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Confession: this viewer has not seen the original 1985 version of
FRIGHT NIGHT and is not a fan of the interminable line of vampire
movies that flood the screens year after year. So why watch FRIGHT
NIGHT 2011? Seeing the names of fine actors such as Colin Farrell, Toni
Colette, +/- Anton Yelchin suggested this might not be a bad movie if
those actors committed to it. And perhaps it is partly due to the fact
that lack of exposure to this genre creates the problem of deciding why
some people find these films funny while other find them frightening.
So, preface over. Given the virginal approach to this vampire film,
this viewer finds it silly, poorly written, self indulgent - and an
unexplainable waste to talent.
Tom Holland is recycled by Marti Nixon and the updated Las Vegas suburb community form is handed to director Craig Gillespie. The 'plot' centers on the presence of one Jerry (Colin Farrell, subtle acting at first and then falls apart) as the resident vampire next door to Century 1 Realtor Jane Brewster (Toni Collette) and her nerdy son Charley (Anton Yelchin). Charley's equally nerdy friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is convinced that Jerry is a vampire and carries crosses and stakes etc in preparation for meeting him (an early taste treat for Jerry, Ed becomes a ridiculously distorted mad man). The two lads are mocked by fellow classmates Mark (Dave Franco, brother of James Franco) and Ben (Reid Ewing) and teased by the very beautiful Amy (Imogen Poots). Kids go missing and soon Charley becomes a believer and form there on out it is a detective game to rout out Jerry. Charley, once convinced that Jerry is indeed a vampire, seeks guidance from the alcoholic scare-showman Peter Vincent (David Tennant) who has secrets of his own. Of course it is evident that it will turn out just fine, but getting there (to the end) is a tedious bore. The musical score is by Ramin Djawadi and the cinematography (thankfully mostly in the after hours dark vampires so need) is by Javier Aguirresarobe.
Perhaps this is funny to some and perhaps it is frightening to others: after all there is a faithful cult of addicts who run to the theaters whenever one of these vampire flicks is released. It is an acquire taste....
"There's a lot of bad people out there, Charlie. Everyone's gotta look
after their own business." Charile (Yelchin) has a new neighbor named
Jerry (Farrell) who Charlie thinks is a vampire. Trying to convince his
mom and girlfriend isn't as easy as he thinks, and it could wind up
biting him if they don't realize it soon. This is a tough movie for me
to review. I saw the original for the first time a few days ago and was
really looking forward to this one. Comparing the two...this one
sucked. Bad. The original, while very cheesy was still more interesting
and much more tense then this one. Without trying to give anything
away, the "mystery" of is Jerry a vampire is drug out in the first one.
This one shows Jerry biting someone in the first scene he is in. The Ed
character in the original was very over the top and watching it I
though how great the choice of "McLovin" to play him was. He was
entirely wasted in this movie and would have been better if both he and
the Peter Vincent character were just left out. All that said if you
haven't seen the original you may like this one. But for me this is
another remake that didn't need to be made. Overall, a movie that when
compared to the original is not as good at all. I give it a C-
*Also try - Fright Night (original) & Let Me In
When seeing a remake, it is very difficult to get the original film out
of your mind; you compare every little detail as you watch. In some
cases, you actually forget the original and enjoy the remake because
they did some patch work that really improved the film as a whole and
better developed the characters. Fright Night, however, did not live up
to its 1985 origins. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it as much as I
thought I would... there were actually some new twists I found to be
pretty clever. Overall, though, I feel like it failed to live up to the
original film (of which I am a big fan) and had there not been an
original and this stood on its own... I feel like it still wouldn't
have played out so well.
The story centers on high school student, Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin), who begins to sense that something isn't quite right about his new next door neighbor, Jerry (Colin Farrell). When Charley's best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) goes missing after trying to convince him that Jerry is a vampire, though, Charley's suspicions rise and begin connecting the dots surrounding his neighbor and the string of recent disappearances. With no one to believe his vampire theory, Charlie attempts to enlist the help of self-proclaimed vampire slayer, Peter Vincent (David Tennant), to help him take Jerry down.
