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Fright Night More at IMDbPro »

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A Revision with No Vision at All

Author: jadepietro from United States
24 August 2011

This film is not recommended.

The original 1985 Fright Night has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. I enjoyed the suspense, the humor, the skewing of the horror film genre ( and that was pre-Scream ), and the strong acting by Roddy McDowell, Stephen Geoffreys, and especially Chris Sarandon as the sexy and dangerous vampire next door. ( My favorite moment is the lingering close-up image of the vampire's sharp fingernail digging into the mahogany railing's veneer, making ribbons of wooden slivers as he slowly descends the staircase towards his victims...a wonderful disturbing touch, quite memorable! ) Unfortunately, parts of the film were also memorable for other reasons: its 80's pop musik soundtrack, ludicrous padded shoulders, and frizzy hair styles and make-up. Yes, the film was terribly dated, but it always was, even when it came out back then.

So, an update of this successful movie seemed in order for today's more savvy movie-going audience. The central story remains compelling: Teenager Charlie Brewster ( played by Anton Yelchin ) takes notice of strange disappearances in his suburban Las Vegas community corresponding with the arrival of his new neighbor, Jerry ( Colin Farrell ). Upon closer inspection, the boy-next-door discovers that the appealing and helpful newcomer has strange and blood-thirsty habits. Trying to convince others, including his mother ( Toni Collette ) and his girlfriend ( Imogen Poots ), initially seem futile, although his best bud, Ed ( Christopher Mintz-Plasse ) more than agrees that there's trouble brewing. It's not until he hooks up with a vampire expert and Vegas illusionist ( David Tennent ), aptly named Peter Vincent, ( a homage to Mr. Cushing and Mr. Price, I'm sure ) that the battle against pure evil begins.

Craig Gillespie takes this film remake and sucks all the life out of it with pedestrian direction and an over reliance of cheesy CGI effects. The production values are sub-par, with the usually fine cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe ( The Others, The Road, Vicki Cristina Barcelona ) being the worst culprit. This film is probably one of the ugliest looking major releases in decades with a grainy unfocused look that might appear to be atmospheric to some, but I found it jarring and unwatchable. Whenever scenes are filmed indoors, the film darkens and has a dense quality on view. Certain 3-D angles were glaringly obvious in their gimmicky execution with so many objects being thrown directly toward the camera to pop out at the movie audience that it became painfully obvious and quite laughable. This remake starts out well, thanks primarily to Farrell's acting. He brings a sense of menace and cocksure masculinity to his role. His character enjoys his power and strength and one can see the actor relishing his dark side. Any tongue-in-cheek humor in the film are solely caused by his performance. In fact, the film loses its irony and farcical elements that were the saving grace of the original. Once the identity of the vampire is revealed to the doubting mother and girlfriend, so much of the film falls apart and becomes more illogical and absurd in its action sequences, its slight change in story direction, and its rising gore quota.

Most of the cast is wasted on this revised material. The two young leads have no real chemistry, look older than their teenage years, and deliver their lines flatly. Tennent has some comic moments but is merely a charmless Russell Brand / Criss Angel imitation and Collette has little to do in her underwritten role.

Fright Night 2011 proves the theory that remakes rarely improve upon the original article. It's such a disappointing time with few chills and even fewer thrills, nor is it remotely scary. This is a frightfully bad movie-going experience. Rent the earlier film instead. At least that version knows how to entertain its movie audience, regardless of its fashion faux pas. GRADE: C-

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

A Remake That Fails To Deliver

Author: james1844 from United States
19 August 2011

I was anxious to see this remake and while it had a decent look over all, I came away with several complaints and many problems with the overall story board. There were moments when the action was exciting and even thrilling to watch. I just wish the producers had used the storyboard from the original Fight Night and redeveloped it with today's possibilities of tools.

One major complaint that really bothered me and seems to be a pattern in today's films geared to the youth and young adults today is the heavy handed use of vulgar language. This film literally beat a dead horse with the constant puke of four letter words. This, in no way, made the film a classic as was the original. This patter of insulting foul words showed me that today they (Hollywood) take cheap shots with the script. A very sad state of script writing that tells me we're in trouble in Tinsel Town.

