Though it’s coming to a close, summertime means a barrage of comic book movies, franchise sequels, and remakes. Some have been good, some have been bad, but we lived through the season, and I think we’ve grown as a species because of it. Fright Night may only be considered a classic by those that are already fans of the genre, this was made apparent to me, when the guy who tore my ticket stub at the midnight screening last night, who looked to be in his mid twenties, had no clue that the movie was a remake at all. The original, despite not being a universally acclaimed film, has more than earned it’s stripes as a certified cult classic. Personally, I don’t have nearly as strong of a connection to Fright Night as some of my friends do, but I do think it’s a fun movies, and should definitely be on some sort of list somewhere, outlining the best horror movies to come out of the eighties. This means, as I’m sitting down to watch the “re-imagining”, I’m not going to be overly offended if they trample on the structures laid down by the original, you know, unless the vampires sparkle.
I did think that Colin Farrell was an odd choice to play the vampire next door. I suppose when you examine him a bit closer, he does have the mannerisms, and perhaps even the complexion down, it’s just not something I thought was fitting to him as an actor. Thankfully, despite appearing as if he was on some sort of methamphetamine while filming, he does a fairly decent job. He certainly has the sex appeal to pull off such a role, and I found his on-screen presence to be surprisingly menacing. Most of the problems I had with the character of the vampire in this film, had nothing to do with Farrell’s performance, and everything to do with the cheesy creature effects. I was glad that he wasn’t in full on vamp mode for much of the film, because when he was, it sort of made me cringe, to look at the face that they had given this already vicious creature. The vampire design in the original was definitely much better, and they could have done away with the bit completely in the remake, and it would have been the better film because of it.
Anton Yelchin also gives an entertaining performance as Charlie Brewster, the geek-gone-chic next door neighbor, who has turned his back on his old life, and friends, to secure the love of Amy, a high school hottie played by Imogen Poots. Christopher Mintz-Plasse, despite being 22 years old, still fits quite well into the occult-obsessed teenage nerd character. He doesn’t really have a lot of screen time, to be quite honest, but any scene that features him is well entertaining, even if some of his dialog feels as if it were written for his Superbad character, only less clever.
The foundations of the movie are still pretty much the same. A Vampire has moved in next door to Charlie Brewster, and begins to sniff out his mother, and even his teenage girlfriend. Everyone thinks Charlie is crazy, until the shit really hits the fan. Some changes have been made, such as the character of Peter Vincent. Instead of being a horror host on late night TV, Vincent is presented as a Cris Angel type of character, only he has a massive collection of occult related items, with a specialty in vampire lore. This will probably work on the younger viewers, but fans of the original will not be quite as thrilled. Personally it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. It would have been better if they stayed a little truer to the original characters, but this revamped Peter Vincent is entertaining as well.
I saw the movie in 2D, which I’m actually kind of happy about. Despite enjoying Final Destination 5 quite a bit, I think I’ve filled my 3D movie quota for the year. I may give in and see Shark Night in 3D, but for the most part, I’ve had more than my fill. Other than a few gimmicky money-shots, there’s really no reason the film in 3D. In fact, I think it would have given me a headache. Too many dialog scenes for it to really have it’s intended effect. If you’re the type of person that just likes having random things thrown at the screen, that have nothing to do with the story, then you may want to pay for the upgrade to 3D. If you really don’t care, you can safely see it in 2D, and be assured that you’re not missing anything spectacular.
Audiences are probably going to be split on this one. If you have a really strong relationship to the original film, you’re probably not going to be nearly as entertained as someone who does not. It serves it’s purpose as a fun summer popcorn film, but it’s not going to earn the same cult status as the original. I found more enjoyment than I thought I was going to, but it’s not something I’m going to rush out and see multiple times, nor will I be pre-ordering the Blu Ray. Fright Night is a fun, yet entirely forgettable experience.