While the producers were able to wrangle a pretty decent list of actors for the film, it all just felt horribly miscast. It may sound like a contradiction, but while giving pretty good performances... hardly any of the actors felt right for the characters they were portraying, especially Farell who made for a lousy vampire. Yelchin was probably the most convincing of all, which was good because his character had to carry the story.
As was with the original, the film did manage to keep a good sense of humor about itself. I do think it did a good job of building up a looming suspense throughout and keeping the tension high. It very quickly became more an action-comedy than a horror flick, but it did manage to get in a few unexpected and even frightening moments. Unlike the original, though, the writing was very shaky. I felt like it was trying to walk the line of keeping true to the original and at the same time define itself as its own, which made it a bit sloppy at times.
Director Craig Gillespie relied a bit too heavily on CGI for certain aspects, such as the transformation into a vampire or squirting blood that was just as bad, if not worse, than the CGI we saw a few years ago in I Am Legend. It just didn't mesh well with the reality of it and almost made you laugh it was so poorly done. The 3D aspect wasn't really needed here. There were a few gimmicky moments for it during the more climatic scenes, but most of the film didn't need it. I will admit that it adds a nice depth to a scene, but still not worth the extra money.
So, while I didn't totally hate it... I didn't totally love it either. I will say that I enjoyed certain moments of it, but overall it was one of the countless classic films that should have been left alone because the original still hasn't gone out of style yet.
Fright Night is directed by Craig Gillespie and written by Tom Holland.
It stars Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant, Christopher
Mintz-Plasse, Imogen Poots and Toni Collette. Music is by Ramin Djawadi
and cinematography by Javier Aguirresarobe. Film is a remake of the
1985 film of the same name, also written by Tom Holland, it sees
Yelchin as Charley Brewster, a teenager living in a suburb of Las Vegas
who finds the new handsome neighbour, Jerry Dandridge (Farrell) is
actually a blood sucking vampire. With nobody believing him and the
vampire homing in on his mother and girlfriend, Charley turns to
enigmatic playboy magician Peter Vincent (Tennant) for help.
Ah remakes, a word that often spells trouble in film fan circles, especially when populated by the horror faithful. So no surprise, then, that Fright Night has been met with much division whilst hardly making waves at the box office (it made a small profit when various costs wee taken of the gross). Yet it did receive some favourable reviews in critic's offices, where like myself they feel that this more than lives up to the original, which was fun and scary but hardly what you call a horror comedy masterpiece. I often have my rose tinted spectacles on for the likes of the 85 Fright Night, but whether we choose to accept it or not, they were real fun films back then, but because they were viewed through younger eyes. Now when viewing in the haze of nostalgia, it's not hard to see why some modern film makers feel a remake is possible and can work; Fright Night is one such case.
This is no masterpiece either, it drags for the first third and the CG malarkey really doesn't offer anything particularly worthy to the film's substance. In fact the transformation sequences are quite frankly, weak. You don't have to be a nostalgist to lament the absence of a Bottin or Baker. But for all its little missteps, it still rounds out as great fun and scores high in the last third with the well blended mix of comedy, suspense and terror. The dialogue, too, is very enjoyable, with many lines bringing the chuckles. The casting is very good, particularly with the core three characters of Charley, Jerry and Peter. It's great to see Farrell having such fun, free of emotional character restraints, he just lets rip with a sexy and vengeful performance. Yelchin is just so likable, a rising blockbuster star after turns in Star Trek and Terminator Salvation, here he crafts top work as Charley shifts from geeky teen into babe magnet bravado. While Tennant slots in and steals the movie with a glorious excess of profanity, sexuality and witticisms that befit the nature of the piece.
Next up Farrell is going serious and threatening to run the wrath of sci-fi fans with his star turn in the Total Recall remake. He comes out of this horror remake, like the film in general, with good credit. So those 80s teens like me, should shake off the dust and strap themselves in to a seat for this particular ride. It may not surpass the original, but it is every bit its modern equal. And that is something that newcomers to the Fright Night world should hopefully rejoice in. 7/10
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.
