DIR: Craig Gillespie • WRI: Marti Noxon • PRO: Michael De Luca, Michael J. Gaeta, Alison R. Rosenzweig • DOP: Javier Aguirresarobe • ED Tatiana S. Riegel • DES: Richard Bridgland • CAST: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant, Toni Collette, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
There seems to be a trend among horror remakes of late that those less widely known (The Hills Have Eyes, The Crazies) get a rather good remake, while the classics (Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street) get butchered, so to speak. The original Fright Night, while fondly remembered, falls firmly into the first category, and its remake is a solid if uninspired effort.
Anton Yelchin is the ex-geek who’s now in with the cool kids thanks to his super hot girlfriend Imogen Poots. But his ex BFF Christopher Mintz-Plasse is convinced that Yelchin’s new neighbour (Colin Farrell) is a vampire, and that he is the cause of all the missing kids in their school. From here on in the movie plays like a supernatural version of Disturbia, with the kid nobody believes trying to get evidence that his seemingly harmless neighbour is up to no good.
Thrown into the mix is David Tennant, a vampire specialist who funds his investigations with a tawdry OTT Vegas nightclub act. Channelling Russell Brand to the point of mimicry, Tennant has a ball with his campy character. In fact all of the actors bring their A-game to the table, even those whose roles are slightly underwritten (Toni Collette as Yelchin’s mom has nothing to do bar look at Farrell with lust for the first half of the movie, and then fear for the second half). Farrell aswell brings the correct mix of physical and sexual intimidation required of the role, even if his accent can never decide which side of the Atlantic to land on.
On the downside; the ending is quite rushed, the CGI effects on the vampires isn’t great, and while some of the 3D is impressive, it darkens the whole image down to the point that the night scenes are almost pitch black. And on the whole, the movie doesn’t really have much weight to it. It’s fun, but almost instantly forgettable. Which probably makes it the best Friday night movie of the year so far.
Rated 15A (see IFCO website for details)
Fright Night is released on 2nd September 2011