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|Index||221 reviews in total|
Can a horror remake actually be a good for a change? I mean, how many
classic horror flicks does Hollywood have to crap on until they finally
give up? "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Amityville Horror", "Nightmare on
Elm St.", "Friday the 13th", "House of Wax".......all of these films
are examples of why i sometimes HATE Hollywood.
Finally......a horror remake that's WORTH seeing. I must admit, i had some pretty low expectations walking into this, and it did way more than prove me wrong. Initially i thought they were going to make this a straight 'B' movie by incorporating tons of humor with their gore, which would have been fine with me, seeing that i love the genre'. But this movie was more fun than funny. Don't get me wrong, there are some sequences that are funny, but it had more of that 'drive-in' appeal to it's horror. And i loved every bit of it.
It's story is pretty basic, and somewhat cliché'. I mean come on, a vampire living next door. But the weird thing is, it didn't come off as cliché'. And i think the biggest contribution to that was the pace of the film. Once you get past the first 10 to 15 minutes of the film, which are kind of dull, the movie quickly begins to morph into a fast paced gore fest. And now looking back on it......if it were not rated R, then this movie would have been stupid, and it would've fit in with every other crummy horror remake.
But the aspect that i appreciated the most was the writing. For once, they didn't alter any rules to make their film different. They stuck with what already works, and left it up to the actors to make these vampire rules entertaining. And Collin Farrell did just that.
Bottom Line.....Of all the horror movies that come out this year, this will probably be the one you will have the most fun at. It's funny, it's somewhat scary, but most of all, it's pretty damn entertaining. It's one of those movies i would've loved to of seen at the drive-in. If your tired of all this 'Twilight' crap, which they happen to mention in the movie itself, then this is really a breathe of fresh air to all the TRUE vampire fans.
The original Fright Night was already a cult classic which makes this
remake unnecessary. But since all vampires these days are less scary
and like what Evil Ed said "Love Sick", it can be necessary for some
reason. Bringing back the true vampire camp. Although it's not as scary
as the original but Colin Farrel's performance improves the vampire
villain. This Fright Night is endlessly watchable and fun. This may
sound strange but I think this version is better than the original.
The original have the disturbing schlocky masks but this version actually has the vampire danger and thrills. The credit goes to Colin Farrel. He gives a lot of vigor and terror to the evil vampire. David Tennant has his own Peter Vincent. His charisma and delight shines through all of his scenes. Just like Roddy McDowall, David Tennant nearly steals the show. But Farrel really owns this show.
It's a welcome back, actually. It's not a cash in remake. It's the returning of the vampire horror to our cinemas. Our vampire movies these days are just tired and relies to nothing but the senseless violence. And some of them are in love with a bland girl and sparkle in sunlight. But the biggest thing that is missing in most modern vampire movies is how scary these monsters are. They are not only bloodsuckers. They can be terrifying for somehow.
The filmmaking is obviously good but some of the CGI tones the scares down a little bit but it works though. The score sounds nothing like the score of the original but it's true to its vampire genre. The movie is shot in 3D but most of the film is dark and 3D usually dims the aspect of a film but if you are in for some blood and sparks coming out of the screen then try it. Not quite recommending though.
Overall, Fright Night is enjoyable. Maybe the biggest mistake they made is the jump scares since Fright Night isn't really fond to that trend. Well, this is definitely better than all the unnecessary horror remakes we usually get every year. Colin Farrel made a lot of things better. Vampires are evil again. It has plenty of joys and thrills. Fright Night is recommendable by bringing back the true elements of the genre.
It has occurred to me that when people refer to a new "reimagining" of
a beloved film, they use the term "unnecessary remake." I've been
guilty of that myself. I really tend to think, however, that
technically any remake is unnecessary. No one "needs" to be told what
is basically the same story (in most cases) twice. I've also heard the
argument that bad films are the ones that should be remade, not good
ones. I can understand that to an extent, but do people really want to
sit through a new version of something they hated the first time? No
remake is going to make everyone happy; it's just not possible. Unless
of course, you haven't SEEN the original.
