Funny, Bloody, Sexy: Fright Night
August 21, 2011 1 Comment
SPOILERS are revealed in the following paragraphs. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
What better place for a vampire to choose to set up shop than in Las Vegas, a town where a huge chunk of the population is up all night and sleeps all day? And what better place to find a shady showman magician willing to (eventually) help kick a little vampire butt and work out his personal issues at the same time? More remake than re-imagining of its 1985 namesake, the new Fright Night is surprisingly refreshing due to this new setting, an injection of several fresh elements, and some really spot-on casting.
Most of the appeal stems from bad boy Colin Farrell’s performance as Jerry, the sexy vampire dead-set on setting up shop next door to Charlie [Anton Yelchin] and his mother [Toni Collette]. It’s not long before Charlie’s nebbishy friend Ed [Christopher Mintz-Plasse] reveals that Jerry is really a dangerous vamp who is abducting and killing half the neighborhood and has to be stopped, then Jerry the vamp casts his eye in the direction of Charlie’s girl [Imogen Poots], and the fun really begins.
Farrell, who clearly looks like he is having one hell of a good time playing a 400-year-old bloodsucking force of evil, manages to instill a good deal of heat as well as some sly humor into his already sexy image. Add in David Tennant’s amusing portrayal of glam magician Peter Vincent, the self-proclaimed vampire expert that Charlie approaches for advice on how best to rid himself of the nocturnal menace next door, and plenty of buckets of CGI gore, and Fright Night looks like a can’t-miss winner with both millennials and boomers. Sure, there are a few plotholes here and there if you look hard, but the action-packed latter half of the movie tends to move swiftly enough to cause most to overlook the occasional glitches and just enjoy the ride.
In watching this film I couldn’t shake the idea that there was something really familiar about it beyond the fact that it was a remake of a story I’d first seen in my youth. It wasn’t until screenwriter Marti Noxon’s name flashed up in the end credits that I recognized from where that feeling stemmed. The multi-talented Noxon, who wrote 22 episodes of Buffy and was one of its producers from 1998 through 2003, has an ability to craft believable teens that goes well beyond the norm. In Fright Night she fleshes out the relationship between Charlie and his nerdy friend Ed which gives far more depth to the characters than the original movie did, adds a good deal of her trademarked snarky humor to the Peter Vincent character, and manages to give the film both an updating and pay homage to the classic at the same time.
And did I mention the effing wonderful Chris Sarandon cameo?!
Cross-posted with SciFi4Me.com