Ror Reviews: Fright Night 3D
The original is considered by many to be an '80s classic. So is this latest remake starring Anton Yelchin and Colin Farrell as his particularly nasty neighbor worth seeing? Click for my stake..
Sorry, but I promise that will be the one and only Vamp pun in the entire review! The original Fright Night has become something of a cult classic over the years. It wasn't what you would call a great movie by any real critical standards but it pulled off that most difficult blend of comedy and horror very well and showcased some inventive gore and special effects. So when I heard that a new version was to be the latest product of the Hollywood remake machine I was pretty skeptical. Just didn't see the point, but in this day and age you kinda have to stop thinking that way and just hope that the remakes at least do a good job. Well I'm happy to report that Craig Gilespie's new Fright Night is one of the good ones, in fact a very good one.
The basic plot is pretty much exactly the same as the original but things play out slightly differently and some characters are altered. Young Charlie Brewster(Anton Yelchin) finds himself growing apart from his childhood friend "Evil" Ed(Christopher Mintz Plasse) and leaving behind his geeky ways to pursue a relationship with a way out of his league hottie(Imogen Poots). But when a new neighbor Jerry(Colin Farrell) pops up, much to delight of his frustrated Mother(Toni Collette,) and some classmates start going missing Ed tries to convince Charlie that Jerry is in fact a vampire. And of course, he is. After all hell breaks loose and Charlie starts to understand exactly what Jerry is up to he looks to Vegas magician and vampire expert Peter Vincent(David Tennant) for help.
What Fright Night does well it does brilliantly. That would be comedy that is actually funny, a nice sharp script and very good to great performances all round. I was on the fence about Anton Yelchin a little. I thought he was great in Terminator Salvation but very annoying in Star Trek. Here he excels as the likable Charlie. He actually makes the transition from scared teen to badass with nothing to lose believable. And he is supported very well in the teen camp by Poots and Mintz Plasse. Although ol Evil Ed isn't in it nearly enough he nabs most of the best lines. David Tennant, who I really wasn't a big fan off before this, is great. Sure he over does it a bit with the Russel Brand/Jack Sparrow shtick but it works for the most part. As does the decision to change him from horror movie host to magician, even though there were a couple of scenes between he and Jerry from the original that I was hoping would be recreated. But what about the man who is putting the fright in the night? Unfortunately this is where the movie falls a bit short. Colin Farrell is fine playing the charismatic but sinister Jerry, but when he is called upon to bare his fangs and exude real menace as a ferocious beast he doesn't really pull it off. One too many campy hisses and reliances on comedy when they really needed to up the horror quota. Still, there are some great, gory set pieces and a few genuine surprises. The scene in which Charlie attempts to rescue his neighbor from Jerry's house is a corker. Gillespie keeps things motoring along at a nice pace but it never feels rushed, and some parts are very tense. It's just never what you would call scary exactly.
Still, well worth seeing. In fact a few niggles aside it's one of the most consistently entertaining movies I have seen in quite some time. Vampire movies are getting a bit tedious no doubt but if you give this one a shot when it opens August 19th I don't think you will be disappointed.
Now about the 3D. You may remember that I said I wasn't bothering with it anymore but I didn't have a choice with this one and I'm pleased to say that it was one of the better conversions I have seen. There are a fair few things flying out of the screen here too but in a something like this it only heightens the fun factor and won't take you out of the movie. So for this one, I say go 3D.
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