So, just how should a remake be judged? As a stand-alone film, or how it compares to a previous one we love so much? And I do love writer-director Tom Holland's 1985 vampire flick FRIGHT NIGHT. It is just the right mix of comedy, terror, suspense, terrific performances, and an affection for old-fashioned scares. Many others have fond memories of it as well, so I relate to the "why"s and the "oh don't screw it up"s, and the "leave it alone"s. After all, beloved films are dumped on all the time by would-be filmmakers out to make a quick buck for the safe Hollywood studios.
Most of the central story is intact: Anton Yelchin leads the cast as Charley Brewster, a used-to-be high-school misfit who comes to the realization, thanks to childhood buddy Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) that his new neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire. It isn't long before he's convinced his single mother (Toni Collette) and his girlfriend (Imogen Poots) of this discovery...at which point all sorts of bloody hell breaks loose.
Screenwriter Marti Noxon has infused a basic story (whose plot points and situations weren't always very believable) with some new smarts, including adding more depth to the central characters. And the setting has changed to a cookie-cutter suburb of Las Vegas, where people sleep during the day, work at night, and are much more transient. Another interesting change is the character of Peter Vincent. In the original, Roddy McDowall played a hammy horror host and actor: Peter Vincent, the Great Vampire Killer. Here, David Tennant assumes the role, but Vincent has become an elaborate Vegas magician who performs vampire-killing antics on the stage. In both versions, they are recruited by our hero to help slay the bloodsucker. It's an ultra- modern twist, but within the location context, works beautifully.
During the first hour or so of 2011's new incarnation, I was shocked to think that I may end up liking this remake even more than the original. But after some hair-raising moments in the first half, culminating in a dark, desert car chase, the film threatens to go off the rails in a sequence that's a bit hokey, over the top, and unfortunately timed. And there are a few iffy CGI instances as well. Luckily, things get back on track with a climax that's executed with a uniquely creepy wit, and a few good shocks and surprises. Director Craig Gillespie (LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, "United States of Tara") earns respect for pulling off (for him) an unfamiliar genre; he also pays homage to a few memorable scenes in the original without trying to copy or disrespect them.
Most of the performances are engaging and authentic (aside from Mintz-Plasse in his later moments), with Tennant's wry turn a real treat, and the ever-wonderful Collette's naturally grounding presence adding a needed weight of normalcy. It is Farrell, however, who is the real deal; he absolutely nails this role (no, he won't make you forget the original's suave Chris Sarandon, but in fairness, Jerry is written much differently in this update). Farrell combines sexiness and utter menace to the fullest: this vamp means business! Some of the best work of his admittedly spotty career is on display, including the film's most brilliant moment, where Jerry's fidgety impatience with being invited into the Brewster home is both hilarious and nerve-wracking.
FRIGHT NIGHT is a solid film in its own right; if there's not enough love from the original's fans to spread out to its remake, that's unfortunate.
Remaining in the same vein as many recent horror outings, "Fright
Night" is more of an eerie action comedy than a straight-out scare
fest. Good. That's my favorite type, especially considering scares in
and of themselves hardly garner a pull anymore. Also, with a title like
"Fright Night," we have an understanding with the filmmakers that we're
getting one of those throwback horror flicks. You know, the ones that
gave the horror genre that fun movie-going reputation it had in the
80′s before tasteless gore and tiresome predictability defiled the
genre? This film succeeds on that promise, quickly turning itself into
the quintessential "fun" horror flick perfect for Friday night.
Styled after Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window" (which inspired its own modern retelling, "Disturbia") with a suave vampire living next-door instead of a mysterious stranger, this plot is very similar to its original. Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin; "Star Trek") is a ex-nerd who has joined 'the cool crowd,' dropping his oldest friend "Evil" Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse; "Kick-Ass") for a hot cheerleader girlfriend (Imogen Poots; "28 Weeks Later"). Things are looking oh-so-grand for the little flake (I mean, come on, any guy who hurtfully tells his friend "the day my life got better was the day I stopped hanging with you" is well a douche), he gets a new next-door neighbor that his mom (Toni Collette; "The Sixth Sense") takes a liking to: Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell; "Horrible Bosses"). Now Jerry seems like a cool guy, but as we all know, you don't cast Colin Farrell to be your average next-door neighbor. Ed's attempts to convince Charley that Jerry is actually a vampire fail, but when Ed himself goes missing and Jerry shows proof of what he is, Charley goes to the only person who might have the answer: Peter Vincent (David Tennant; "Doctor Who"), the Las Vegas magician who boasts of supernatural knowledge on how to kill vampires.
