The X-Women

Saturday, August 20, 2011

FRIGHT NIGHT (2011): Now this is a vampire movie!

I will be the first to say I was a little wary of this remake of my beloved Fright Night film from the 80's. I was like there is no way they can do justice to one of my favorite vampire films of all time. Well I stand corrected. The new Fright Night is awesome. It does not disappoint. And it makes a few changes from the original to make it stand on it's own, not simply as a remake.
Anton Yelchin
Charley, his mom and Amy look a little worried....

The main components of the original story are still there as teen Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) and his mom (nice seeing Toni Collette again) live in a nice little suburban cul-de-sac off the Las Vegas Strip. Charley has a fetching girlfriend named Amy (played by Imogen Poots..cute name BTW). And his friend Ed (from Superbad as McLoving Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Things are pretty normal until Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves in next door. Of course Jerry being a vampire, things quickly get out of hand.
Colin Farrell
Jerry in deep thought...

After several people go missing, including Ed, Charley has a confrontation with Jerry which is cool as hell. Everyone knows a vampire can't enter a person's home unless they are invited, so Jerry is standing at Charley's doorway and Charley is not 100% sure he is a vampire but he still doesn't invite him in. And the two have a little stare down that ratchets up the suspense big time.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Ed trying to look brave for a minute...

After Charley fails to save one of Jerry's victims, he seeks out help in the form of Peter Vincent, a Las Vegas magician whose stage show focuses on vampires. Vincent is played by David Tennant, yes a former Dr. Who and he makes quite an impression as Vincent. Dressed in all leather, swearing like Samuel L. Jackson, drinking and constantly having sex on the brain. A total departure from Roddy McDowall's original Vincent. But Tennant is awesome here and when he finally comes aboard, the film goes into overdrive.
David Tennant
Peter Vincent packing some heat...

Colin Farrell makes an excellent vampire. Ruthless, seductive, intelligent, and manipulative. He pulls it off very well. And his full on vampire form is quite impressive. Yelchin makes a good Charley as he reluctantly becomes a vampire slayer to save Amy and his mom. Toni Collette even gets in on some of the action as she has a run in with Jerry.
Anton Yelchin
Charley with his huge cross...

Fright Night is leisurely paced to be sure, but it never drags. The vampire kill scenes are graphic and very cool. The 3D effects are ok, but are really not needed. The film maintains a good balance between horror and comedy and never goes over the top. Credit writer Marti Noxin (of TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) for an excellent screenplay which is modern and full of new twists on the vampire myths). For instance the vampire being invited into a person's home is eventually overcome by Jerry in a very cool way. I won't spoil how he does it, but let's just say it is very explosive.
Anton Yelchin and Imogen poots
Amy and Charley spying on Jerry...

There is a very exciting car chase through the desert  when Charley, Amy and his mom try to flee Jerry, that ends in a brutal smash-up. And then the finale of the film has Charley and Peter entering Jerry's lair, which he has built underneath his home, to take on Jerry and some of his minions. Armed with weapons galore the duo become monster killers. There is a back story involving Peter which he explains to Charley about how he survived a vampire attack as a child while his mom and dad was butchered. And he became a magician to get away from that trauma. That was a great new element added to the film and the character of Peter Vincent. Like I said, this new Fright Night makes just enough changes to become it's own film. But there are plenty of references to the original with lines such as "You're so cool Brewster!" and "Welcome to Fright Night....for real!" to make old fans happy.
Colin Farrell
Evening folks..just out for a little stroll...

Oh and look for a surprising cameo by one of the stars of the original Fright Night. I had no idea they were going to be in this film so it was quite the surprise when they pop up.
Anton Yelchin
I have a bad feeling about this Charley. Let's come back later...

All in all, Fright Night is one of the best films of the summer, as I enjoyed it immensely. And see not one bad remark about Twilight. Although there is one funny line about that series in this movie that will give you a chuckle.
Nah, this doesn't burn. Thanks for asking though.

Charley: I'm going to kill a vampire with this stuff.
Store clerk: Good for you!

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