Cast: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, Dave Franco, Reid Ewing, Emily Montague
New York University '00
"I don't think you're dumb... I just think at times you're under-exposed to information." -Murphy Brown
Review By: Dan Deevy
I generally hate reviewing remakes of classic films without having seen the original. However, when there’s a deadline looming over my head and a staff full of already busy writers, I have no choice but to bite the bullet and review the film solely on its own merit.
Fright Night succeeds in being a decent “pretty people in peril” film but never goes above and beyond that. There’s nothing here that breaks any new ground or sets any new trends. It certainly will not be regarded as any new height in filmmaking, horror or otherwise; but for some mindless distraction if you enjoy the subject matter and are ready willing and able to drool over Colin Farrell at his all-time hottest then it’s just fine.
Visually the film is gorgeous from its Harry Potter like areal intro to its Kick Ass style comic book ending. In between the movie is loaded with some cool fight scenes, some stereotypical relationships and a lot of less than scary attempts at scares.
For those not familiar, Fright Night is a Disney remake of the classic 1985 film of the same name which follows the all American vampire-next-door named Jerry (Colin Farrell) and his interactions with his young inquisitive suburban neighbor, Charley (Anton Yelchin). The film is rated ‘R’ but I’m not quite sure why. There are some amputations and some disintegrations but they are handled in a campy, tame way that leads you to believe a ‘PG-13’ would have been more than sufficient for the MPAA.
The only real reason to see this move is because you’re a fan of the cast members. It’s a stellar line up and everyone, without fail, is just fantastic in their roles. If this had been taken more seriously and gone a darker route this could have been a mind-blowingly good film.
As I mentioned earlier Colin Farrell is the hottest that we have ever seen him. He’s worked out and filled out very nicely and his hair is finally not over powering his gorgeous face. He pulls of sexy and slightly scary so well in real life that it’s not surprising that you buy every last second of it on film here. You find yourself thinking, ‘would it really be so bad to be killed by him?’ And trust me it takes a little while to come up with an answer.
Anton Yelchin continues his long, steady march to super stardom here by playing a somewhat typical, but still endearing, dork turned cool guy. You can obviously argue that at this point in his career he’s basically playing himself here minus the supernatural elements and you’d be right, but as Joy Behar would say, ‘So what? Who cares?’ he does it really well and is fun to watch. Plus he has a shirtless scene at the end of this movie that proves once
Equally impressive, but stretching slightly more performance wise is Christopher Mintz-Plasse who plays Charley’s long forgotten former geeky best friend turned angry, vengeful enemy. I generally enjoy his performances and respect how much work he’s gotten playing this very specific ‘type’ but after this movie I definitely see him in a slightly more versatile light. I think he could do some really interesting things in the horror / fantasy /sci-fi genre.
Imogen Poots rounds out the young cast and is absolutely gorgeous and engaging throughout the film. Normally, the girl love interest is completely dull but she’s such a wonderful actress that she manages to add a little something extra here to keep things interesting. I see big things coming for her in the very near future.
Of course I can’t not mention the amazing Toni Collette as Charley’s down-to-Earth, but undeniably sexy, mom. After the mind blowing performances she gave on Showtime’s United States of Tara it’s hard to imagine her ever being challenged again to that same level. In movies like this it’s like watching a pro tennis player opposite a 10 year old who’s never picked up a racket. Sure she’s good, but how good does she have to be to be the best thing on the court?
The special features include a blooper reel that’s pretty funny and several featurettes that go behind the scenes of the making of the film; all are well done but nothing really to write home about.
The quality of the video and audio on the Blu-ray is top notch especially when viewed on a large flat screen so in this sense it’s worth watching at home, but I don’t think it’s a title you’re going to want to view multiple times so rental will probably suffice here.