Main cast: Anton Yelchin (Charley Brewster), Colin Farrell (Jerry), David Tennant (Peter Vincent), Imogen Poots (Amy), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Ed), and Toni Collette (Jane Brewster)
Director: Craig Gillespie
This Fright Night is a somewhat loose remake of the 1985 movie of same name. The names of the principal characters are the same, but that’s pretty much the similarity between these two movies.
Basically, there’s a new vampire in town, and his name is Jerry. After a couple of kids in his school go missing, Charley Brewster realizes that his next-door neighbor may be a vampire. Now that Charley knows his secret, Jerry goes after him, his mother Jane, and Charley’s hot girlfriend Amy with a vengeance. The only ally Jerry has may be the Las Vegas showman Peter Vincent, but whether he can convince Peter that vampires exist is a different matter altogether.
While the original movie successfully combines horror with comedy, this remake opts to go for the straightforward “slam, bang, he’s coming to kill you” route. Marti Noxon’s script makes some cosmetic changes – instead of an eccentric pariah who is stuck with a campy TV show, Peter Vincent is now a jaded scoundrel all about the bling-bling, for instance, and he swears a lot too. Instead of a geek on the outside of society, Charley is an asshole who rejects his old friends because he thought them too uncool for school and he wants to score with the hot girl Amy.
Colin Farrell saves the movie, if you ask me. He looks and acts crazy enough to make Jerry this dangerous creature while oozing some sex appeal in the process. Unfortunately, this Jerry is now a straightforward villain with none of the charm and cunning shown by the vampire in the original. This Jerry isn’t too bright – instead of wining and seducing his way into making Charley’s life hell, he just charges ahead like a crazy bull with no subtlety at all. How did this guy manage to survive for 400 years again?
David Tennant doesn’t have much to do as Peter Vincent as the character shows up only later in the story, and even then, Mr Tennant is just camping it up. Like Jerry, this Peter Vincent is very lacking compared to the original. I find myself missing Roddy McDowall’s more subtle portrayal of the character. This Peter Vincent is just campy without showing much less. Faring even worse is Anton Yelchin. It is bad enough that this Charley Brewster comes off as an idiotic twit who is an unlikable asshole to boot, but Mr Yelchin has a face that only a mother can resist slapping. His girlfriend Amy shows more spine and guts than the pathetic Charley, ugh. Toni Collette is wasted in this movie as her character is pretty much pointless here, but at least she gets a decent paycheck from this gig.
This Fright Night is a loud and more action-oriented movie compared to the original, but the characters here has none of the charms and memorability of those in the original version. Clearly, it’s better in this case to just stick with the original.