Published Aug 18, 2011When fans heard news that Tom Holland's Fright Night was going to be yet another casualty in the horror remake phenomenon, no one expected anything more than a PG-13, Twilight redux. However, Lars and the Real Girl director Craig Gillespie proves sceptics wrong by delivering a remake that not only respects the original, but surprisingly exceeds it.
In this modern-day retelling of the 1985 cult classic, Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) suspects his charming, fruit-eating neighbour, Jerry (played wonderfully by Colin Farrell), is a vampire after his friend, Evil Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), and many classmates go missing in a small Nevada neighbourhood.
When his suspicions prove correct, Charley enlists the help of Peter Vincent (David Tennant), a profane, Russell Brand-like Las Vegas magician with a love of vampire mythology, to help him kill Jerry before the bloodsucker kills him and everybody he loves. 3D blood, excessive use of the "F" word and enjoyable laughs ensue.
Finally, a horror film that fans of the original and newcomers can sink their fangs into! At first, Fright Night fools audience members into believing they're watching yet another horrible horror remake. However, Buffy the Vampire Slayer scribe Marti Noxon turns the tables on the viewers by injecting believable teenage language into the dialogue, subtle role-reversal humour and plenty of witty, respectful references and plot hole fillers to the original to please any jaded Fright Night fanatic.
Colin Farrell shines as menacing, cheeky vampire Jerry and he's destined to win over filmgoers right after his chilling and equally engaging encounter with Charley early on. However, David Tennant's portrayal of the now youthful, yet equally cynical, Peter Vincent is the film's biggest highlight, with his wise-cracking remarks and charisma. Even the now defunct United States of Tara's Toni Collette manages to steal a few scenes as the hip mother in peril.
Fright Night is a fast-paced, 3D, R-rated horror comedy that actually delivers on effective 3D, laughs and scares. The remake isn't an instant classic, but it's easily one of the year's best horror films. (Buena Vista)