Skip to main content

Farrell’s Vampire is Memorable

Movie Review: Fright Night (2011)
Summary: A teenager suspects that his new neighbor is a vampire.
Spoilers: none

A teenager suspects that his new neighbor is a vampire in the 2011 remake of the 1985 horror classic, Fright Night.

“Charley Brewster” (Anton Yelchin) was once best friends with “Ed” (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), but when Charley’s social status puts him ahead in the ranks at school, he has drifted apart from his old “geek” comrade to his new girlfriend, “Amy.” (Imogen Poots)

Relentlessly trying not to let his old best friend go, Ed is convinced that Charley’s new neighbor, “Jerry” (Colin Farrell) is a vampire and tries to get Charley to see things his way. After initially brushing him off and refusing to look at the evidence, Charley comes to find Ed missing and soon learns that his old pal was right.

The angst of learning that you live next door to a supernatural predator must be the hardest part, but there’s also being careful not to invite them into your home and not let them find you alone outside of the house—while also not letting everyone else around you think you’re crazy. Charley’s stressful task becomes all the more difficult when Charley’s mother, “Jane Brewster” (Toni Collette) teases at getting to know Jerry a little better.

In desperation, Charley turns to a popular gothic magician and folklorist, “Peter Vincent” (David Tennant) who is supposed to be an expert on the subject of vampires, but it’s only a matter of time before Jerry goes after Charley and his family first.

It isn’t often that a remake does things actually better than the original film, but here, we have one such an occasion. Farrell plays a superb vampire, right down to the young, Italian-like facial features and the distant, predatory stare in his eyes. The dialog is at times daring and in some ways reminiscent of the generation from which the original film arose.

I was likewise impressed with character build-up and a script that was careful only to introduce those elements in a sequence that advance the shock value of the story—this is until we get past the halfway point through the end of the film.

It is at this point that the plot’s pacing speeds up to a rather rushed level. From here, what we get tends to be the standard vampire fare of bizarre facial contortions, gratuitous use of special affects, over-employed vampire folklore, and a plot that stretches the limits of its own credibility in action hunt-down sequences that nearly dash the credibility of what was accomplished in its promising beginning.

2 ½ stars for the impressive, but still mildly unsatisfying, Fright Night.
(JH)

Grade: C+ (2 ½ stars)
Rated: R (for strong, bloody violence and language and some sexual references)
Director: Craig Gillespie
Starring: “Charley Brewster” (Anton Yelchin), “Jerry” (Colin Farrell), “Jane Brewster” (Toni Collette), “Peter Vincent” (David Tennant), “Amy” (Imogen Poots), “Ed” (Christopher Mintz-Plasse)
Genre: Comedy / Horror
Trailer

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

Movie Review: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

When free spirit “Jules” (Anna “Go Girls” Hutchison) tells her best friend “Dana” (Kristen “Revolutionary Road” Connolly) what a good time they’ll be having at a cabin in the remote woods, you automatically know and are glad that she has no idea at all what awaits her or her friends, and neither does Jules’ jock boyfriend “Curt” (Chris “Thor” Hemsworth). The same is true of their intellectual friend with his notably piercing gaze, “Holden” (Jesse “Grey’s Anatomy” Williams) and their stoner friend “Marty” (Franz “The Village” Kranz) who seems to have a better grasp of reality, despite himself. Takes all kinds.

After taking off in the RV up the mountain, they stop for gas and run into a weirdly cryptic and confrontational gas station attendant (Tim De Zarn). When they’re back on the road after a near-fight, it isn’t long before they arrive and forget all about it. Following horror movie suit in letting out their whoas about how cool the place is and how much fun they will have losing t…

Movie Review: Django Unchained (2012)

At about 3 hours long, Django Unchained is Quentin Tarantino’s latest mental sickness-inspired adventure of a slave named “Django” (Jamie Foxx) who is freed by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter, “Dr. King Schultz” (Christoph Waltz) who helps Django rescue his enslaved wife from a cruel plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Mississippi.