The choice to modernize the original 1985 "Fright Night" doesn't like that bright an idea considering the current rule that all horror remakes suck, but somehow this became a unique effort due to diligent actors, a reliable director, and successful laugh and scare gags. It is, without exaggeration, the first great entry in the long line of atrocious horror remakes. It takes what we liked about the original and comes up some clever changes that update the story 26 years to the present.
From an ingenious kill method at the end to wickedly suspenseful chase scenes, "Fright Night" boasts some surprisingly memorable scenes some of which are incredibly suspenseful considering we think we should know what to expect from a vampire thriller. The opening is a startling 3D shot through dark thunderclouds that ends in an impeccably-executed family massacre. With Craig Gillespie's (the outstanding director of "Lars and the Real Girl") imaginative direction and Ramin Djawadi's (scorer of "Iron Man" and "Mr. Brooks") jarringly effective and wholly memorable musical score, the film hits all the beats it strives for with manic zeal.
The all-star cast deliver a gratifying romp of suspense and chuckles, but the movie belongs to its villain and its anti-hero, Colin Farrell and David Tennant. The rest give solid performances (especially Mintz-Plasse), but they pale compared to the main act.
Colin Farrell, when given the opportunity, revels in the grittiness of villainy whenever he can. For Jerry Dandrige, Farrell is at an all-time evil high and unchains his dark side. Part Hannibal Lector in his charming menace and part Buffalo Bill in his vicious brutality, Farrell carves himself a sweetly unpredictable part filled with great moments (from his menacing way of asking for a six-pack of beer to his ultimate way of overstepping house invitation rules to a great moment where his decision to do absolutely nothing produces far worse results).
The fascinating part about Jerry is he isn't like regular vampires. He seems more inspired by the worst of modern serial killers than mythical killing machines, with his secret torture rooms and closet full of dozens of uniforms signifying authority (from firemen to the post office to the police). He's modern without being "Twilight." He's a ominous hulking mass. Those characteristics mixed together with his bizarre personality create a rather unique Hollywood vampire. Due to this, I wish the "transformation" to full-on vampire face was never included, as it is poor CGI and takes away from Farrell's menace.
David Tennant, who I will admit I adore as the 10th Doctor Who, is a cinematic gem. His acting style has always been that of a Shakespearean extremist, and I can't think of a better role that has such obvious wicked glee in allowing him to let loose. There is something strangely mesmerizing in Tennant's scenes as the vulgar magician-turned-vampire-killer, especially in his first big scene where his vehemence and wide-eyed enthusiasm is outstandingly exaggerated. Also, seeing him acting with a giant shotgun is way more fun than I expected it to be. He's about as entertaining if not more so than the performance given by Roddy McDowall.
In the end, what really matters about this movie? Is the movie suspenseful and thrilling? Yes, especially when Jerry really is allowed to let loose his menacing charm and kill with the same love of general violence of a "Reservoir Dogs" character. Is the movie funny when it tries to be? Absolutely. The pop culture references especially in a crack on "Twilight" and comparing Jerry to the shark from "Jaws" work particularly well. This is a huge amount of fun. So if you walk into this expecting the right kind of movie, "Fright Night" is that perfect Friday night scare.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Somewhat mildly entertaining, but compared to other recent horror films
like Incidious, this movie is about as scary as an episode of Wizards
Of Waverly Place.
Most remakes suck, that's just reality, and this fails to disprove it.
