Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Review - Fright Night (2011)


“Don't do anything I wouldn't do, and... that doesn't leave much. Well... basically, Sushi and mini golf.”

Director: David Gillespie
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell and David Tennant
Writer: Marti Noxon

Remakes huh? Scourge of Hollywood. Nothing good comes from the remakes. Or perhaps that’s what you might guess if you delved into the sea of Fanboy ranting. Yet there are plenty of remakes out there which are considered classics. I love the original Fright Night, it showed up in my top 10 vampire list, but I was willing to give this movie a chance. So the real question is, is this movie a The Thing or a Wicker Man?

Unlike a lot of the movies I’ve watched this year, I left this movie happy, content and feeling that a movie managed to meet and exceed my expectations. One of the key reasons has to be the acting in this movie. Acting wise horror movies can run the gamut, but I must confess they do seem to lack consistency. However in Fright Night every actor gives a good to great performance. I didn’t think one actor seemed unable to handle the material. Colin Farrell is awesome as the vampire Gerry. His portrayal reminded me of the vampires from 30 Days of Night, shark like, sniffing out his prey. He’s the alpha male in this movie and Farrell seems to revel in the role. David Tennant is also awesome as Peter Vincent and is a different kettle of fish compared to Roddy McDowall. Some may have a problem that he is far more capable than the Peter Vincent of old, but this new version is refreshing.

Anton Yelchin as Charlie is also great, and makes the role his own. I liked the different angle the script took with Charlie, how he was a nerd pretending to be a cool guy. It makes the dynamic between Charlie and Evil Ed that much sadder. Speaking of Evil Ed, it was great to see Christopher Mintz-Plasse stretch himself a little and take on a more serious role. Finally Imogen Poots as Amy was a very strong presence, and I believed in the chemistry between her and Charlie. I think as an overall thing, it was nice to see characters that seemed more dimensional. We are talking wonderful character studies, but because I cared for these well rounded characters, I was more invested in the movie.

Story wise the film moves pretty damn quickly, and before you know it, it’s over. Fast and fun is the stories catch cry, and it doesn’t bother you with too much dramatics. The script pays homage to the original but is still its own beast, and in fact does a brilliant job in what a remake is supposed to do. Modernise a movie for the current cinema audience. Maybe the only thing that I had a slight problem with is how Peter Vincent is given a little too much back story to make him work in the current setting. Honestly as I was starting to get bothered by this, the movie threw a one liner and I was back to having fun with the movie.

Visual the movie plays with light and shadow very well, which is always a plus in a vampire movie. The setting of a Las Vegas suburb does lend the movie a unique feel to it. David Gillespie does a great job in keeping the movie visually exciting. Special Effects are also good, with the 3D being gimmicky but still done well. Some of the CGI does come off a little overused; personally I still think that sometimes practical effects can be used more effectively than CGI; but I understand that it’s the way the film world works now a days.

On the basic level Fright Night is just a solid vampire movie that’s fun as hell. I don’t think fans of the original have really right to complain, and instead should revel in the fact that another good vampire movie is making the rounds at the moment. Horror fiends and vampire lovers should check this movie out. Anyone else after a fun ride should also go along. Fangs for the memories Fright Night.

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