Movie Review: Fright Night 2011

by on December 16, 2011

in Entertainment, movie reviews

So was this remake true to the original, a blatant rip-off or something a bit better? Come on in and find out. You might be surprised by what I have to say in this movie review!

Colin Farrell, Fright Night movie review

Fright Night 2011, was penned by Marti Noxon (I Am Number Four; on TV: Glee, Mad Men) and directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl; on TV: United States of Tara). This is a remake of the 1985 movie of the same name.

The opening scene in Fright Night was very reminiscent of the first Men in Black movie, with the energetic, peppy movie music as we zoom, like we’re flying, into a small outlying neighborhood of Las Vegas. We find ourselves in a house where a family is being murdered, in a bloody, messy manner.

Anton Yelchin in Fright Night

We segue into Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) battling the woes of his motorcycle not starting, and meeting the circle of his friends at school.

Very early on, we meet Charley’s neighbor, Jerry (Colin Farrell), helping Charley’s mom (Toni Collette) with a gardening thing or two in the front lawn.

Then we meet Charley’s friend, Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), whose blackmailing Charley into breaking into a house…

It’s established incredibly early on that Ed is a little weird, or off in the head. But it turns out that Ed has been tracking a series of murders around town and Ed’s murder map has Charley’s house in the center of the murder zone. Ed is convinced that Jerry is a vampire.

The introduction of the primary characters came at us pretty quick in this new version of Fright Night, and finding that 16 minutes in, that Ed thinks Jerry is a vampire felt like a cheap rush.

Ed’s first encounter with Jerry took place pretty quickly, the dark scenes were almost too dark and the sound in Fright Night couldn’t decide if it was too quiet or too loud, so I was pretty busy with the remote.

David Tennant in Fright Night

In the first 20 minutes or so, I was starting to worry about the quick pace of the introduction of the elements, but then, suddenly, Fright Night got good. It got fun at about the time that Charley finds and talks to Peter Vincent, played by Doctor Who‘s David Tennant.

First up, you can see that Colin Farrell was having fun with this role, as he had this manly looking strut everywhere he walked.

Yelchin, starting out as a typical, undervalued high school student, became a worthy adversary to the vampire.

David Tennant presented himself like I’ve never seen him… If I didn’t know it was him, I would not have recognized him in the first part of his role.

Imogen Poots in Fright Night promo

Imogen Poots plays the ill-fated girlfriend that needs saving, Amy. And did it beautifully.

The cameo by Chris Sarandon was absolutely precious and completely appreciated by this fan of the 1985 original. Sarandon redefined the classic movie vampire in the 1985 version for me. And in this versionremake, Sarandon’s characters name was Jay Dee, which were the initials of his role of Jerry in the first movie, Jerry Dandridge.

Fright Night 2011 itself had its basic premise off of the original, but in all the right places. In the mean time, it still made itself original in how it devaited from the original, and doing it well enough to be fun.

Imogen Poots in Fright Night

And like the 1985 version, we got ourselves the classic, frightening visage of both Amy and Jerry. And Charley had a pretty wild and crazy ‘plan B.’

Fright Night (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) on Amazon

Movie Review Popcorn Score 09If you can get past the trite opening, it will be worth your while if you’re a fan of fun vampire flicks or the original Fright Night. I really appreciated this remake, believe it or not. If it weren’t for the slow, pat, opening or a few continuously running flaws, I’d give this a popcorn 10…. but I’m giving it my popcorn 9, because it made up for the beginning and became a fun film that engaged my imagination while being fun to see!

– – – –

Dave Franco in Fright Night

Dave Franco in Fright Night

Interesting Cinema Static Footnote #1: The younger brother of James Franco, Dave Franco, played the role of Mark.

The movie was filmed in and around Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Cinema Static Footnote/Observation #2:

Fright Night didn’t do that well when it was in the movie theater because it was given a poor plan of release, being shown in 3D movie screenings with very few 2D options. It was pulled pretty fast from the theaters without having been given a chance as a 2D version. And now, in the Video on Demand section of Comcast, it came out in December 12th, but the basic version looks like it’s getting pulled on the 19th, and the the HD version has no expire date… yet.

I seriously don’t get why this movie it’s getting the short stick everywhere. It’s a great movie that pays wonderful homage to the original and takes it a wonderfully creative step beyond. In fact, dare I say, it’s a great remake!!!

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