Fright Night Review
There is nothing better than remakes nowadays, apparently, and sometimes it’s good to refurbish dated material and crack at the opportunity to reinvent it. Although, it’s not the case for Fright Night. Failing at making us cheer for a bad contemporary horror flick, based on the 1985 classic by the same name, that marked our youngling years.
Fright Night retains strongly from its original work, but a few “upgrades” here and there. There are very few new elements to the story, except that Charlie (Anton Yelchin) is hanging out with the cool kids at school, and neglecting his former and shameful best friend, Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). At the arriving of his new neighbour, Jerry (Colin Farrell), Charlie suspects nothing until Ed practically obligates him to search the house of a missing friend, and linking this to Jerry. This time, Ed suspects Jerry of being a vampire after having watched him, while Charlie disregarding his friend’s help and, well, we know what happens to Ed in the original Fright Night, so no surprises there. Then, Charlie and his girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) look for the great Peter Vincent (David Tennant), the master of occult and dark forces, for help.
All this is the first 20 minutes, believe it or not. The movie plot unravels really fast and puts off its mood from quirky-horror to bad horror with too much comic relief. The suspense works hard for any type of results and makes you wish they would’ve built its climax later instead of in the first act. The comic relief is abundant sometimes, and kinda diminished its high points.
Screen-writer Marti Noxon doesn’t go far from her comfort zone, having worked on I Am Number Four and some Buffy episodes. Obviously the idea isn’t far-fetched, but with that background, there isn’t too much “new” to expect.
Anton Yelchin is not believable as a teenager, but does a pretty good job playing this modern-age Charlie. Explores well the character’s frustrations with peer pressure and difficulties at keeping two different realities apart while growing up and having to choose who you want to fit in with. Christopher Mintz-Plasse, unfortunately is not present a whole lot. Being reduced to a super small role, he doesn’t seem have any room with what to do with the character of Ed, and just playing his typical dweeb-self with, even on serious scenes, too much comic relief. David Tennant is ravishing, charming and, unexpectedly, vulgar. He suits his role just fine, funny, but fine. His Peter Vincent isn’t as good as Roddy McDowall’s, since it doesn’t feel it has much depth or fright in his eyes. But, without comparison, he steals the laughs and makes you forgive the take on the comedy for this genre. Colin Farrell makes a fine vampire, always having that enticing look and the right facial expressions. If it wasn’t for its CG-self, he could’ve suited its role properly and makes it hard to like him as a bad guy with all that crap that is his face, from time to time, with bad CG.
What really ruined the movie are, assuredly and as mentioned, the CG and the abuse of the 3D technology (even without the 3D). Understandably, computer generated effects are so cheap nowadays that they always resolve to that, making it look unrealistic and always feels out of tone. The effects used on Chris Sarandon’s Jerry back in ’85 were outstanding compared to this, and made you (still) shit in your pants. The over use of effects made specifically for 3D technology is annoying and is done in a very bad taste, making hard to enjoy any horror sequence. Seeing fake-looking blood spatter all over the screen for no good reason and having object thrown in the camera’s direction at every chance possible gets tiresome fast.
Let’s just say that some movies should not be touched by Hollywood desperate measures to make easy-money in overdoing material, especially with perfectly good movies, such as Fright Night, still stand the test of timeliness. Unfortunately, Fright Night fails to even deliver as a good horror-flick, and only a few scenes and awesome actors as incentive, make it worthwhile.
Emi, presents..rate: 2 out 5