“Fright Night” is an average remake with some interesting moments

The 2011 remake of the 1985 horror/comedy film “Fright Night” is more enjoyable to watch compared to the “Twilight” films, but that’s not saying much.

Teenager Charley (Anton Yelchin) lives with his mother (Toni Collette) in a suburban neighborhood that is just a bit outside of Las Vegas. His best friend (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) thinks his next door neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire, but Charley doesn’t believe him. When he eventually discovers the horrifying truth about Jerry, he does everything in his power to make sure Jerry does not talk to his mother and his girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots). With no other option at his disposal, he seeks the help of Peter Vincent (David Tennant), a self-proclaimed vampire killer.

Today, there seems to be some kind of resurgence of vampires with books, movies and TV shows such as “Let Me In” and “True Blood” coming out in droves by putting a spin on vampire mythology. It feels more like vampire overkill to me.

I have never seen the original “Fright Night” until a week before I was set to watch this movie, which was directed by Craig Gillespie (“Lars and the Real Girl”). The original movie was an enjoyable and campy film, but it has not age well thanks to the special effects of the movie that include stop-motion animation and puppets.

The film does not stray away from the main story except for a couple of noticeable changes that keeps it from being an exact carbon copy like changing the character of Peter Vincent from a corny horror talk show host to a Las Vegas magician or setting the story in Las Vegas instead of California. While I do admire the changes they made to make this into a contemporary remake, the story is still predictable because you know who is going to live and who is going to die. It would be better if you don’t see the original movie before watching this glossy remake.

The remake does have its moments with scenes like Jerry tries to confront his neighbors by forcing them out of their home so that he can confront them and a long shot in a moving vehicle ala “Children of Men” where Charley, his mother and Amy is trying to flee from Jerry.

The cast of this film is average with good actors in subpar roles like Toni Collette, but Colin Farrell’s performance as the vicious vampire is entertaining as hell. He displays several degrees of viciousness as he relishes in being evil and menacing. Kudos goes to Anton Yelchin, who turns in a good performance as the endangered teenage by making the character more believable and incredibly different then William Ragsdale’s Charley. David Tennant’s take on Peter Vincent looks like a cross between Russell Brand and Criss Angel, but his character get annoying as he gets ready to battle vampires alongside with Charley.

“Fright Night” was shot in 3D, which Gillespie takes advantage of this format by hurling a variety of objects from arrows to body parts to the camera via some special effects. It is not a total lost to watch it in 3D, but for the majority of the movie, it is not necessary. The CG is another weak link in the movie especially in the vampire transformation scenes, which does not make any of those scenes scary at all.

“Fright Night” is just your average remake that is not really necessary, but it does have some descent moments in the film and a good performance by Farrell.

“Fright Night”: 3 stars out of 5

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