Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fright Night (2011)

Remakes are always a tricky breed. Most of the time they don't need to be done at all. It just seems like the producers behind them think viewers can't enjoy films from a different era/language/etc. That or they find some cult IP that they want to exploit and reimagine in some "cutting edge" way. I was afraid that Fright Night would fall prey to the latter. Like kids today can't appreciate Chris Sarandon in a sweat suit.

Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised. While my main motivation was to watch David Tennant, I found the whole cast enjoyable. Colin Farrell was a delight as Jerry, the vampire next door, turning the role from one of seduction to an absolute predator. The script was solid and I didn't find many things to gripe about. Even the update of the Peter Vincent character from a horror host to a magician makes sense, considering they're in Las Vegas and also that most people today won't remember horror hosts like Zacherley or Elvira.

There were some clever scenes I liked. There's an escape scene that has a particularly great payoff, that without spoiling it, I didn't see coming but fits with the way bites work. I also like that the Ed and Charlie roles were switched in terms of believing in vampires, with Ed as the one who suspects Jerry at first. Any complaints I might have actually relate to this, as it almost feels like we're brought into the story midway, with Ed having done a bit of research into killings that we don't quite get the feeling are truly an epidemic. Still, it's a minor quibble. I wish that I got a chance to see it in 3d though, as it looks like they had some cool effects for it. As it stands, the movie looks good and is thoroughly enjoyable regardless of the dimension you see it in.

It, like a lot of good remakes, pay a bit of homage to the originals without sounding like they're pandering. You even get a Chris Sarandon cameo. Nothing wrong with that, as he is quite awesome.

All in all, it's a fun film and worthy of the name, Fright Night. Check it out.

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