The original, which was by no means a Lost Boys, was, for the time, a seamless blend of horror, comedy, superb (but now outdated) special effects, and a new wave soundtrack to fit the time and place the film was made. It was as creepy and campy as the 60's and 70's Hammer Horror films which it pays homage as well as making fun of.
But, beyond that, the original had a solid story line, with multiple characters with multiple motives.
Gone is the creepy "Evil" Ed who, despite being a horror fan, refuses to believe Charlie that his next door neighbor is a vampire. In his place is another one-note performance by a character who serves more as wallpaper and who is a sad joke when he turns vampire
Gone is the charming and subtle Jerry Dangridge and instead we have a single-note boring one dimensional Collin Ferral who spends the entire film walking with heavy footsteps and hissing like a cat.
Gone is Danridge's zombie day-time protector who added an even greater dimension of story layers replaced by, well, nothing.
Gone is the charming Peter Vincent a cowardly tired old B-movie star who faces his fears to become a hero, replaced by yet another one-dimensional ex-Dr. Who.
And perhaps most important of the omissions of this boring life-less remake is that of the big creepy decrepit American-Gothic old mansion in the heart of suburbia (like a tiny virus, and a metaphor for the vampire, which goes on to be so many other metaphors I can't list them all here).
The original is dated, no freaking duh! Because it captured the essence of the time (date) and place it was created. The remake fails to even be dated because the sets and atmosphere are so lifeless this film could have been made anywhere between 1990 and now.
The original is a "cult film" and so, by definition, it only has a small cult of fanatics, so, if you don't get why the original is so beloved then you're in majority of people who just don't get it.
20 years from now this sad remake will be sitting in the Walmart $5.00 bin, cast aside by all those but Collin Farrel fans.
P.S. the computer animated blood splashes are horrible, they look like mid 90's effects. Also, where's the remake of Brad Fiedel's "Come To Me" which was in the original as well as it's sequel? They must have been crazy not to put an update of that in the film. It's up there with Bela Lugosi's Dead and Cry Little Sister. Oh, and one finally little update: Imagine Poots IS actually very hot and a wonderful actress as was Amanda Bearse at the time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
then be prepared to think it's not cool anymore. Everything happens
within the first 10 minutes; McLovin' gets killed and we're shown that
Colin Farrell is in fact a vampire. After this, my friend and I
literally turned to each other and said, "What?". Obviously I knew he
was a vampire from the previews, but why did they give it up so fast?
The story isn't centered on him, it's centered on the kid, Charley,
trying to beat him. So shouldn't we have some sort of suspense or
surprise in that area? Like finding out he's a vampire when Charley
does? Also, the dialogue is so awkward. I heard pity laughs in the
theater. The way Charley's "cool" friends talked was so forced and
out-of-date. It's over-the-top cliché teen speak that's never actually
been used by teens. And his conversations with McLovin' were dull and
awkward and didn't have any sort of real-ness or even movie-ness in
them. It was stale banter.
In terms of story, it would have been 50% better had they stuck to the conventions. It was just so incoherent and un-relatable (we ARE supposed to be able to relate to it even though it's about vampires) They (the writers) should have kept McLovin' alive, and had him convince Charley that Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire. And Jerry should have at least tried to hide it, instead of gallivanting around killing people the second he moved into the neighborhood. It would have been more fun to see their attempts to uncover Jerry and beat him at his own game. Rather than having no room for the audiences' imagination and guesswork. It wasn't an adventure at all. McLovin's character was one of the most entertaining in the movie. It would have been more fun to see him and Charley's dynamic (although a cliché one; enthusiastic believer vs in-denial non-believer) grow. Because that was the only chance the story had for there to be an interesting dynamic. Charley vs Jerry was very clear-cut and out in the open, except for the maybe 10 minutes of screen time where he has to hide it from his mother and girlfriend. Overall, it wasn't as cool as it seemed in the previews. The tone nor mood really matched up. Plus there's a ridiculous "vampire slayer" (not in the 'so corny that it's funny' way, more in the 'so dumb that it's dumb way') who decides at last minute to help Charley. I think that part was written for Russell Brand or something. It was awful.
