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..

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By Mark "RorMachine" Cassidy - 8/14/2011
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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35 Comments
GrimFeature - 8/14/2011, 9:28 AM
Nice review. I'm pretty excited to see this.
JTheMostAwesome - 8/14/2011, 9:31 AM
I'm sold... going to see it this afternoon!
PaulRom - 8/14/2011, 9:32 AM
Good review as usual @Ror, I'm hoping to see this soon as well.
Lert - 8/14/2011, 9:33 AM
ok, so your saying its better than Captain America? Well i'll be damned!
HankAce - 8/14/2011, 9:35 AM
I thought Evil Ed was the best part about the original. McLovin has some big shoes to fill...
brewtownpsych - 8/14/2011, 9:38 AM
to be honest, another in a long line of completely unnecessary remakes ... remake bad movies hollywood, not good ones just for a buck. please do not see this movie and encourage this kind of sloppiness from hollywood. if you do see this, then don't complain next time you go see a crummy movie that was made by hollywood just for a buck.
Lokibegoodstick - 8/14/2011, 9:40 AM
Agree with this review pretty much, was better then expected, good use of 3-d. Yes not necessary but at least hey did a good job.
Vafrous - 8/14/2011, 9:41 AM
Looks good...
tweeeeenkies3 - 8/14/2011, 9:48 AM
@brewtownpsych....not all remakes are bad. I thought it was done well.

Oh yes, and imogen poots is sooo sexy....
Ghostt - 8/14/2011, 9:57 AM
nice review. I really didnt think this was going to be good, but sounds like it is worth checking out.
supermarioworldE - 8/14/2011, 10:14 AM
I not surprised about Farrell's performance . Sarandon's Jerry was always gonna be hard to beat (The perfect vampire prick, imo), but i'm glad that the all around cast pulls through.

Cool review, Ror
Bandrews1 - 8/14/2011, 10:19 AM
Great review.
PurpleHaze92 - 8/14/2011, 10:48 AM
Looks Like Shit.
marvel72 - 8/14/2011, 10:56 AM
the original movie of the 80s is alright but nothing special,so i think i'll wait for the dvd.
brewtownpsych - 8/14/2011, 11:15 AM
yeah, some valid points. but i wonder if it's being remade b/c it needs a facelift from the 80's (altho for me that's part of its charm) or whether it's the usual "we are out of ideas and this is quicker than finding a good, new script"? maybe i'm cynical, but just about every remake i've seen recently (clash of the titans, texas chainsaw, halloween, karate kid) have all blown. this is why i won't see conan.

ftr, my beef is with this remake craze, not the review.
SamHell - 8/14/2011, 11:24 AM
Originality. Where did it go?
marvel72 - 8/14/2011, 11:36 AM
@ teabag

all of your comments had been deleted,i as many others thought you had been deleted.i'm glad your still around this place wouldn't be the same without the likes of you,intruder & grif. :D
AlexDeLarge87 - 8/14/2011, 11:51 AM
Cant wait :)

Josh Brolin would have made scary Jerry.

Does Jerry and everyone else of the vampires take their true form? Thats what i wanna know?
Fishandchips - 8/14/2011, 1:24 PM
Theres something about 80s movies that I love and modern day movies dont have it, and I cant work out what it is, the haircuts maybe? I dunno I think they just cared more and you can tell, a lot of films now a days just feel thrown together in a sort of 'that will do' way. 80s is my favourite era for films.
jokersfiend - 8/14/2011, 1:35 PM
I'm glad the movie is good, I've been looking forward to it since I saw the original. I loved the concept (vampire next door) but hated the movie, lol. I'm sorry to those who do like it, nostalgia or what not. Evil Ed was SUPER annoying and ....well I support an updated version.

A thought I had at the time, I'd love to see a movie where the main character tells someone he trusts about vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc. and the person believes them right away, on the basis that no one really would make that claim if they didn't believe it! It makes a decent joke in fact.
MaddMonkk - 8/14/2011, 2:08 PM
You haven't steered me wrong yet, so I'll give it a try.
CherryBomb - 8/14/2011, 2:44 PM
They shoulda released this as a big Halloween movie or something, I think it would do great in the Halloween season.
Vital - 8/14/2011, 3:00 PM
It looks pretty interesting from the trailer, so I'll give it a shot.
MovieTheaterLad - 8/14/2011, 3:10 PM
@brewtownpsych

this is why i won't see conan.

Oh let me guess. You thought the Johnny Depp Willy Wonka movie was a remake of the Gene Wilder one, huh?

Conan is an adaptation of a comic book, not a movie.
SugarYumYum - 8/14/2011, 3:16 PM
Another nice review Ror. After I got through my initial skepticism, I had a feeling this would actually turn out to be one of the very few good remakes.

@CherryBomb: Agreed. I have no idea why this wasn't put on the Halloween weekend slot. Unless, another horror film has claimed that spot then it seemed pretty obvious to do so.

SFCamerica - 8/14/2011, 5:33 PM
Nice job Ror, saws this last Thursday and I couldn't agree more, even about the 3D!
brewtownpsych - 8/14/2011, 8:37 PM
@movietheater ... read the new review of conan ... also, you still have to tell the same story arch, i assume the new one will have an origin story, evil wizard, etc. i saw a trailer where there were marauders tearing through a snowy village (looked cheesy by the way), which is straight from the original. bet half my salary it pales in comparison.

never saw charlie in the chocolate factory. both movies are interpretations of the book. if i see it, i would be happy to debate the merits but otherwise it's irrelevant.
spearman91 - 8/14/2011, 9:16 PM
@brewtownpsych

yes, both willy wonka and the chocolate factory as well as charlie and the chocolate factory are adaptations from the children's book. But the Tim Burton one is a much closer adaptation. they are both great thought imo
EarOne - 8/15/2011, 12:15 AM
when will they stop messing with the classics?? for me Chris Sarandon is the shit. and when i heard Colin's been cast in his role, i know i'm gonna stick to the original.
EarOne - 8/15/2011, 12:15 AM
when will they stop messing with the classics?? for me Chris Sarandon is the shit. and when i heard Colin's been cast in his role, i know i'm gonna stick to the original.
ScionStorm - 8/15/2011, 4:44 AM
@Loganx35- yes. you stay home. I wouldn't want to hear your complaints and the theater. :P
RorMachine - 8/15/2011, 5:14 AM
Logasnx, I guess that'l make as change from staying home and masturbating in your own feces eh?
ComicsCommando - 8/15/2011, 12:08 PM
I have high hopes for this movie, hope it isn't a letdown. Seems like August might be providing the best movies of the Summer.
Vital - 8/15/2011, 6:25 PM
@Logan, yikes. I hope you aren't loud mouthed like that in person. I feel bad for people around you.
14 - 8/16/2011, 10:54 AM
What did you think of Drive?

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