9/6/11

FRIGHT NIGHT - REVIEW


Good vampire movies are hard to come by these days so when a vamp flick remake comes along, it's near impossible to get interested.

Chances are, no pun intended, it'll suck.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I found myself sitting there loving every bit of this ridiculously fun Fright Night remake. It wasn't meant to work, goshdarnit! And yet... it really does. Even the 3D adds a certain welcome trashiness to the whole thing making it a good old-fashioned slasher (with pointy fangs) the likes of which John Carpenter and Wes Craven probably wish they could still do.

What tends to often kill that type of movie is its whiny teen cast but here we're given a likeable bunch you actually don't necessarily want to see get munched on and/or torn to shreds. Anton Yelchin makes a decent weasely hero while Christopher Mintz-Plasse does his McLovin schtick with added (and welcome) paranoia. Fine support is also given by Imogen Poots and James Franco's bro Dave, who makes a fun high school jerk. And even though David Tennant tries really hard to steal the show, this is still Colin Farrell's movie. A genuinely great villain as the psychotic neighbour vamp, Farrell sells the serial killer vibe brilliantly and brings a charismatic threat to the targeted suburbia.

What really makes the film work, though, is its pace and overall style. There is a retro feel to the whole thing (think The Burbs?) but it's never overdone and director Craig Gillespie does really well to give the film the pace it needs to build up tension and also finds the time to make his film look great and play around with the gimmicky 3D effects at hand. Fright Night is a great concept with a good story and they make the most of it here: seemingly a teen vampire flick, it's actually a tongue-in-cheek serial killer slasher movie, a clever take on the vampire genre.

Fans of the original Fright Night might find certain changes to the story and new takes on the characters sacrilegious but if you're willing to take the film as it is, for what it is, you'll have a ball. Very entertaining and surprisingly well made.

Underrated.

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