I have not seen the original, only the remake so I cannot judge the
quality of original nor quality of the remake. The movie itself feels
like "afternoon teen movie for MTV generation" - lots of "dudes", lots
of shots of Las Vegas, total lack of logic or sense, no thrills at all,
no horror at all.
The Underworld series was stupid but at least it had some depth, cool costumes and some cool fights. This movie feels like cheap rip off of the Disturbia combined with the most stupid vampire move you can ever imagine. Plus some action at the end so we do not leave the cinema too early.
I'm somewhat horrified that anyone could actually like it. The two first Blade movies were really good and the John Carpenters Vampires was really great. So Americans actually can make really good vampire movies - but this one is definitely not the case. What the hell, even Salem's Lot was better, more clever and more scary! In Blade there were cool vampires, there was depth, mystery, war between clans and between vampires and humans.
In here we have lousy neighborhood, one not particularly bright paranoid teenager, two not particularly bright blondes, one confused nerd, several "dudes" and one vampire which is not normal vampire, he is "almost unkillable killing machine" but actually behaves like another "dude". There is nothing important going on, everything that happens is more or less somewhat escalated neighbor conflict completely ignored by anyone else in the vicinity.
What a lousy movie. This is one of the worst vampire movies I have ever seen and definitely the most dumb one. Total disappointment.
You've seen the scary vampire! You've seen the sexy vampire! Now
presented for your boredom Colin Farrell is the "Dateline:To Catch A
Predator" vampire!! (He comes off seriously creepy, but not in a good
Loved the original, BUT they ruined it. They've done the usual 2000's vibe where everything has to be cool. You lose all the cheese of the 80's and replaced it with douche baggery.
My ratings for a movie are - Opening Night- a MUST SEE! - Theatre Watch- watch the following week(s) - Lazy Day Kill- When there's nothing better to do and you're killing time - Rental- Not worth seeing at the theatre, just rent it! - Saturday Preview- It may be worth wasting a lazy day at home over
This movie AT BEST is a Rental. Do not pay full price for this crap! And if you're going for McLovin you may also be rather disappointed in the character.
I recommend staying home and renting the original :-).
And if you read ANYWHERE how scary it was... the person must be under 8 years old. Telling you...save your money!!!
I watched this movie after reading the reviews, but was pleasantly shocked by the movie. The movie is horrendous, no doubt but once you shut your mind and adjust to the nonsensical background score, it's pretty much a free ride. It's quite dull without actually meaning to be. The acting is horrible, the script more so, but somehow the chemistry between the two leads is fierce, esp. the bantering when they are discussing the vampire "myths"... Pretty much explained the anomalies of Twilight, like walking in the sun and not being affected by stakes, etc. and they made sense too. With that said, the sexy boys are the main attraction and the music was awful and certainly did not help the mood of the movie. At times, it was better to look away from the screen and concentrate on the subtitles that hear that god-awful sound, but we got along. I especially hated the weird background score whenever Charley- not Charlie- touched Jerry. Not too mention the overdose of shirtless guys and the meadow threesome scene with shocking wiener shot was absurd and not required, but i believe as the target audience was probably teens it made sense, at least to the film-makers. The only token girl was Imogen Poots, but she was covered up to her ears - literally. The final scene was pretty touching, though. All-in-all, it is a pretty awfsful movie.
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
Excellent 3D in this (especially when executed vampires explode into
sparks which come right up to your nose!), but it's a pointless remake
of the 1985 version. Colin Farrell has screen presence but Chris
Sarandon made a more charismatic and scarier vampire. Anton Yelchin is
nothing special as teenage nerd Charley, and David Tennant's reworking
of the reluctant vampire-hunter has none of the engaging quality that
Roddy McDowall had. This re-vamped (oops!) Peter Vincent has a very
potty mouth and the grunge look of violinist Nigel Kennedy.
The 1985 version had a pacier script, more suspense and (without the 3D) better special effects. This comedy-horror has fewer laughs and less chills. I hope there isn't going to be a remake of THE LOST BOYS.
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