Fright Night (Craig Gillespie, 2011): Review

Fright Night 2011We initially reviewed the Fright Night 2011 remake back in September, but here's another take on the film from our Senior Writer Jason Lees...because we can. What did you all think of the remake? Leave a comment with your thoughts. Enjoy!

by Jason Lees,

Okay. All the cards on the table. I’m not supposed to like the remake of FRIGHT NIGHT. The original is probably my all time favorite vampire film. In 1985, Tom Holland made a vampire film in the Dracula vein (sorry, couldn’t help it) that was so fun and perfect, that since then the genre hasn’t been the same. It was an HBO staple and the kind of movie that introduced a whole generation of future horror freaks to the genre. FRIGHT NIGHT, with all its blood and laughs, is dear to my heart. It’s one of the first films I watch each year to get ready for Halloween, and one of the only flicks that I’ve actually written letters to try and get a special edition released.

Yea, I’m a big fan.

And, no, I’m not supposed to like the remake. I’m supposed to, by horror union bylaws, be up at arms that it exists and am honor bound to call it a piece of worthless shit. I’m required to curse the name of director Craig Gillespie and spit on Dreamworks for putting it out.

So, let’s just pretend I said all those things and just talk as a couple of friends here, chatting about what to rent this weekend. Seriously, man, if you’ve already seen Tucker & Dale, then give this remake a shot. Forget that it was done better back in ’85. Forget that there’s nothing as much fun as the original, and just enjoy this new take on the vampire.

We get Charlie (now being played by Anton Yelchin) the teenage geek gone cool who somehow has it better than he has any right to. He lives outside of Vegas and has the hot girlfriend and the cool friends. Thing is, he used to be a geek whose old best friend Ed (this time essayed by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) has just discovered that a vampire is in the neighborhood. From there, we get the required TWILIGHT jabs and just enough references to the original to set up what kind of world we’re in. It’s Charlie vs Jerry again, only this time Colin Ferrell plays the vamp like a pervy guy hitting on high school girls. Imagine if Matthew McConaughey from DAZED & CONFUSED were a nosferatu, and you start to get the idea.

It’s fun stuff, as long as you don’t compare expect too much. I went in with the lowest expectations possible, and had fun. Just by saying that to you, buddy, I might be ruining it for you. Sorry. Just had to be honest. Go out and buy the Tom Holland
FRIGHT NIGHT, watch it with friends, and then rent the remake to make a night out of it.

It’s not the greatest remake out there, not even close. It didn’t need to be made, it adds nothing to the original, and doesn’t really try to. What it does do, and does well, is just be a good mindless way to kill an evening. It’s the kind of movie that you, as a horror fan, can watch with a group of normals and not feel too left out. If you’re hanging out with a hardcore set, stick with CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, but if you look around the room and see a couple TRUE BLOOD fans sitting on the couch next to you, you could do a lot worse than the new FRIGHT NIGHT.

However, just be warned that the CGI vamps, no matter where you sit, do indeed kinda suck.

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