Watching Fright Night made me come to the conclusion that this whole vampire thing is gonna go on for a while. So I am just going to give in and try to endure it — at least until Breaking Dawn Part 1 (that is guaranteed to be a colossal vampire orgy of suck that I am going to enjoy).
In any matter, Fright Night is a remake of the cultastic 1985 version starring Chris Sarandon (a.k.a. Dr. McGrath in Felicity a.k.a. Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride). I’ve never seen the original, but the fact that this movie went through the Hollywood Xerox machine already put me on high alert. In addition to that, it’s in 3D. It already had two strikes so it is destined to fail with flying colors.
…but that wasn’t the case at all.
The movie stars Colin Farrell as Jerry. A vampire on the DL who lives next door to Charley (Anton Yelchin) and his mom Jane (Toni Collette) in suburban Las Vegas. Charley, through the hysterical rants of his Comic Con-friendly/vampire-obsessed ex-BFF Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) finds out about Jerry’s blood-sucking secret. He writes off Ed’s accusations but then starts to notice vampire things about Jerry. People go into his house and never come out. He never goes out in the day time. His windows are blacked out. People are mysteriously disappearing. Then he sneaks into his house and sees him suck the life out of someone — so that pretty much brings truth to his suspicions. Charley tries to get help but people just scoff at him and tell him he’s crazy — even the Criss Angel-esque, faux vampire-killer showman, Peter Vincent (David Tennant) won’t help him. In the end, he has to take matters into his own hands.
According to some O.G. Fright Night fans, the movie keeps in line with the original without tarnishing its nostalgic sheen. It’s tone is spot on, the scenes pay a non-bastardizing homage, and there’s even a special cameo that will make diehard fans eyes brighten. Even so, the movie keeps its own modern integrity — and I think it’s because they didn’t cast a pop princess or a dreamy heartthrob in the lead roles. Instead, the movie keeps it at the cool kids table with Anton, Toni, Colin, Red Mist/McLovin, the other Franco (that would Dan), and a love interest by the name of Imogen Poots, whose name alone is cooler than that of any Urban Outfiiters employee.
Fright Night may be a vampire movie and it is a rehashed story, but it’s a decent story that balances humor, terror, action, and thrills very well. It echoes the rag-tag monster-hunting fun of movies like The Lost Boys and The Monster Squad where a bunch of misfits take matters in their own hands and kill the bad guys with a wisecrack wedged in between each bloody splatter.
This weekend you’re going to be faced with a decision: watch Conan the Barbarian or Fright night. Both are in 3D. Both are remakes. I didn’t watch Conan, but word on the street is that it sucks bad. Really bad. Watch Fright Night and save yourself from the 3D disaster of Jason Momoa’s abnormally tit-like pecs because Fright Night sucks good. Real good.
Fright Night opens in theaters today.