DreamWorks/Disney’s Fright Night, starring Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell and David Tennant, is a surprisingly entertaining remake of the 1985 film. 4.5/5. Stream it for free at https://123moviesgo.ga/.
I’m not happy about Hollywood’s current round of remake fever, and I loved Chris Sarandon’s performance as a deliciously evil vampire in the 1985 film Fright Night. So colour me surprised to find myself enjoying Craig Gillespie’s remake, starring Anton Yelchin as a teenager who suspects his new neighbor is a bloodsucker.
DreamWorks Presents Fright Night, Starring Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell & David Tennant
Everything’s coming up for Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin). He’s dating Amy (Imogen Poots), the hottest girl in school, and he’s getting respect from the cool clique. So it’s doubly annoying that Charlie’s former best friend “Evil” Ed Lee (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) keeps bugging him. Ed’s obsessed that teens have been disappearing from their Las Vegas neighborhood and he already has a suspect: Charlie’s neighbor Jerry Dandridge (Colin Farrell), who’s already flirting with Charlie’s mom (Toni Collette). But Ed’s goes even farther: he thinks Jerry is a vampire and has the film footage to prove it. Charlie initially blows his old pal off but when Ed disappears one night, he starts to wonder if his friend was right.
An incident involving an exotic dancer (Emily Montague) confirms Charlie’s suspicions, and there’s only one place he can turn for help: goth illusionist Peter Vincent (David Tennant), who claims to be an expert on vampire lore. Unfortunately, Vincent’s a lot less than he appears and Jerry knows that Charlie’s on to him. With every adult either ignoring or mocking him, and Jerry playing cat-and-mouse, can Charlie figure out a way to take down the 400-year-old nosferatu?
My advice is pretend the 1985 film never existed and go with the flow. Colin Farrell can’t match Chris Sarandon’s humour or subtlety (then again, who can?) but he’s clearly enjoying a role that allows him to chew the scenery as much as his character chomps necks. David Tennant also has fun playing his character as a cross between Criss Angel and Russell Brand – the scene where Charlie meets the real Peter Vincent is a riot.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse once again reprises his McLovin’ character from Superbad; the surprising part is that it hasn’t gotten stale yet. Actually, “Evil” Ed’s story arc is more interesting than Charlie’s journey, and I almost wish director Gillespie and former Buffy writer Marni Noxon had spent more time with the character.
Quibbles? A few. Yelchin’s Charlie is probably the movie’s weakest spot, but that’s more an issue with the script than Yelchin’s performance. The biggest disappointment for me was that one theme was raised but never used again: in a scene that echoes the original film, Charlie brandishes a crucifix at Jerry. Jerry responds with a chuckle and the comment, “You have to have faith in order for that to work.”
It’s an intriguing theme that never gets explored in further detail – most likely because it might get too cerebral (or spiritual) for the blood-n’-guts crowd.
Fright Night Good for Chills and Giggles
Most of the jokes draw laughs (including a Twilight reference) and the scary bits draw chills: mission accomplished for a horror-comedy. I still wish Hollywood would stop fixing what ain’t broke, but between Fright Night and last year’s Let Me In, not all remakes suck. Fright Night gets a 4.5/5.