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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I loathe this movie. I can't even put into words how much I hated this
movie so instead I will list ways I feel this film could have been
improved. Pay attention because my view of this movie is revealed in
Ten things that would have improved this remake:
1. Tom Holland as the writer or another writer familiar with Dracula style vampires. Even the writer of Dracula of 2000 or Van Helsing would have been better than Marti Noxon.
2. Respect for the intelligence of the audience. i.e. keeping Peter Vincent as a has-been horror actor who perhaps now has a web series as to modernize his position.
3. Kept the shapeshifting abilities to become wolf, mist, bat, fly and enthrall minds because it's freaky and makes the vampires all the more powerful. There was no reason to strip them of most of their powers and add extra limitations to them.
4. Leave the hint of humanity in that Jerry was looking for the look-a-like of a lost love. This gives a twinge of sympathy and also makes it all the more twisted and frightening when he does something evil because you're taken off guard.
5. Find a director who actually was a fan of the original and remembers it fondly and knows how to do Gothic atmosphere, who can make suburbs creepy, like Tim Burton or Del Toro.
6. Leave it set in the suburbs. Every country and state has suburbs. Most places don't have their own Vegas.
7. Make sure the hero is relatable and a decent human being. A self-absorbed tool who abandons friends for popularity just doesn't cut it.
8. A better budget. Fifteen million is pocket change today by Hollywood standards.
9. Knowledge of what is popular in the genre. The director and writer of this remake THINK things like Saw and Final destination are in and Gothic is old. Actually it's the opposite.The last Saw movie did poorly. Let me in did fairly well for what it was. And the Wolfman remake got an Oscar while Final destination five is struggling. Two Frankenstein films are in development, Dark Shadows is in production as is Harker, and Dracula 3D. Priest did well and Woman in Black is about to hit theaters. Slasher films are out. Gothic horror is back with a vengeance and the ones who made this remake are really out of touch to not know that.
10. An effort to NOT appeal to any particular demographic. Notice how Tim Burton's films are always successful even when people complain about how formulaic they've become. He never tires to appeal to a demographic. He makes films that appeal to his own tastes and to Hell with what the studio thinks kids want today. Sleepy Hollow was going to be a generic, low budget slasher film with no romance or atmospehre but then Tim Burton got a hold of it and added the supernatural, added the love story, and added the Hammer Horror-esque atmosphere and he made it work where it would have failed. If Hollywood would just stop trying to condescend to what it thinks is a simple minded audience we might start getting quality horror films again. Some people are already trying and it's working. This film is not.
Like most of the reviewers posting on here, I was a big fan of the original that came out my freshman year in college, and when I heard that yet another 80's movie was being remade, I immediately thought of the new Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, both of which fell FAR short of the originals. This one is MUCH better. It stays true to the original, and the movie is paced fairly quickly. A great scene is a cool cameo appearance by the original Jerry Dandridge, Chris Sarandon, although this time he is on the other side of the fangs. The setting in the decimated real estate market of Las Vegas was an excellent thought, and makes the movie quite believable and more entertaining. The only disappointment, and it is a small one, is the new Amy is not nearly as scary as a Vampire as the original one was. This film has excellent modern touches to bring it up to date. Well done!
In many ways it looks like a great re-make: they've managed to bring
the story up to 2011 really well, and the actors are perfect for the
roles. The renewal of the characters is also well done in most cases, I
especially enjoyed the new "Peter Vincent" - they have found a very
humorous way to renew this character.
For the part of Jerry, Colin Farrel is a wise choice. But IMO they failed miserably in renewing this essential character. Unfortunately, and this is what ruins the whole movie for me; they have taken all the seduction out of Jerry!! :( What I LOVE about the old movie is especially the way Jerry seduces everyone around him (except Charlie). He even seduces Charlie's friend, Evil. And the scenes with Jerry and Amy are SO hot. That has all been taken out of the character Jerry in this movie, and that disappointed me so badly. If given the chance, I am certain that Colin Farrel would have rocked at playing Jerry in a more seductive way - he certainly has the look.
So, because of this "destruction" of the character Jerry, I can only give the movie 3 stars.
FRIGHT NIGHT has two saving graces: Anton Yelchin, who plays Charlie
Brewster with the right mix of humor and a good grip on his character,
and David Tennant who plays the TV vampire destroyer with a good deal
of cultivated arrogance and outlandish attitudes.
Beyond these performances, the rest of the film is only mildly successful in the casting. Colin Farrell is a disappointment in the role that Chris Sarandon played to perfection as the original "vampire next door" type with a lot more sexual heat than Colin exhibits in an underplayed style. And even back in 1985, the special effects were a lot more horrifying than those employed here which represent CGI at its worst.
But most of all, the entire script has made drastic changes in the story that "for better or worse" are strictly for the worse. Fans of the original film will hardly recognize what has been done to the story, much less the characters.
However, Toni Collette as Brewster's mother and Imogen Poots as his pretty girl friend are excellent, given what material they have to work with, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse gets some comic relief from the Evil Ed character that he becomes after "the bite." In this case, his Evil Ed is much less effective than the one in the original film.
So many of the key scenes are played in virtual darkness, making it impossible to see what is actually going on at important moments in the action sequences. This is way below standard for a horror film that is supposed to be scaring the audience realistically.
Summing up: A waste of time and money. See the original and you'll understand why I lack enthusiasm for this remake which attempts to be stylish and cool and full of rough language.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Geek has gorgeous blonde girlfriend. (the only thing that kept me
interested) Geek won't sleep with her because Colin Farrel is a vampire
who has killed his even dorkier friend. And nobody cares because it's
Farrel is the nicest vampire I have ever met and for an R-rated movie there is almost no blood and no swearing.