The movie had potential though. Being set in a desert suburb of Las Vegas made it kind of cozy and undertoned the isolation of the neighborhood. However, the story just fell apart and there were awkwardly placed scenes with his mother at the end of the movie that didn't "wrap things up" the way it was meant to, and instead made us think something was about to happen to his mother. It didn't play on expectations like it could have. In fact, its lack thereof lead it to falsely create expectations that were never met.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For young people who aren't overly familiar with the 1985 original,
this will probably play a lot better. It's got decent acting, somewhat
decent CGI effects, and a few interesting twists that veer from the
path of the first film.
But for older kids like me (40 years or older), this is probably going to seem like yet another dull, lifeless retread of an idea completely out of context. After the novelty of the 3D wears off, it becomes distracting. And let's face it, there's nothing scary about vampires anymore. Probably the only movie that really made vampires seem like an actual threat is the 1979 version of "Salem's Lot", where the vampires were more like evil, semi-sentient zombies; they never, ever appeared to be sexy. Most films make vampirism seems like a halfway decent way to un-live, and the "Twilight" series makes vampires seem sexy and fabulous. So why should we care when a vampire moves in next door to our teenage protagonist in "Fright Night"? I say, good for him; if Jerry is willing to "turn" both Charley and Amy, then they can be young and fabulous forever! Well, until someone drags them screaming out into the sunlight, that is. But whatever.
This movie is totally obvious and routine, with vampire that look normal until it's time for a scare, then they suddenly get real ugly and roar at the screen. In 3D. There's a strange duality going on with the plot; the film is R-rated, and yet seems to be aimed at kids no older than 14, and that's pushing it. Logic flies out the window like a terrified bat caught in the house, and what's left is an adventure that only kids would buy. The existence of vampires isn't the only pill "Fright Night" asks us to swallow, it also suggests that Vegas authorities usually do not investigate missing persons, due to the fact that so many people come and go. In particular, unexplained absences of school age children don't even alert the teachers that something is wrong. The Peter Vincent character has been reimagined as a magician who apparently possesses unlimited wealth, living in a palatial apartment that seems more like a museum. By some incredible coincidence, he happens to possess the one item in the world that could be used to stake a vampire and make all of his victims return to normal.
All of this is in good fun, but it's so routine that anybody who has been watching horror movies for more than a few years will probably forget this the minute they walk out of the theater. I remember the original "Fright Night", which was campy, spoofy, and benefited greatly from the presence of Roddy McDowall. I loved it, but then again I was 15. Maybe jaded horror fans of 1985 dismissed the original just like I dismiss this remake.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was able to see this movie tonight at a preview screening at Disney
Studios and I was pleasantly surprised. The actors all did a great job
in their respective parts, I think Colin Farrell was a perfect choice
to play the bad guy, and he is bad, He hardly even tries to hide it in
the movie. I really enjoyed Imogen Poots, in the first movie I've
noticed her, she played a wonderful range of emotions and gave our hero
something worthwhile to fight for. However, for my money, David Tennant
stole the show in a role that I wish was larger, but didn't need to be
to serve the purpose of the film. He did a wonderful job not playing
The Doctor so many of us have come to know and love him for, and yet he
was just as enjoyable as a magician with a drinking problem. I would
say the only weak spot in the cast was Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and
it's not eve his fault. He just did such a unique job playing
"Mclovin'" that even when his head is half off and he's trying to bite
his friend, all I see is Mclovin'. I don't see this as an issue that
Christopher can solve, but I am glad studios are giving him a chance to
They use of 3-D was also well done. This film has nothing on Transformers 3 in that area, but it still managed to use it, without over-using it.
The script at times could have used as little toning, or maybe just some improv on the set to make it more realistic.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to anyone that enjoyed Hot Fuzz, Shaun of The Dead, or Zombieland...Excellent balance of humor and horror which added up to a great popcorn film.
