Fright Night – Movie Review

So, I haven’t seen the original 1985 Fright Night on which this 2011 remake is based, but I think it’s for the best. By not seeing the original, it makes it easier to judge this version based on its own strengths and weaknesses instead of comparing the two films. That being said, I thought that Fright Night was highly entertaining, funny, and had plenty of gore and action to make it an enjoyable time at the movies.

One thing that makes this particular horror movie different than other is the casting of talented and known actors in all the main roles. It’s much different from a Final Destination or other random horror flick where the bulk of the cast are people you’ve never heard of or ever seen in a movie before. With Fright Night you get plenty of talent that at times feels a bit underused, but there are two actors who really made the movie work for me.

Colin Farrell is great as the creepy neighbor next door, Jerry, whom Charley (Anton Yelchin) suspects is a vampire after his former childhood friend disappears. Farrell really seems to be enjoying the role and plays it with such casual nonchalance that it makes every action and line from the character all the more amusing.

Another standout is David Tennant, who I’ve only seen in a few dramatic roles, but here he steals every scene he’s in with hilarious results. His character – a Vegas magician/vampire hunter – really gets the momentum going after a fairly sluggish first act. The banter between him and his girlfriend is so great you almost wish that they were in the film more.

Along with Farrell and Tennant, Anton Yelchin (Star Trek), Toni Collette (United States of Tara), Imogen Poots (Centurion), and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad) bring their A-games to a horror comedy that really is a lot of fun. It’s nice to see actors out of their traditional element and to see them in movies like this. And for those who have seen the original: keep your eyes open for a cast member from the 1985 version!

There are some cool action sequences, but the one that really stands out for me is the car chase. This sequence almost felt like a theme park ride the way it was put together, and the addition of the 3D made it even more in your face than if it were 2D.

The 3D works in terms of sheer gimmickry, which in the case of this film it only adds to the fun. Blood and other items fly at the screen to the point that you do feel as if the filmmakers are doing it just because they can. Unlike some other 3D movies I’ve seen, I felt that the 3D – while not totally necessary – was a nice addition to the movie as a whole.

Fright Night offers up some great special effects, creature effects, and plenty of gore for horror fans. It does take a while to get to all the fun stuff, and that would be my one issue with the film; the first third of the movie drags a little too much. There are a few action/horror moments presented, but it’s not until Charley gets involved that things start to pick up.

As a person who has grown tired of the recent glut of vampire movies, I have to say that Fright Night was a refreshing change from the norm. Colin Farrell’s take on his character felt original and fun, and the rest of the film had a different tone than the traditional vampire flick. Add in the comedy element and you’ve got an entertaining diversion for a hot summer day.

I recommend Fright Night. Whether you see it in 2D or 3D there’s definitely something here for horror and comedy fans alike. Check it out! And now I’ll go and check out the original.

Which did you like better the new Fright Night or the 1985 original? What’s your favorite vampire movie? Leave a comment and let us know!

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