Last note to share is that so few films are getting over the C rating or maybe it's just me wanting more quality from the movie industry.

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12 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Starts Out Strong But Descends Into Ordinary

Author: tabuno from utah
21 August 2011

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).

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18 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

At least the vampire has a heart, but this movie...

Author: aharmas from United States
11 August 2011

*** 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.

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21 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Mr. Frights' Spoiler Free Review of Fright Night 2011

Author: justin-298 from United States
4 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

By now everyone has vented their frustrations about remake hell that all movies, especially horror movies, are going through. It's no secret that most people seem to hate the idea that FRIGHT NIGHT even got remade at all. I'm a genuine big fan of the original as Mr. Frights was actually inspired by my boyhood love for the character of PETER VINCENT. I on the other hand, am always willing to give something the benefit of the doubt before decrying how terrible it might be.

I was very much looking forward to this movie. It has some of my favorite actors in it. It looked like fun in the trailers and the Comic Con teaser video. It is horror. And I have a strong fondness for the original film and it's sequel. I loved Roddy McDowall and I love David Tennant from Dr. Who. When I got passes I was pretty excited. I tried to get a bunch of friends to go, but no one was interested. THAT RIGHT THERE BLOWS!! If you can't get people interested in seeing a film for FREE, what kind of chance does it have at being a success if it's any good, and what kind of chance will horror films from here out have if they keep posting crappy box office stats? I say complain if you want, but if you're a horror fan, if you're a fan of the original Fright Night film or any of the other stuff I just mentioned, then your ass should be in a theater seat watching this movie! So, are you curious yet? Do you want to know how bad the movie was? Well, you pre-screening critics will be disappointed to know it was FREAKING AWESOME!!! I don't think there was a time in my life where a remake took me so by surprise and body slammed all my expectations producing such an amazing film. And you can quote me on that and on everything I say from here on in this review.

I went in thinking that it might be fun but that's about it and left absolutely raving mad about the movie. The people who made this put together a genuinely terrifying leap from the original film to a brand new story that happened to have some characters named the same, in the same sort of situations, but completely different from the original. In that way, I can't honestly say it was a remake. There is no shot for shot anything, the characters are all different in a big way, there are more characters to consider, the things that go down are not the same from the 80's movie, and the differences don't stop there. Oh and don't be worried because every change that was made WORKED!! The story goes that CHARLEY BREWSTER lives in Vegas and that infamous vampire neighbor moves in next door and so Charley boy has to figure out how to kill him. That's the basics. He still has his girl Amy, his buddy 'Evil Ed' and a host of other characters as well as the great PETER VINCENT who is a Las Vegas magician act the likes of Criss Angel.There are even some surprises to be had as the movie progresses that I really want to leave alone because if your reaction is anything like my reaction then you'll appreciate it more having me not spoil it for you.

Colin Farrell is brilliant as Jerry the vampire. As I had hoped, David Tennant is brilliant as Peter Vincent, but does his own thing with it, not at all trying to take over anything from Roddy. Anton Yelchin, from Star Trek (he played Checkov), was really good too as was the rest of the cast.

The creators behind this new film (Craig Gillespie; Marti Noxon; & of course Tom Holland) took a lot of risks and put a lot more horror into this film. While still delivering on some well placed laughs, the movie is way more intense than the original. There's not as much hokey to it which serves it well to set it apart from Fright Night of the 80's. I have to say that at parts, this movie actually scared me and it's been forever since I've seen a horror film that could do that! This movie is a refreshing departure from remake hell even though it is based on another film and has the same sort of characters. I was really impressed with this production and it was even more impressive in 3D which I advise everyone to check it out that way. I mean horror movies are why 3D was created man!!! Don't miss out on that. Seriously. The kills alone, the deaths of the vamps alone is worth the 3D.

