Colin Farrell is a sexy bad boy, Toni Collette and David Tennant can make anything more fun by being in it however briefly, everyone likes Anton Yelchin better as a dweeb and Marti Noxon isn’t Joss Whedon.
These are the main lessons audiences may come away with after watching DreamWorks and Touchstone Pictures remake of Fright Night. Director Craig Gillespie turns in a fun, but unoriginal vampire film written by the aforementioned Noxon. To be fair, he is doing the best he can with what he was given and some moments are quite fun even with the apparently faulty script. As I said, Noxon just isn’t Whedon and it feels like she might be trying to be him here. Anyone who remembers what happened to Buffy the Vampire Slayer after Whedon left and Noxon, among others, tried to keep going without him will instantly know what this means. Clunky dialogue trying to be hip or relevant and last-minute plot threads trying to sew up plot holes abound in the film. What could have been a fun remake, with it’s more than able cast and premise, turns into just another enjoyable, but not recommendable end of the summer film.
Leading the cast are Yelchin and Farrell who both turn in great performances. Farrell manages to milk sex appeal out of every scene he’s in while still managing to be menacing as needed playing the vampire name Jerry. Yes, Jerry. Yelchin does a great job of playing the new-to-being-the-cool-guy that both he and his character have grown into. Underused, but still enjoyable nonetheless, are Toni Collette as Yelchin‘s mom and David Tennant as a Chris Angel like mega star occult magician named Peter Vincent. Both should have been given more to do than they get, but manage to add fun to the film without chewing the scenery.
As confusing as some of the plot threads in the film is the reasoning behind it’s R rating. While listing, “bloody horror violence and language, including some sexual reference” as the reasoning behind it, anyone who does see the film may be scratching their heads as well. The “bloody violence” in the film, while utilizing 3D effects nicely, isn’t any worse than one might find in the aforementioned Buffy and any of the swear words, of which there were only a few that the ratings board could have taken offense to, could easily have been omitted. The only real intense moment of the film is an obviously CGI car chase sequence that isn’t actually that intense as it almost screams green screen. As for the “sexual references” the rating claims, I can’t remember anything that again hasn’t already been shown more overtly on television. It almost seems as if the studios wanted the R rating to make fans think they would get the blood soaked naked woman filled horror movie of years past. Something this film never tries or comes close to being.
All in all, not a bad film, but also not one most people will be telling their friends is a must see. Fright Night isn’t frightening either in terms of being scary or bad. It’s more a good way to spend a bland afternoon.
Teenager Charley Brewster (Yelchin) guesses that his new neighbor Jerry Dandrige (Farrell) is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths. When no one he knows believes him, he enlists Peter Vincent (Tennant), the opportunistic host of his favorite TV show, to help him take down Jerry and his guardian.