Fright Night is a remake of the 1985 film of the same name. After they discover that Jerry is a vampire, Charlie, his mom, and Charlie’s girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) head to Vegas to enlist the help of Peter Vincent (David Tennant), a stage magician in the vein of Criss Angel, whose whole shtick is the supernatural.
Directed by Craig Gillespie (Mr. Woodcock, Lars and the Real Girl) and written by Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV, Angel), Fright Night is a wonderful remake, and is done the way any remake should be. It pays homage to the original while updating the basic story. If you have seen the 1985 version, you will find a lot to love here. If you haven’t seen it, you will still find a lot to love here. As long as you are a fan of horror films.
What Marti Noxon has done here is apply her vampire writing experience from Buffy and Angel to update the horror classic. Jerry is no sparkly vampire with a heart of gold and a lust for high school girls. He wants to eat the high school girl. He is a shark, a hunter, a killer. He is viscious. He is ruthless. He is scary, while still being a handsome devil. Played with relish by Colin Farrell, Jerry is dangerous. He is also suave. While he doesn’t dress like it, Jerry is the James Bond of vampires. Above all, he is a predator. A shark. When he full vamps out, he looks like said shark, with rows and rows of razor sharp teeth.
When Charlie and Amy finally arrive to get help from Peter Vincent, they find he is a coward, scared of his own shadow. His supernatural act is just that, an act. He is a fool in leather pants trying to be cool. Played by David Tennant (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Dr. Who), he is almost more of a hindrance than a help; an alcoholic drowning the sorrows of his parents being murdered by a vampire.
What I think is so great about this film is that it is a damned fine film in it’s own right, even without considering it is a remake. It is a horror film that has gore, a great cast, and an engaging story. It is fun. It moves at a brisk pace.
While I am a fan of the original, I will go out on a limb and say that I prefer this one over the original. Colin Farrell really sells the dangerous predator that is Jerry. Honestly, I found his intensity to be creepy. While this is not going to scare your socks off, I found that Colin Farrell can be frightening in his own right.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. As far as remakes go, this is better than most. As a stand alone film, it is very good. I saw this in the theater last year, and wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it as much on a repeat viewing. I actually found I enjoyed it more. I cannot praise the performances of Colin Farrell and David Tennant more. They make the movie.
The video quality on this disc is stunning. Obviously, this film was shot digitally, as there were no picture problems that I noticed.
The sound mix is absolutely amazing as well, making full use of all 5.1 channels. This mix plays wonderfully through the rear speakers, totally immersing you in the film.
The special features consist of deleted and extended scenes, bloopers, a music video, and a couple documentaries.
Movie *** out of ****