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Movie Reviews

Fright Night



Released: 19th August 2011

Director: Craig Gillespie

Stars: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette

Certificate: 15

Reviewer: Mitch Hansch

Fright Night is my type of vampire flick. It is a bloody good return to the old-school horror movie. That’s partially because it’s a remake of the 1985 above average film of the same title. This isn’t one of those mamby-pamby love triangle vamp movies that has a 110-pound over-sensitive vamp fighting with a shirtless jock werewolf for Miss Teen Apathetic. No, this is a good old fashioned underdog youth pitted against an evil blood-sucking S.O.B flick filled with gore that scares and humor that’s actually funny.

Credit to director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) for getting everything interestingly established quickly. Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) lives alone with his real estate agent mother (Toni Collette) on the outskirts of the Las Vegas desert suburbs. Charley has recently graduated from nerd to decently popular due to the garnering of his hot girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots-great real name). Left behind from Charley due to nerdom is old friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who has figured out that Charley’s new neighbor is nothing but an evil murderous vampire named Jerry (Colin Farrell).

Colin Farrell is having a good year for movies along with his Less Grossman-Esq role in “Horrible Bosses”. Farrell is devilishly good as the sexy new neighbor with a thirst for blood. Wether he is polishing an apple over his wife-beater or giving Charley an obtrusive speech about how his girlfriend is ripe, and his mother is putting “it” out there, it’s fun to watch a good actor like Farrell have fun with a film like this. I enjoyed that Farrell plays Jerry a little bored and seeing Charley as a challenge he makes more survival miscues than usual.

Charley enlists the expertise of mega Vegas magician Peter Vincent (David Tenant). Tenant (BBC’s Doctor Who) plays the Peter Angel look-a-like midori boozing illusionist that proves to be a great pairing with Anton Yelchin.

Marti Noxon’s screenplay is better than you’re used to in horror remakes with good humor and wit. “Jerry’s a horrible name for a vampire” got a laugh from this viewer and Charley telling Peter “I don’t want to live tomorrow if you’re the man I’ll become” is a killer line. Toni Collete and Imogen Poots also get to enjoy more depth than most of this genre’s female characters generally receive.

Here’s a very fun film that’s almost ruined before it gets going because of the horrible coating of 3D. Dreamworks and Disney’s 3D slathering for financial gain gives the first half of the film an almost unwatchable dark murkiness. I was squinting to make out what would have been beautiful desert dusk scenery from Gillespie if not for those $5 extra ticket glasses I had on.

“Fright Night” may not be great, but it is certainly good and that’s worth sinking your teeth into.

“This” is worth sinking your teeth into.

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