Fright Night (2011) Review

Movie: Fright Night (2011)
By: Maniac E
Date: September 29, 2011

You can't run from evil when it lives next door

Twenty-six years ago, "Fright Night" premiered in theaters and went on to become a fondly remembered title amongst horror fans. The movie cleverly combined horror and humor to create a fresh take on the vampire and teen horror genres which had started to grow stale. While the movie spawned a largely forgettable direct to video sequel, the original film has remained popular over the years. So, when I first heard that they were planning on remaking the film I was skeptical as I felt it would be very difficult to match the original film.


For those unfamiliar with the series, Yelchin stars as Charlie Brewster, a young man who is trying to balance watching over his single mother, and his growing relationship with a girl way out of his league named Amy (Imogen Poots). He is also wrestling with becoming part of a cooler crowd at the cost of alienating his geeky former best friend, Ed, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Colin Farrell plays the handsome and suave new next door neighbor who easily charms Charlie's mom, played by Toni Colette. Unbeknownst to his neighbors, the charming and charismatic Jerry, played by Colin Ferrell, is actually a vampire who's come to their Las Vegas suburb to continue his nighttime hunts. Ed has become suspicious of the recent disappearances in their community and confides to Charlie that he's had Jerry under surveillance and knows that he is a vampire.

Fright night 1

Needless to say this does not sit well with Charlie, who distances himself further from Ed. But when Ed goes missing, Charlie decides to do some investigating of his own. Charlie turns to a local Vegas performance artist named Peter Vincent (David Tennant), whose vampire-themed show portrays him as an expert in fighting the undead. While at first skeptical over Charlie's claims, a few devastating confrontations with Jerry and his minions forces Vincent to rethink his role. The two unlikely allies soon find themselves in a deadly race against time to defeat Jerry and save their loved ones before it's too late.

Fright night 2

While the original film took its sweet time unraveling the mystery as to whether the neighbor (played by Chris Sarandon) was or was not a vampire, this film wastes no time establishing that Jerry is, indeed, one of the undead. This allows Jane and Amy to quickly get in on the action, and it works well. Jerry makes no pretense about the fact that he wishes to destroy the three of them as quickly as possible, though I was puzzled by his motives. He seems bemused when Charley first starts suspecting him, and I didn’t feel like that was enough for his relentless pursuit of the three.

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Despite my initial misgivings, I have to admit that the film was well cast. For the first few scenes, I didn’t buy Yelchin as a high school student. He seemed too old. However, as the film progressed, I became more comfortable with him in the role. Imogen Poots is a huge upgrade from Amanda Bearse in the original (she’ll always be Marcy D’Arcy to me). The real surprise is Farrell. He seems to be having a blast gnashing and hissing his way through the movie, and his zeal is infectious. He imbibes Jerry with humor, but still comes across as menacing and creepy. As mentioned, Tennant is a blast as well.

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As the original “Fright Night” this remake still holds good on its own. It also makes sure it never loses the original from its sight. This meaning that it delivers in the balance between horror and comedy as the original did. The visual effects are promising and most of them worked well in 3D. But I still have to say this: the film would've been much better had it been shot in 3-D or simply left as a 2-D film as the conversion really didn't offer anything of value as is often the case in these lab converted efforts.



Fright Night (2011)


Fright Night (2011)


Craig Gillespie






Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant