Fright Night - Review

Just like RT's consensus stated, remaking the 1985 cult movie "Fright Night" was more than unnecessary. One thinks that after the horrible sequel "Fright Night Part 2", Hollywood learned a lesson to leave a cult movie alone...forever. Especially considering just how remakes nowadays tend to terribly backfire ever so often.
So, unsurprisingly, there wasn't all that much buzz about this remake. But with a convincing trailer and great casting choices, "Fright Night" 2011 doesn't look all that bad.

The plot:
In the remake of the 1985 original, teenager Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) guesses that his new neighbor Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell) is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths. When no one he knows believes him, he enlists Peter Vincent (David Tennant), a self proclaimed vampire killer and Las Vegas magician, to help him take down Jerry. (source: IMDb)

Of course the 2011 remake of "Fright Night" works with exactly the same plot. The big focus here is on updating the story by changing the setting to Las Vegas and updating the humor to the 21. century.
The big part in which the movie manages to get an own identity is the course of the story. The basic skeleton of the story is still there, which fans of the original will imidiately recognize. It's like both versions, the original and the remake, start and end their stories at the same points but take different paths (storylines) to get there.

The 2011 remake also has a faster pace than the first movie, which is not a bad thing but gets things going way better. With the screentime being around 100 minutes, the movie would probably have been too long with a slower pace anyway.

Although "Fright Night" is a very character-driven movie, there also is a good amount of action going on, which is remarkably well shot. For example the chase scene, at about midway through the movie, is mostly shot from the inside of Charley's car.
The action comes to a tribute paying climax in the movie's very exciting final showdown.

The gore is entirely CG in this movie. Mostly present in the form of CG blood spilling. The gore and vampire effects are by far not as impressive as in the original but still they avoid overkilling the scenes with CGI.

The vampire design is heavily orientated on the "big mouth vampire design" from the 1985 version (only done with CGI), which suprisingly enough looks and works very well. It's a well done effect and luckily not used too often to keep impact.

Some downsides, concerning the effects, are some of the "pointless 3D throwing-stuff-at-you moments". But i guess they are kept to a minimum. A 3D watch for this movie is absolutely unnecessary though.

The acting is overall very solid. It's the casting choices themselves, which make the movie really stand out. Especially Colin Farrell is the perfect pick for the role of Jerry the vampire. Not only does he do very well in acting and representing a threat, but he also looks like he has a lot of fun acting as the character.
Anton Yelchin is another good choice for the new Charley. At first, i was not quite sure if he would turn out well in this movie (because he sucked in Terminator 4...well the whole movie sucked), but fortunately he spreads sympathy throughout every scene he is in and his relationshop between his mother and girlfriend are believably acted.

However there is one big actor which i personally found terribly miscast: David Tennant as a young Peter Vincent.
I hate David Tennant's way of constantly acting over-the-top. First of all, if you ask me, Peter Vincent should be an OLD vampire slayer, just like in the original. Are there really no older actors they could have picked?
Second, it's very obvious that Peter Vincent is supposed to be a Russel Brand knock-off. So there arises the question, why didn't they just cast Russell Brand as a young Peter Vincent to begin with? It would have worked out so much better.

All in all, all my concerns have been put to rest. "Fright Night" turned out to be a remake that actually works. While keeping several necessary tributes to the original, it has an own identity thanks to its solidly acting cast and new storyline. There are some minor downsides like the not-so-impressive gore effects (compared to the 1985 version) but they are ultimately don't matter when regarding the full package.
It's not only the first good remake after a long time, but also one of the better vampire movies that doesn't drag down the classic original. Don't worry checking out "Fright Night".

Final Verdict: 7 out of 10


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