I want to rave on more about how awesome and brilliant and amazing this new movie is, but I can't give anything away. All I can do is tell you guys how wonderful this thing turned out to be and plead with you all to give it a chance and go see it! If there was EVER a horror film that deserved support and big box office numbers in recent years, it's this one. Mr. Frights would not steer you wrong, trust in me horror peeps, if you miss this in theaters you'll be spanking your own hams for it for a long long time. I'm already overly, excitedly, anticipating the DVD release.Hell, if I had the time I'd go see it three more times.

- Mr. Frights

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25 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

One good performance can't make this a good movie

Author: Tim McNeil from Forest Park, Illinois
19 August 2011

It took me a while to see the original Fright Night (1985). I had one of those mothers who tried to impose her own uneasiness with the horror genre on her children. Actually, she held crazy beliefs like that KISS stood for Knights in Satan's Service and Rush (the Canadian prog-rock band) meant Ruling Under Satan's House and is still afraid to watch the movie Jaws (1975). I'm pretty sure the first time I saw Fright Night '85 it was on cable television. I soon went out and and rented it – and its inferior sequel – and found a movie I really liked. It had the right amount of camp and humor, but it was the slow build to the horror element that made it, to me, a classic.

Don't expect that from the new version. Fright Night '11 takes the same basic premise, but has none of the fun with it. Marti Noxon – the Queen of Mean – transplants the Angelus character from the Buffy/Angel Whedonverse and hands the role to a more talented actor in Colin Farrell. Let me make this perfectly clear: if you are going to see this movie, Colin Farrell is the reason to go. He does truly embody the inhuman menace of the shark from Jaws, but is somewhat hampered by the direction and editing that occasionally sets him up as a vampiric Pepé Le Pew. Though largely robbed of any kind of a backstory or motivation beyond being a vampire – and what little we do get to learn about his kind mostly goes to waste – Farrell does his best to make this movie work.

The problem is that he isn't enough.

Anton Yelchin, an actor who has yet to impress me in any role I've seen him in, is the lackluster lead. We learn that he is the kind of man who would betray his friends and hang out with assholes in order to score a tasty girlfriend, but still nerdy enough to not be able to close the deal. Seemingly, a mere ten minutes – it may have been a little more or less – Yelchin's Charley Brewster is already aware (in a way) that vampires are real. That sucks all of the tension out of the ensuing scenes and helps get the leaden feeling of the movie going. Yelchin does have a couple of good scenes, but he – or director Craig Gillespie – doesn't know what to do with them.

Instead of giving an actor as good a role as they did with Roddy McDowell in the original, David Tennant (as Peter Vincent) is required to start off with what looks like a Ben Stiller impersonation of Johnny Depp in any of the Pirates movies. There is too much unpleasant self-loathing in this new Vincent to make him accessible. He is a pompous coward – which could have worked – that never really is given a chance for redemption; it is up Charley to do that, too.

Imogen Poots (as Amy) and Emily Montague (as Ginger) make for attractive and mildly compelling potential victims of the vampire. Both seem to have unreasonable faith in the Charley character, though this is a problem with the screenplay and not the acting. Much less effective are the other potential victims that wander about the film. Most are disagreeable and unlikeable, and in the case of Dave Franco seem to be too old to fit into the film's high school age group characters. Toni Collette (as Charley's mother, Jane) is largely wasted. She looks good and should be a calm, capable, strong woman that has given Charley his moral compass and conviction. Instead, she is quickly turned into just another potential victim and is removed from the third act in an unsatisfying way (though, to be fair, it does work in the overall story). Chris Sarandon makes an appearance – my one lone laugh of the night – as does Lisa Loeb (???).

The film looks bland and uninspired, and that isn't due to the special effects. The FX work, almost without exception. It is the sets and landscape that robs the movie of any sense of life. Watching a cookie-cutter, Las Vegas McMansion in an oddly isolated subdivision burn provokes no reaction from me, except that many built unwisely during the housing boom. There is no vibrancy to the movie, and that is a problem.

I cannot comment about the 3D. There was a problem with the projection during the previews, and while it was resolved to the point of where it wasn't just blurry, most of the effects that were in 3D never really popped. Some are obviously meant to, and if they do it will add more to the experience. Other than those flashy (and repetitive) sequences, there are only three or four shots that effectively make use of the technology (no, I am not counting the crossbow bolt shot seen in the previews). Gillespie does a great job with one particular shot in a swimming pool early on, then seems to degenerate into some level of amateurism with his shot selection. This is his first feature, and in retrospect, it looked as though he wasn't ready.

