I'm a horror fan. I'm not afraid to admit that the genre has always been one of my favorites. The problem with being a fan of the genre is you have to wade through a LOT of awful films before getting to good stuff. 1985's original Fright Night is an underrated movie that is, honestly, a modern horror classic. It was a great mix of humor and genuine scary moments.
The trend of remaking the original is one that horror has definitely latched onto and this latest remake starring Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin and David Tennant is no exception.
Remakes can be tricky though. Can you nail the feel of the original in a modern setting? What works in the original might not work for today's audiences if you're not careful.
Rest assured, readers, that Marti Noxon (screenwriter) and Craig Gillespie (director) ended up crafting a film that smells of the original but ultimately updates the tale and benefits from very strong performances all around.
So, Charley Brewster (Yelchin) is a high school senior who has managed to, despite his VERY nerdy roots, make it in with the upper echelon of high school culture. He has a smokin' girflriend (Imogen Poots) and gets to hang with some rather douchey fellows that are somehow the cream of the c crop. One of the first things you'll notice about the movie is that it starts off more as a teenage drama that deals with friends drifting apart and the importance of popularity. All of this is set to coma-inducing suburban life of Las Vegas. Lots of people work night shifts and lots of houses are being foreclosed one. A desolate place might be a great spot for folks of the transient sort to set up shop .
Jerry Dandridge (Colin Farrell) is one of those folks and he happens to be living next door to Charley. He's handsome, charming and has a magnetic pull on the ladies. Even Charley's mom (Toni Collette) is drawn to him despite Charley's bad feelings about this handsome stranger.
Toss in a nerdy best friend in Ed Lee (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), sprinkle in some vampire conspiracy and you've got the makings of a horror movie on your hands. Charley is, of course, skeptical at first despite the cries of foul play and vampirism Ed offers but soon we all learn just how fucking EVIL Jerry is.
Soon Charley will enlist the help of a drunken magician/vampire expert Peter Vincent (Always loved how it was a play on Peter Cushing and Vincent Price). Tennant as Vincent is amazing and, honestly, I wish there were WAY more scenes involving Vincent. Oh well.
I was weary of this movie at first, but within 10 minutes I was hooked in. The script is razor sharp, the direction is spot-on and overall we got a vampire movie that wasn't terrible. It's one of my favorite genre movies that I've seen in some time and I'm eternally grateful that they didn't muck this one up considering the original is one of my favorites to come from the 80's. Even my wife, who was REALLY complaining about going to see it beforehand, walked out of the theater feeling like she had got her money's worth. Entertainment people! That's what this movie delivers! Along with some sweet gore and rather great visual effects! Go see it!
Rule of thumb: If a movie features mostly dimly lit interiors and night shots don't give 3D a go. Don't waste the extra money and just see it in 2D.