Review: Fright Night (2011)

Fright Night
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant
Comes out tomorrow, August 19


If you want to know what I thought of the new remake of Fright Night, all you need is one word and a picture:  Hee!

I think the Doctor has left the building... 

If you want a more detailed review, please continue on.

 

I’ve never seen the original B-horror movie from the 80s, so I can’t compare this version to its earlier counterpart, but I can say that Fright Night is ridiculously fun.  It never even thinks about taking itself seriously and everyone is acting over the top and ridiculous, especially Colin Farrell.

Oh no! Not a vampire!Short synopsis: People in a suburb of Vegas are going missing.  A teenage boy named Charley has recently gotten a curious new neighbor, who seems to only come out at night and happens to be incredibly strong and pale.  He soon discovers that his former geeky best friend’s claims that the new neighbor is a vampire are actually true, and Charley goes to Vegas to find an illusionist/legendary "vampire hunter" named Peter Vincent to help him with his problem.  Chaos ensues.  Blood squirts everyone.  Colin Farrell enjoys apples.

I really can’t find anything bad to say about this movie.  It’s everything it’s supposed to be: cheesy, silly, hysterical and occasional really, really creepy.  I wouldn’t say this is a horror movie because it’s too funny, but it does have its gory moments and, in 3D, those can be particularly traumatizing.  I don’t like seeing blood shooting at my face…

Anton Yelchin plays pretty much the exact same character he was in Charlie Bartlett, which is kinda funny since his character’s name in Fright Night is also Charley.  He’s the geeky kid, who somehow managed to fake his way into the cool crowd and got a really hot girlfriend, played by Imogen Poots (who has apparently been in other things I’ve seen such as 28 Weeks Later).  She was… the popular teenage girl who fell for a closet geek.  And then Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Kickass, Superbad) plays the usual super geek that he does so well.  These characters are not complicated.

On a side note, upon finding Charley’s “cool friends” at the high school, I was delighted to see they were played by Dave Franco (of Scrubs: The New Class and apparently James Franco’s younger brother) and Reid Ewing (the dopey boyfriend from Modern Family), playing just about the exact same characters I’d seen them play on their respective television shows.  I immediately had this song pop in my head, which made me giggle completely out of context to the movie.

Rawr! This is my angry face!Colin Farrell plays vampire Jerry as though he’s having too much fun for it to be considered a job.  The best part of Jerry is that the movie never pretends that he’s not a vampire.  From the moment you see him, you know he’s the vampire and soon after, all the other characters know, too.  Farrell plays Jerry as manipulative, menacing and the type of guy who, excuse my language, likes to fuck with people.  He’s deliciously evil, at least until he get injured and then he becomes really super creepy scary.

And then there’s David Tennant.  I just sighed typing his name.  This should show you that I am terribly biased, but Mr. Tennant stole this entire movie even though he was only in about half of it.  As the drunken “illusionist” Peter Vincent, he is crude, disgusting, and absolutely hysterical.  Thankfully he doesn’t stay in his hairy, Criss Angel-like stage persona for very long.  Instead, he wanders around drinking Campari, generally shirtless (and sometimes pants-less), sharing threats and insults with his girlfriend/assistant (played by Sandra Vergara, apparently the sister of Sofia Vergara from Modern Family)

The story goes along the path that I pretty much expected until the very end when the action kicks back up into gear and things get crazy.  I hate spoilers, so you’re not getting any.  There is never a dull moment in this film.  It’s not a classy film.  It’s not flashy or intelligent or even really utilizes 3D very well (which I never mind).  What it does is maintain suspense despite being a semi-predictable plot, which is impressive.  It’s funny, it’s gross, it has David Tennant in leather pants.  What else do you really need?

Or I could just be really biased because I miss seeing David Tennant on a regular basis and he looks hot with guyliner. 

In the end, Fright Night is a lot of fun.  Go in expecting something silly, and I think you will be pleased.  There’s only one grade I could possibly give this movie and that’s a nice solid:

B

Silly modern-day B-horror movie with lots of humor and a bit of gore; what it lacks in character development, it makes up with the charisma of the actors; fun from beginning to end

And here's the trailer for your viewing pleasure: 


 

We were lucky to get passes to an early screening.  Thank you, CollegeMovieReview.com!

If you’ve read this wondering, “Who’s David Tennant?”, first that makes me sad.  Second, find seasons 2-4 of Doctor Who.  There streaming on Netflix if you have an account.  Thank me later…