My suggestion is to watch the original Fright Night (1985) instead of the cynical, cold-hearted '11 Fright Night. The new one isn't horrible, but like a vampire, it has no life of its own. Colin Farrell is great in what he is allowed to do (I never thought I'd ever write a sentence like that), but the rest of the cast is subdued and improperly handled. This is a solid C effort, but I would have like to have seen a more accomplished director – and definitely no Noxon influence – for this movie.

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47 out of 92 people found the following review useful:

Best Horror Remake I've seen in a LONG time

Author: Harleyflhrc from United States
24 August 2011

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!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Its a painfully average remake of better original film

Author: Mr_Wieczor from United States
27 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is okay film is not to bad like many remake of old film, and is can be watch-able but its not very fun. it try to be like original but it come off bland and many character some who are interesting, go nowhere their development fall flat i mean. Colin firth also is no very good in the role and is teeth is CGI which is shameful. no horror makeup at all. some part in this movie have CGI and is not very good CGI. also the scene that try to build suspense go on for much to long it became silly. Yelchin was very okay in the film he is capable actor but the material for him was not very nice, same for Tennant who is very interesting but again character fall flat in this movie because of poor script. Spoiler; When this movie get to 3rd act it basically prefer CGI action over substance or real horror. which is a shame because it had potential at least to be a much better film but Colin firth no matter what was bringing it down plus a weak script. Overall is not super bad but i really do not like it much is a bit painfully average.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

At least it's wasn't scene from scene remake,and Yet they still ended up with a messy remake!c

Author: atinder from United Kingdom
11 June 2014

Fright Night (2011)

I am finally seen this movie, it take me while to see this movie, (With out sounding like broke record,I not keen on Vamp movies, however Oringal Fright Night.

Is one of few Vamps movies that I actually really like, The only one main reason I actually watch this was because David Tennant , I was fan of him, when in was Doctor Who, I was gutted when left role.

Back to this movie, I liked some parts but disliked more. I start with good point first,

I clad it wasn't just another scene from scene remake, I liked how story was some-what different from first, I liked the fact his girlfriend and Mum were involved.

What I did not like was that, are really meant to care for Charley. who was Ass to Friend at the start.

Why you make lead person in the movie the most hated person in the movie, who would care, I didn't not.

The script in this movie was really bad in some places, I could not believe some of thing they come out with.

The worst thing in this movie was the effect, I hated, the vampire dissolving, I liked old fashion deaths.

The acting wasn't all that great but not saying really bad either, it was decent at best, in parts of the movie.

4 out of 10

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

This movie sucks

Author: dvorkinax
9 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I cannot believe this movie got any positive reviews. I am a fan of the original and it's sequel , and other movies like "My Best Friend is a Vampire." I couldn't watch this trash scene for scene but the parts I caught were plain ridiculous, from the part where Jerry pulls the gas line in the yard and then blows their fireplace up to the idiotic car chase scene. Too many special effects that appear to be CGI(of course.) Don't even get me started on the stupid ending(once again crappy CGI.)

There is zero sensuality and seduction in this remake. The dance scene in the original, at the club, with that sexy song playing in the background, as Dandrige pulls Amy near to him and Charlie is helpless as he watches. That wonderful scene of Dandrige and Amy on the floor when he releases the strap around her neck, as it falls down, he bites her, with "Come to Me" playing, the blood trickling down her neck. Come on now, I know many of you people out there have fantasized about those scenes. They were titillating. None of that in the remake. Are you kidding me? Did any of you leave this movie feeling thrilled?

All the actors sucked. Wrongly casted movie. Could they have picked more boring and lifeless actors?

Some movies do not need updating.

Btw, I know people think the original Fright Night II wasn't as good but I liked it quite a bit. Those scary vampire roller skates and that scene where Dandrige's sister makes Charlie choose to bite his girl friend's neck and his eyes turn color. That was hot.

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