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“Fright Night” [2011] – Review (POSITIVE)

August 19, 2011

I’ll be frank, I was not too keen on the fact that one of my favorite cult classic horror films was being remade, you should’ve seen me when I heard that “Evil Dead” is being remade. Nevertheless, I decided to wait it out seeing how the movie would be done, how it would look, who was in it, etc. The trailer came out, finally, earlier in the year. Not bad, I can see some of the humor was still entact, they’re sticking to some of the original character names. But, I wasn’t digging Colin Farrell as the choice to play Jerry. McLovin as Evil Ed Thompson & David Tennant as Peter Vincent seemd like ideal choices, and Anton Yelchin was a fine choice too. Oh but of course the trailer ended with the words: 3D. That did not amuse me. So, August 19th has finally arrived, the movie is out, what did I think? Well I spared myself from the 3D, but as remakes go, especially to ones based on beloved fan-based films, this wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and I have to say, Colin Farrell really made the movie good, he and  Tennant.

Like the original 1985 film, we follow Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin), he’s got it all, semi-popularity, hot girlfriend (Imogen Poots), a good friend (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), it seems like he’s made it in life. Then he meets his new next door neighbor, Jerry (Colin Farrell). Something isn’t right about this bruding man, sure Charlie’s mom (Toni Collette) & girlfriend notice the attraction, but it’s a mysterious one, and with the help of Charlie’s buddy, Ed, he breaks the news that since the disappearence of certain students, it’s quite clear to Ed that Jerry is a vampire. Nope, you’re not gonna find any diamond sparkling, emo vamps here, Jerry is a blood thirsty killing machine. But, as scary as he can get, he’s quite an amusing character. After Charlie’s girlfriend is taken from him, he earns the help of a Las Vegas supernatural magician, Peter Vincent (David Tennant), to help him kill this beast once and for all.

There were some nice notable nods to the original, fans I think won’t be too disappointed with the final results of the film. I guess it just seems sort of pointless to remake it, that’s all. I’m happy for the fact that we’ve got a vampire movie with balls again. All with the stupid “Twilight” crap going on, and some other hokey vampire flicks (the flop “Priest” being one), it’s just good to see an old school by the books vampire flick, and we do get our fair share of gore here. Director, Craig Gillespie, has done a noble job, coming off as an indie director (“Lars and the Real Girl”), it seems that indie directors have a better grasp on big budget films, since they come from a background where they need to rest on story more than visuals, and the updated story isn’t a complete waste of our time here.

But, what really makes the movie work was the casting of Colin Farrell & David Tennant. I’ve been a fan of “Doctor Who”, especially of the Tennant Doctor, so I knew he would nail the role of Peter Vincent, which he does. It was Farell I had a harder time accepting as Jerry. Jerry was so cool & harsh in the original, you almost wanted to be him in a way, but Farell, I’m not so much a fan of his, except for “In Bruges”, but I was extremely happy that my low expectations about him were blown away. I really enjoyed his performance, you can tell that he’s having nothing but fun in this movie. He’s cooler & harsher than the original Jerry, he’s the quint essential vampire baddie  that even some of the “True Blood” vamps couldn’t stand a chance against him, and that’s saying a lot. By the by, be on the look out for a cool cameo of the original Jerry, Chris Sarandon, I totally geeked out when I saw him on screen, and I wasn’t the only one in the theater who did so.

Look, if you’re an extreme die hard fan of the original, then I’ll just recommend that you wait and rent it on DVD/Bluray, you know what happens, you know how it’s gonna end. But, if you’re willing to accept it and go in with an open mind, do so, because it’s actually a pretty entertaining flick. Just don’t waste your extra four bucks on 3D, there’s no need.

GRADE: B

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