Review: Fright Night (2011)

25 Feb

This remake of Fright Night could be said be to cynical attempt by bunch of Hollywood suits to cash-in on the vampire bandwagon with a film based on a very popular vampire comedy from the 80s. I was going to go and see this at the cinema but decided to wait until it was released on DVD. While this film does have the same characters as the original they are all very different people. It has many of the same scenes but there are many more scenes unique to this film and knowing how the original story went doesn’t really tell you much about this one except in the broadest terms.

Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is a dick-head who ditched his lifelong nerdy friends to hang out with other dick-heads and impress a beautiful girl Amy (Imogen Poots) with how cool and not-nerdy he is. His former friend (Evil) Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) desperately needs to talk to him about their friend Adam going missing. We saw Adam going missing when he got captured while hiding from an unseen vampire that had killed his family the start of the film. Charley is such an insecure dick-head now that even after begging Ed has to threaten him with compromising photos to get his help in investigating Adam’s disappearance. They got to Adam’s house  and Ed tries to convince Charley that his new next door neighbour Jerry Dandridge (Colin Farrell) is a vampire and is responsible for a string of disappearances in their suburb but that just leads to an argument and Charlie is not convinced.

On his way home from Adam’s house Ed gets chased by one of Charley’s bully dick-head buddies. He evades the bully but falls right into lap of Jerry. When Charley gets home Jerry asks him if can borrow some beer and lingers creepily at the door while Charlie gets him beer from the fridge with Charlie clearly making point of not inviting Jerry in. Jerry talks about Amy and Charley’s mother in way that is ambiguous enough to sound innocent if repeated but with a definite air of threat. Next day at school Charley notices Ed is missing and starts getting worried. He starts watching Jerry and when Doris, a woman he knows, goes into Jerry’s house and he hears screams Charley calls the police but Jerry manages to charm his way out of being investigated. When the police leave Charley sees Jerry leaving in his car so he breaks into Jerry’s house and finds Doris but when they manage to sneak out into the daylight Doris bursts into flame.

Charley tries to get help from Peter Vincent (David Tennant) a Las Vegas magician who also claims to be an expert on vampires in his publicity. Charley cons his way into an interview with Peter by posing as a reporter but when he tells Peter that he really needs his help with a vampire Peter gets him thrown out thinking he’s crazy. Charlie goes home and starts carving stakes and hanging crosses and garlic around the doors and windows. When the door bell rings he rushes to stop his mother Jane (Toni Collette) answering the door but it turns out it’s Amy. Jerry appears at the door soon after but Charlie convinces his mother to not invite Jerry in. They are puzzled to see Jerry go into their back garden with a spade and digging down the gas pipe supplying the house. He ignites the gas and blows up their house. Charlie, Amy and Jane get in a car and try to get away but Jerry is soon on their tail.

It is inevitable this film gets compared to the original and it’s not going to be a favourable comparison. Charley initially less likable, Amy is more blandly standard pretty, Jerry is more thuggish, Peter Vincent is Dr Who. But  in this film those characters fit together in a different way to create a different story. I liked that Charley’s mum did not get conveniently scripted out the story. I’m not keen on the CGI gore and Peter Vincent’s convenient expertise really was a bit much. It is entertaining and has plenty of thrills but is light on the chills.

Rating 7/10

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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Entertainment, Film


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