Twenty-six years ago, "Fright Night" premiered in theaters and went on
to become a fondly remembered title amongst horror fans. The movie
cleverly combined horror and humor to create a fresh take on the
vampire and teen horror genres which had started to grow stale. While
the movie spawned a largely forgettable direct to video sequel, the
original film has remained popular over the years. So, when I first
heard that they were planning on remaking the film I was skeptical as I
felt it would be very difficult to match the original film.
Boasting an impressive cast which includes Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Toni Collette, the remake does not try to reinvent the wheel, but instead takes the formula of the original and creates an entirely new entry into the saga.
For those unfamiliar with the series, Yelchin stars as Charlie Brewster, a young man who is trying to balance watching over his single mother, and his growing relationship with a girl way out of his league named Amy (Imogen Poots). He is also wrestling with becoming part of a cooler crowd at the cost of alienating his geeky former best friend, Ed, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
Colin Farrell plays the handsome and suave new next door neighbor who easily charms Charlie's mom, played by Toni Colette. Unbeknownst to his neighbors, the charming and charismatic Jerry, played by Colin Ferrell, is actually a vampire who's come to their Las Vegas suburb to continue his nighttime hunts. Ed has become suspicious of the recent disappearances in their community and confides to Charlie that he's had Jerry under surveillance and knows that he is a vampire.
Needless to say this does not sit well with Charlie, who distances himself further from Ed. But when Ed goes missing, Charlie decides to do some investigating of his own. Charlie turns to a local Vegas performance artist named Peter Vincent (David Tennant), whose vampire-themed show portrays him as an expert in fighting the undead. While at first skeptical over Charlie's claims, a few devastating confrontations with Jerry and his minions forces Vincent to rethink his role. The two unlikely allies soon find themselves in a deadly race against time to defeat Jerry and save their loved ones before it's too late.
The film cleverly combines horror and comedy and does a good job of providing some suspenseful moments in between the blood and gore, managing to squeeze in more than a few laughs along the way. While not overly scary, the visual effects work is solid and aside from the converted 3-D is a really enjoyable to watch. The film would've been much better had it been shot in 3-D or simply left as a 2-D film as the conversion really didn't offer anything of value as is often the case in these lab converted efforts.
The cast works very well with one another and Farrell cheekily introduces a few new wrinkles to the vampire lore. I really enjoyed David Tennant's performance and should they do a sequel I certainly hope that they bring him back. Anton Yelchin gives a reliable performance but I was surprised that Christopher Mintz-Plasse did not have a bigger role but he does have some memorable moments in the film. What really impressed me was that the film did not attempt to do a shot-by-shot remake of the original but instead took the premise of the original and offered a fresh take that easily could have been issued as the third chapter in the series rather than a reboot. While there were nods to the original, outside of the premise it was very much its own film.
The film is not going to set any high marks for new standards in horror nor is the plot fresh and original. It simply knows what its target audience and source material are and sets a course right down the middle without attempting to deviate too much one way or another. "Fright Night" just might be perfect for those looking for a dose of nostalgia and some highly suspenseful, fun entertainment.
Three stars out of five
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Dull, pointless, and charmless remake of a good-natured, mildly amusing film from the '80s. The 2011 Fright Night aims low and misses. The 3-D, featuring spattered blood, shattered glass and sparks, is more distracting than necessary. Jerry, the vampire-next-door, is not an original or distinctive adversary despite Farrell's appeal. Jerry does little to hide his unnatural existence, doesn't put his supernatural powers to any real use, and there is only a sketchy explanation of how this creature lives and dies. Plot points never amount to anything, the editing is often confusing, and the actions and reactions of the characters aren't convincing. Why doesn't the nerd attack his former tormentors with his vampiric powers? Why doesn't the family call the police when the vampire begins tearing up their yard? Virtually every character was shown using a wireless device in the first 15 minutes of the film. And why drive pointlessly into the desert to escape, and then call 911 at a place where you can't get service!? You may also wonder why a vampire would move into a neighborhood with houses one right next to the other. Long, noisy, fiery battles with creatures coming out of the earth are apparently ignored by neighbors who live within a stone's throw; the police and firefighters never show. The leads are dreary and flat, and since nearly everyone is clueless there's nothing at stake.
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