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Fright Night More at IMDbPro »

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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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83 out of 164 people found the following review useful:

This rip-off remake should never have been made in the first place.

Author: NightOwl0 from United States
10 August 2011

I had the grave misfortune of attending an early preview screening for this piece of garbage. The audience I saw it with was less than enthused as well. I credit them with having some actual taste. I must disclose that I am a fan of the original film. In fact in the pantheon of great vampire movies I feel that "Fright Night," stands tall as one of the best ever. It's a very clever idea for a vampire film and the original characters are a lot of fun. The original film is in many ways a love letter to horror films and horror fans. The main character in the original is a horror fan, his friends are horror fans and he idolizes Peter Vincent who is the host of a late night horror movie show. The film was post modern and gave the audience credit for having some kind of prior knowledge. Now we are confronted with this brain dead remake. It is hard to know where to begin in explaining how awful this new film is.

We can start with the sad fact that the very essence of the original characters, their arcs and their dynamics have been changed almost completely. The main character, Charlie, is now a self-absorbed and selfish jerk. Charlie treats his much more intelligent friend Ed like human waste. Charlie has a hot girlfriend and is hanging out with a much more popular crowd. Ed's intellect and peculiarities set him apart so of course Charlie has to drop him as a friend. When a movie starts off and your protagonist is a fake and hateful cretin it is a serious problem.

Then there is the character of Evil Ed himself who is unfortunately played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Mintz-Plasse has now given the exact same tiresome performance in God knows how many movies. In the original film Ed was a tragic character. In this one he is at best an annoyance.

The main problem with the new characterizations lies in the re-imagining of Peter Vincent. He is now a Las Vegas magician who prances around like Russell Brand and almost seems like a complete afterthought in the film. Vincent's arc in the original movie was touching and central to the narrative's success. In this new incarnation he hardly drives the film at all. Like every other poor decision made by the filmmakers, the casting of David Tennant is merely a stunt to draw the geek crowd in. He might as well not even be in the picture.

Colin Farrell is not a disaster as Jerry Dandridge, but he is hardly a success either. Chris Sarandon's portrayal was sly and full of little touches that really sold the implicit threat of Dandridge. Farrell is a very obvious actor and he gives a very obvious performance in this movie. His character is really more of a serial killer/sexual predator than a true master vampire. As the movie progresses he goes steadily over the top and seems less and less threatening for doing so. By the time he is chasing Charlie, Charlie's mom and Charlie's girlfriend on a motorcycle he might as well be The Terminator. His supernatural abilities rarely if ever come into play.

The film has zero atmosphere and barely comes to anything approaching excitement. Product placement is rampant and so frequent that it becomes hilarious. The fun, new-wave Gothic feel of the original film has been replaced by a slick treatment more befitting a luxury car commercial. There is no edge to this movie. The computer effects are terrible and poorly rendered. The editing is desperate and the gotcha moments are lame in the extreme. I was so bored watching it I resorted to checking my watch every few minutes to see when the ordeal would be over. If you are thinking about viewing this abomination I would suggest streaming the original on Netflix or watching it for free on Hulu. Your time would be better spent and you will not have wasted thirty dollars or more on crappy, post-production 3D.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Solid enough vampire yarn

Author: bowmanblue from United Kingdom
22 February 2015

I can't actually remember the original nineteen eighties Fright Night. I did watch it somewhere around 1989 and promptly forgot it. I don't know what that means - either I didn't think much of it or my memory's shot to bits.

The original is still heralded as a classic by many horror fans, but, as I couldn't remember it, I went into this remake with little to no expectations. And, from what I saw, it copied the original pretty well. It didn't do a shot-by-shot remake, but kept the overall feel of the first movie (based on what I've read about its predecessor), i.e. a blend of comedy, horror and gore.

Maybe this remake would have sunk without a trace, but it's lent a hand by a pretty decent cast. A good start is A-lister Colin Farrell as the enjoyably evil vampire, then you have ex Dr Who David Tennant, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, Anton Yelchin and the always amusing Christopher Mintz-Plasse.

Charming Colin Farrell moves in next door to Anton Yelchin and it's not long before he's 'outed' as a vampire. Soon people start getting their throats torn out and a decent amount of bloodshed is to follow.

Fright Night is nothing too revolutionary, but vampires have been so in fashion of late that it's hard to find a completely original movie in the genre. It's a popcorn flick. It you fancy something frothy and lightweight then you might enjoy this (alternatively, the ladies may just fancy Colin Farrell - I'm sure they'll be happy with what they get).

Fright Night (2011) gets a respectable 7/10. If you're tired of seeing vampires that sparkle in sunlight, try this one. It's old school throat-tearing.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

entertaining remake

Author: davejderisi from United States
19 November 2014

I saw this movie twice in theaters. At the time it seemed like the best remake I've seen in a long time. since then tho many other remakes have come out and put this title to shame. It doesn't mean it's a bad movie, it just means that this remake foreshadowed the future of horror remakes. Or it has somewhat paved the path as far as new age remakes go at least. Colin Farrell plays a good Jerry Dandrige but he doesn't compare to Chris Sarandon in the original. Worth watching but its nothing to write home about. The original Fright Night was an up to date vampire flick of the 80's, so that is why the setting of the remake isn't supposed to take place in the 80's.. it's supposed to be up to date like the original.

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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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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Dull, uninspired, bland movie with some redeeming touches

Author: Franck from Soyland
2 August 2012

Writing / Dialogues: 5

Difficult to imagine what the actual screenplay was like, since obviously so many bad decisions have been made while shooting and later in the editing room, that what's left of it is a mess, which only resembles storytelling.

Character study: 3

Not even worth commenting. Surprisingly, some actors were able to somewhat lift what they've been given to work with, which probably explains why this movie hasn't been a total bore to some people.

Acting: 6

See comments just above.

Direction: 4

Totally lacks imagination and vision. Relational and geographical interactions between characters are contrived at best, the blockings and angle are at the cheap TV-series level, the eye of the camera never engages. For Pete's sake, we are in a fantasy movie, and 15 minutes into it, we haven't had a single subjective shot? No tension has been built from the camera work? What the..? For the rare image here and there that could stick in your mind, the credits probably go to the cinematographer, not the director.

Visual style / art direction: 3

This movie has no visual style. It looks dull. The places, the props, the people, they all look dull, washed-out and uninteresting. Yawn.

Cinematography: 6

Competent, sometimes vaguely interesting (dusk scenes). Never more than that.

Editing: 3

Yawn. Never succeeds in achieving something even remotely interesting. It's barely competent. The editing decisions look like they could have been made by a computer, or a fresh businessman with an editing handbook.

Overall: 4

Unless you're in for Colin Farell's sex appeal, or your expectations are low, you're in for a big disappointment and a yawn fest.

Not worth your time unless you're seriously bored, and/or you have really nothing else to do.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:


Author: accosta77 from United States
14 July 2012

Yes my dear movies fans, another BAD remake! Can you believe that someone will see an old movie, analyze, convince producers, sponsors...and with all of it, make a worse movie. I really understand movie language changes. Many movies where people got lost for being unable to read a map? It would be stupid to be filmed today when people have cell phones, GPS, I-pods,many other stuff. This one is stupid. The original was so much better despite the fact that it was too about vampires. This remake is boring, cliché and looks like something is missing. There are not enough good movies out there to horror movies fans, but this remake explains why.

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