JD does some hardcore neckin’ with the
FRIGHT NIGHT remake!

Fright Night 2011
Directed by: Craig Gillespie
Written by: Marti Noxon
Starring:
Anton Yelchin
Colin Farrell
Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Imogen Poots
Toni Collette
David Tennant

As a die-hard horror lover, I feel like I should be forth-coming. As much as I’m loathe to admit it, and yes, it’s taken me a long while to finally be able to say it aloud, or…you know…type it silently, as it were, I don’t share the negative view on remakes that a lot of genre snobs have. Are they NECESSARY? No. Would I PREFER to see new ground being broken, new horrors explored? YES. That being said, there are certain remakes that I LOVE, and what these genre snobs seem to forget is that they love some of them TOO! David Cronenberg’s THE FLY. Remake. John Carpenter’s THE THING. Remake. Chuck Russel’s The Blob. I’m going to go ahead and include the DAWN OF THE DEAD, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and FRIDAY THE 13th as high points as well.

But for every great horror remake, we also get served up some cock-ups of Ron Jeremy-sized proportions. BLACK CHRISTMAS. THE FOG. Holy hell, I couldn’t even watch more than 20 minutes of the APRIL FOOL’S DAY remake before shooting my television Joker-style.

So does FRIGHT NIGHT grow insect wings and Fly or is it a steaming bowl of Children of the creamed Corn?

Not only does it fly, this mother soars. I loved that our main man Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) has a strained relationship with his former best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) in this version, having gone through a transformation recently and left his geeky and unpopular friend behind. Their relationship is CAN’T BUY ME LOVE with fangs. I also love how they switch up the “You’re so COOL, Brewster!” line from the original.

His relationship with his mother is believable, but sadly mumsy doesn’t have entirely too much to do here, despite the talents of Toni Collete. She could have used at least one useful scene. And I’ll admit that when I first heard that the fraudulent Peter Vincent would be relegated to a MindFreak-esque Chris Angel type, I was skeptical, only because well…I HATE Chris Angel, but David Tennant tears this role UP. He’s absolutely fun and brilliant here, and almost makes me want to check out his Doctor Who stuff.

Which brings us to the most obvious question. How was Colin Farrell as the charming yet deadly Jerry? Early on, Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s character compares vampire Jerry to a shark that just kills and eats and doesn’t stop until everyone around him is dead. And while that’s a pretty accurate description here, I like that Marti Noxon (who also wrote for BUFFY) makes this breed of vampire more like an arachnid. He spins a web of charm to lore in his victims, then keeps them around for midnight snacking later on. Even the effects team follows this train as they give the vampires a very spider-like skittering quality that lends a very non-human, creepy aspect to what Wesley Snipes’ Blade would call “Suck-heads”. Thankfully, Colin Farrell delivers what I would call a far more tame and tolerable version of his Bullseye performance from DAREDEVIL. You can tell that he’s having fun chewing up the scenery here, but he never goes TOO far over the top as to be annoying.

There’s also a very nice cameo appearance by Chris Sarandon, (the original Jerry the vampire) here. It was mildly unexpected and the theater buzzed at his arrival. I’m assuming it’s because of his role from the original film, but I think I overheard someone in the audience whisper “Prince Humperdink!” And oh look, cleverly enough, his character is named Jay Dee in this film. Get it? Jerry Dandrige? The vampire’s name? Oh nevermind. He was still fun to watch.

In fact, there are so many known faces in this film that love interest, played by Imogen Poots is very conspicuously the only face I DON’T know. (Hell’s bells, even Lisa Loeb is in this film)! Apparently I’d know the unfortunately named Ms. Poots from 28 WEEKS LATER and V FOR VENDETTA, but …well….nope. I don’t remember her at all. In the face of all the other …faces on screen, she holds up surprisingly well here. She’s the unbelievably hot girl who is less-than believably attracted to our geeky hero, but hell, she actually makes it believable. I look forward to seeing more of her.

There are a bunch of pretty bad-assed scenes in this film, though I wish I hadn’t seen two of them in the trailer already, but whaddayagonnaDO? Don’t worry, there are more than just the ones in the trailer, including one that involves Jerry flicking a little pebble at one of our hero’s heads to a creepy result.

If you’re looking for a good friday night horror film, involving vampires that DON’T sparkle, this is the one to check out!

 

 

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3 Comments to “JD does some hardcore neckin’ with the
FRIGHT NIGHT remake!”

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  1. FlannelGuy says:

    Well done review and I couldn’t agree more. Actually, I possessed you when you wrote this last night!

    But yeah, I was watching this thinking this not only rejuvenated my faith in remakes, but now I want more. Sequels just don’t cut it today from stuff 10+years ago. Look at Indiana Jones. And this did hit out out of the park for not just a remake, but a vampire flick that left my sexuality in check. FINALLY. The shark explanation was spot on awesome. The kids doing their homework was great and the way this hit the ground and took off without much lag time, all the better.

    I kinda get the feeling Hollywood and other mediums (DCU) are looking into the past for a promising future so we can still get great stuff. I hope to see Lost Boys and Monster Squad next (which I think could be a great television series much like Buffy). Anyway, yes, saw it…in 3D and enjoyed start to finish.

    Did I like it more than the original. About the same for what they both had to offer. I mean, come on, the line delivery from the 80’s one is classic. “You’re so COOL BREWSTER!”

  2. JD (Host) says:

    Oh, that’s something that I wished I mentioned, but as I was writing this in the wee hours in the morning, I suppose it’s forgivable. THE 3D aspect. I didn’t see the 3D version, because this didn’t seem like a movie that needed it, and there were certain shots that were just annoying because a giant stamp could have come down and said FOR 3D ONLY across the scene. Random stuff just flying past the camera for no real reason. That was the only real downfall of this movie, but it’s a small one!

  3. FlannelGuy says:

    Yeah, same thing with Final Destination 5. You almost wish they did an entirely different flick JUST for regular viewing, but what are ya gonna do?

    I will say 3D is getting better. I think Thor and Green Lantern were the only ones that weren’t satisfying. Like Harold and Kumar looks really cool. And Amazing Spidey should have always been done in 3D. I’m not saying I’ll always check it out, but for some, you kinda just have to.

    Did you do a double take for this?

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