizes that he’s just a nut-job kid.  The thing is that Vincent actually does know more about real life vampires then he first lets on.

The reason why Fright Night works, like it’s predecessor, is that there are only a few characters that are able to develop over the course of the film, and then you throw David Tennant in there and it’s that final nail in the coffin, so to speak, for making one hell of an entertaining film.  Tennant never ceases to amaze me.  He’s down-right hilarious and had the the whole theater laughing.

Fright Night isn’t an Oscar caliber film, but it’s a film that is entertaining from start to finish, and that’s hard to do now-a-days when so much garbage is repackaged and tossed at the screen.  As a remake it borrows the best parts of the original while modernizing them.  Pure entertainment.

Grade: B+