I think this is meant to be a comedy but I didn't laugh once. I was just bored.
Really, really, really stupid moronic crap-snooze-fest. Don't watch this even if someone pays you to watch it.
Many of us have gotten burned out on movies with vampires. Of course
Hollywood overusing a concept is nothing new. It was done in the 80s
with slasher films, but these days it's gotten out of hand. Remakes,
sequels, vampire movies, and zombie movies are rampant. So it's no
surprise that the 1985 Horror/Comedy 'Fright Night' has been redone for
the new generation. Now some of these remakes have actually turned out
better than expected. Others are completely forgettable and you wonder
why they even bothered. The good news is that this one is better than
average. It's just not something that'll have the same kind of
longevity the original has.
Pros: Great work by the cast. Good, moody score. Eerie atmosphere. Quick pacing. Some of the effects work is quite good. Some really effective shocks. Ups the stakes by a lot. Some cool homages to the original.
Cons: Some underdeveloped characters. Awkward dialogue, mainly in the first half. Some of the CGI really doesn't measure up. Attempts at humor don't always hit the mark. A bit predictable.
Final thoughts: If compared with the original, this film just doesn't come close to matching it. However, on it's own it's a fun and edgy undead flick that should put a smile on your face and liven up a dull day. And like '30 Days of Night,' it gives us vampires that don't mess around.
My rating: 3/5
I chose to watch this movie because it was in 3D despite having a few apprehensions. All I can say that a vampire without a story doesn't really mean anything. The other important question would be to ask what the hell was Toni Collette doing in this movie? She is too good an actor to be in a cheesy vampire flick. To be honest I am befuddled by the rating and the good reviews that the movie is getting. It was neither scary nor funny. Colin Farrell does look convincing as a vampire, but the standout performance is surely by David Tennant who made it possible for me to smile a few times. All in all the movie fails to deliver. I expected something a little better I guess. Anton Yelchin is a good actor and a budding star who tries hard to salvage a little out of the night. The night, however, was too predictable.
Twenty-Six years later, Colin Farrell (Jerry) reprises Chris Sarandon's vampire (Jerry Dandrige) in a grown up, less campy version that extends a qualitative, substantive component that continues for half the movie. What is notable, is that for a good amount of the movie, the characters are more believable and the traditional, two-dimensional and even the goofy ones still have some depth to them. There is a nice balance and contemporary feel in the first half that lends to a quality sequel. Unfortunately, the love interest in the sequel is so strong a character as to raises doubts a'bout why she would even be interested in an "ordinary" but in the sequels instance a more even-handed, grown up nerd (though a later, belated scene seems to quickly explain her attraction). Roddy McDowell's character (Peter Vincent) now played by David Tennant of Dr. Who fame, has the most difficult job and recharacterization of the movie, and does a good job of transforming himself from his earlier incarnation of a dorky Time Lord into something more hard-lined with flashes of comedy. Additionally, Toni Collette as the mom doesn't get to have the same flourishing mother-son dynamics as the originally, when instead there is literally an explosive scene from which the movie unfortunately descends half into the movie into the more action, horror, physical scary movie that loses the magic that has made the 1985 original into a semi-cult charming vampire genre. The seduction of the vampire is almost completely left out of the screenplay by both Jerry and the love interest (Amy). Colin Farrell does a commendable job and his acting is sharp, yet the screen play seems to appear to let him down from what could have been a consistently much more intensely balanced good and evil character of which a more complex sympathy could have been obtained (that is only suggested by Farrell's character relatively early in the movie in one or two scenes with Alton Yelchin (Charly).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Tom Holland's original is so much fun because its heart (no pun
intended) is in the right place. It's a campy, funny, and scary tribute
to the movies and stories that inspired it. Each of the main characters
feels real, with his or her own identity. The film takes its time
exploring and developing each character, and by the end we care what
happens to them.
Of course, having McDowall and Sarandon in the original was extremely important to give the film the right tone. Colin Farrell is perfectly cast in the new ones, yet he literally sleep walks through film because not much is expected from him but to snarl and mock both his prey and the audience, and he'd better make sure to stand in the right place, so that the 3-D effect can be properly showcased. It's really a terrible waste because he does have a dangerous presence, and he certainly fits the image of a player. His best scenes have him challenging and taunting his victims because he knows how much more powerful he is.
Sadly, everyone else in the film is a caricature, from Charly's best friend to the Vegas Vampire Killer, with his own set of demons. In fact, there is much that is NOT explained, and we are just supposed to eat it up. Great actors are wasted, some decent special props and special effects are definitely underutilized, and as everyone knows by now, there is just something special about the vampire lore, with its ritualistic killings, its ties to immortality and sexuality, and what amazing adversaries they can be. As I said before, Farrell is probably better than Sarandon in the lead role, but there is not much for him to chew.
A final note on the use of 3-D. It wasn't really necessary since there was so much more than could have been accomplished with a tighter, better developed script and director who would have thought a little more of his audience. This film is the equivalent of those disposable plastic fans that annoy both the person who wears them and those of us who have to look at them.
Pretty dull entertainment.
IT was a pathetic attempt to include scenes and pieces from the original fright night, but at the same time, incorporate a more unique storyline and character development. A 12 year old could have directed something with more flow. It jumps from the beginning with opening chars, then in 15 minutes, rushes to the actual idea that he is a vampire. Colin Farrell must have hated making this movie b/c he did not do nearly a good job as a vamp. Peter Vincent character is a retarded comic relief that makes no sense to the film at all. Its a half-breed retard who tries to be funny and then some. I never seen a more pathetic film that tried to throw everything into one movie. It is a retarded , piece-mewled film that was not worth a movie ticket and wont be worth the time to watch FREE on TV.
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