Fright Night - a fun revision of the 85 classic (Review)
2011 remake (yes I picked the UK version because it had David Tennant in it and I just love him.) =p
So, we all know the premise is the same, otherwise it wouldn't be a remake. A vampire moves into quiet suburbia and starts killing/turning people and it's the neighbor who discovers what is going on. No one believes him, bla, bla bla, and action and adventure ensues.
Paying homage to it's campy 80's roots this version manages to mix scary and comedy together nicely. I don't think the movie takes its self too seriously, as well it shouldn't. There were gory scenes, sure, but they did them in such a way that you almost had to laugh at the blood splatter and the sound effects used. At one point a vampire is staked in the heart and looks at the human and says "you missed." That kept very well in line with the original tongue in cheek nature of it's 80's predecessor.
Like all vampire flicks, we are reminded of the rules: Vampires cannot enter a house without invitation. Well in this case, abandoned homes don't count. Remember this! Vampires, in this film, do not show up on film (an update to the old mirror trick that is more commonly known but not a "new" rule to the genre.) Vampires, of course cannot go out in the sunlight (there is an interesting, surprise, sudden death involving this rule.) And a vampire must be staked through the heart to die. Remember that too. It has to go through the heart... No missing by an inch... =p
They even threw in a few jabs at twilight and if I'm not mistaken the True Blood TV series. "Jerry... That's a terrible vampire name." Reminds me of when Sookie Stackhouse was picking on "Vampire Bill." It was cute and got its intended laugh.
Another homage to the 80's classic that made me smile, they managed a cameo by the original man who played Jerry, Chris Sarandon.
Colin Farrell takes up the reins as Jerry, and I feel he had a very interesting animalistic take on the character. From the moment he steps on screen you can tell he is not human. His actions, facial ticks, and speech patterns are all "something else." It was almost to the point of being too over done, but really, when you look back, he nailed the "beast" side of being a creature of the night! Kudos there. One of the scenes where you really see this happen is the "beer" scene. Without giving away too much, Jerry asks Charley if he can borrow some beer since he has a woman coming over shortly. The purpose of this scene was to show that Charley has figured out what Jerry is and for Jerry to try and get Charley to invite him inside. It was a longish scene but highlighted Colins vampire mannerisms well!
Moving on... The role of Peter Vincent was played by David Tennant and instead of being a real vampire hunter, he is a drunken magician (illusionist)with a healthy interest in the occult. (In keeping with the tongue in cheek nature, there were quite a few lines about buying occult items off of ebay.) I'm not alone when I say this but I feel like David was channeling Russel Brand a bit strongly in this role. Not that I minded much. It was a fun character to watch. And I just love the actor David Tennant!
Finally, we get to the main character, Charley, played by Anton Yelchin. Not much to say here. I enjoyed his somewhat geeky nature and I felt he fit the role very well.
As with all remakes, there has to be some modernization and that's where the big differences are in this version. The biggest revision was the choice to film this for 3d viewing. Now, I end up with a headache every time I try to watch a 3d movie, so I chose to watch the regular version. The gratuitous use of CGI and 3d effects were a little "much," and very obvious, but they did not detract from my enjoyment of the movie. I'm guessing, for those who do see the 3d version, the blood splatter and geysers will be a wonderful effect.
The location seems to be a Las Vegas suburb. I say "seems" because I am a Las Vegas native and while I saw the use of the Strip and skyline, the neighborhood did not resemble any Vegas suburb I know of. We don't use Waste Management for trash, its Republic Services. There are no basements in Vegas. All homes are built on a slab. Our roofs are all tile here. I could go on, (Hollywood should really get this right.), but I won't harp. Hollywood and I do agree on one thing though, Vegas make a perfect location for vampires. They state it, just as I have in comments before, that the night life here and the transient nature of the city make for a perfect breeding ground for the undead!
All in all, this was an entertaining and fun revision of the 85 classic. One I will add to my collection when it comes out on DVD. A solid 4stars!