#389/#106 Fright Night (2011)
Charley (Anton Yelchin) has recently gotten himself a hot girlfriend (Imogen Poots), gotten away from his geeky past and ditched his former best friend Evil Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Things are looking on the up and up for Charley until Ed comes to him with information on Charley’s new neighbour Jerry (Colin Farrell). Namely that he’s a vampire. At first unbelieving but quickly accepting this to be true, Charley has to fight Jerry while trying to keep his family safe and track down the supposed vampire expert Peter Vincent (David Tennant) for help.
Having only seen the original Fright Night last December (review here), I had no real trepidation going into this film. Often there is a knee-jerk reaction to remakes of fairly recent films but I thought this one did the original justice while being its own endeavour. The broad strokes of the original are there but they are acted out in different ways, giving the movie its own flavour. Think Karate Kid remake rather than Psycho remake.
Yelchin is a solid lead, acting as our everyman and, like the original, only really questioning the validity of vampires in the real world for a short time before going into survival mode. Mintz-Plasse, although probably type cast by this point, plays the geeky Ed really well, even managing to give the character a little bit of heart. Eons better than the original movie’s Ed. The film belongs to Tennant and Farrell though.
Farrell provides a really enjoyable turn as the vampire Jerry, being both seductive, comedic and menacing in equal measure. His disdain and almost boredom with the events as they transpire really sells the feeling that he’s lived for hundreds of years and none of this is really all that new or interesting to him. Tennant plays a very different Peter Vincent from Roddy McDowall’s original role but it’s equally as enjoyable. His role is pretty much a mix of the Doctor, Chris Angel and Russell Brand with the biggest arc of the film and most of the comedic moments. He’s a good actor and I’d like to see him in more mainstream films.
The only thing I think was rather weak in this was the CGI and effects. The original has some truly great monster effects and a really interesting look but the ones in this are really goofy looking. The CGI effects for the vampire transformations look like they’re already a couple of years behind current tech and break the immersion somewhat.
This is a solid action/horror flick and one of the better vampire films post twilight neutering of the genre. 4/5