Release date: February 20th, 2012
Certificate (UK): 15
Running time: 106 minutes
Director: Craig Gillespie
Writer: Marti Noxon
Cast: Colin Farrell, David Tennant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Anton Yelchin, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, Dave Franco
The word “remake” has become something of a dirty verb in the dictionary of film enthusiasts, but I’ve always enjoyed seeing someone else take a well known story and give it a different spin. What else are stories for but to be told and told again?
That’s why I was curious about Fright Night, a remake of the beloved camp horror 80’s classic of the same name. It’s not a shot by shot run through as with Gus Van Sant’s take on Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1998), but it doesn’t break the rules the way Platinum Dunes did with Wes Craven’s A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010) either.
It takes place in a familiar suburban setting where we meet Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin), a high school senior who lives with his mom, Jane (Toni Collette). He’s got a girlfriend, Amy (Imogen Poots) and he thinks he’s too cool to hang out with his nerdy former best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). When they get a new neighbour, Jerry (Colin Farrell), Charlie is naturally very protective of his single mom and tries to keep the dishy stranger as far away from her as possible, but what can you do when mom is keen?
Ed manages to convince him that something is going on in Jerry’s house and when they break in to check it out, he finally gets the confirmation he needs. Jerry is a vampire! And not the fluffy Edward/Twilight kind either who glitter and glow in the dark. When Charlie finds out Jerry’s been snacking on the town’s population he tries to keep his mom and Amy safe.
With no other choice, he ends up in Las Vegas to track down the one man he hopes can help him stake the neighbourhood pest, the gaudy magician/vampire-expert Peter Vincent (David Tennant).
It’s a fun ride and there are some great thrills such as when Jerry rigs Charlie’s house to explode and the inevitable car chase down the deserted highway at night. The nightclub sequence looked and sounded great as well and the film has a very polished look to it overall. David Tennant is certainly a scene stealer with his grand entrance but Anton Yelchin holds his own and remains the film’s central character. He is both compelling and very, very likeable and this goes for everything else I’ve seen him in including The Beaver (2011), directed by Jodie Foster.
While it misses out on the camp-factor, this Fight Night is not exactly short on the laughs, but whether it’s in the dialogue or visual gags, it’s not packed with them either or particularly frightful, but as it works its way towards the climax I can say it was definitely an enjoyable fight.
As we’re never short on vampire stories these days, Fright Night was really one worth telling again, even if didn’t break the rules or stick to the original.
The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.
You can find his music on Soundcloud .