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Fright Night Re-Vamped
Fright Night (2011) (DVD)
Member Name: cazkins
Fright Night (2011) (DVD)
Advantages: Strong cast, Farrell played his role well & made it watchable, comical edge
Disadvantages: Lacked a sense of anything new/exciting/atmospheric at times
I was interested in seeing this when it came out at the cinema because I like vampire flicks and Fright Night made quite an entry in the film world when the original was released back in 1985. Whilst it had its moments, however, it still lacked a certain something and I can't say that I found it to be all that memorable.
Fright Night 2011 was directed by Craig Gillespie (who has worked on a few smaller things but nothing I recognise). It follows fairly closely in the footsteps of the original, introducing us to high-school kid Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) who is getting increasingly suspicious of his next door neighbour, Jerry Dandrige (played by Colin Farrell). With Dandrige appearing strange, too nice to be true in a sense, the kid is increasingly worried that his single mother, Jane (Toni Collette) is getting too close to Mr Nice Guy. He's kind and sexy, utterly irresistible and yet there seems to be something dangerous behind the attractive eyes. A dead body turns up out of the blue, and with the body count rising it seems to the kid to be no coincidence. So, what does he do? What any other normal teen kid would do. He looks in to vampires, believing Dandrige could belong to such a 'myth' species and before you know it, he has enlisted the help of a celebrity.
The celebrity is none other than David Tennant, playing TV mogul Peter Vincent, a guy who spends his on air life as a vampire-slayer come magician. It soon becomes clear that Vincent doesn't really believe in all the hocus pocus, and doesn't think there's anything in the vampire myth. That is, until he talks more to Charley and learns about his strange neighbour.
I won't say anymore on the plot except to say that the film progresses with more individuals falling victim to Dandrige, a vampire hungry for blood. Can Charley, with the help of Vincent, stop Dandrige before it's too late and more innocents get killed? More to the point, can he save his mother, who seems to be getting closer to the crazed blood sucker every day.
The cast was strong with the likes of Collette, Farrell and Tennant, boosting its advertising appeal. I'm not a fan of Tennant so he didn't really interest me; whilst he was okay playing the fictional vampire slayer, I found him to be rather irritating at times and not very believable or comfortable in his role. Farrell was interesting to watch, portraying the right mix of sexy and dangerous as the vampire next door. For me, he made the film more watchable and did the script justice.
The overall tone to the film was both light in parts and dark in others when lives were being taken. This gave Fright Night a mixed appeal, a cross between comedy and horror genres. It was fairly intelligently done and witty, though I thought this could have been pushed a little more at times. For instance, comedy elements could have been made more extreme and the gritty, murderous moments could have been more chilling and thrilling.
The downside, as is the case with most remakes, was that this lacked a sense of originality or tension because it wasn't really doing anything new per se. The benefits this had came through the cast and the effects; the scenes were well done and felt like good quality, thanks to strong direction and visual effects.
Overall, don't expect anything strikingly different or original. It was easy enough to watch and was interesting in how it combined characters and tones of emotion, but I don't recall anything really sticking in my mind from this film, rather it seemed quite average and relatively unmemorable.
Due for DVD release Feb 2012, rated Certificate 15, running time 102 minutes
Pre-Order £11.99 (Amazon)
Summary: A decent enough revamp of Fright Night but don't expect anything hugely chilling