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Awesome: 21.21%
Worth A Look40.91%
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Pretty Crappy: 3.03%
Sucks: 12.12%

6 reviews, 30 user ratings

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Fright Night (2011)
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Eh. Probably better than the other 3D remake opening the same weekend."
3 stars

The scariest thing in the new "Fright Night" remake is the notion of Lisa Loeb playing a teenager’s mom.

This seems outlandish to me, since I know for a fact that she was a young twentysomething indie-rock singer only about two minutes ago; but 1995 was a long time ago, it turns out, and here she is, age 43, as a teenager’s mom. Tempus sure does fugit like a mofo. The rest of Fright Night didn’t upset me nearly as much, but then the original 1985 film didn’t either. That film, which gained from a witty Roddy McDowall performance as a late-night horror-show host turned vampire hunter, was an agreeable throwback, in the midst of the slasher-flick bloodletting that dominated the genre, to old-school monster-mash thrills. Fright Night 2011 is a throwback to a throwback, only this time vampires aren’t nearly as scarce in pop culture as they were 26 years ago. If you seek their sparkly monument, look around you.

As in the original, recovering dork Charley (Anton Yelchin) becomes suspicious of the new next-door neighbor, Jerry (Colin Farrell), a charmer who works nights and sleeps days. Stepping into Chris Sarandon’s suave shoes, Farrell gives Jerry an additional rough-and-tumble, working-class sexiness that’s plausibly catnip to the (hetero) ladies and alluring to the guys he meets, too. (When a couple of cops stop by Jerry’s house to investigate a scream, a laughing Jerry puts them at ease immediately.) Jerry reads as a good guy, so when Charley starts pegging him as a vampire, it makes sense that nobody believes him. There’s some subtext involving Charley’s sexual jealousy of Jerry: Charley’s girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) is hot to trot, but he’s too nervous to appease her. Jerry definitely wouldn’t be too nervous.

Fright Night will not survive parking-lot logic, wherein on the way to the car you begin to trip over the plot holes, such as a house blowing up and nobody seeming to notice, or various teenagers disappearing and nobody really noticing that, either, except for geeky Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who himself disappears fairly early on and nobody really notices. Has Jerry darkly enchanted everyone’s minds? The Roddy McDowall analog here is David Tennant, unrecognizable until he peels off his Criss Angel get-up, as a cheeseball Vegas magician conversant with the supernatural. Tennant is up for a good cynical performance, until the script dumps a backstory on him that kind of kills his arc. He’s supposed to be a fake who finds out that vampires are quite real, but instead he’s a fake who knows all along that vampires are real? I couldn’t grab onto who he was supposed to be.

Still, some of the movie is reasonably amusing — there’s a nice Children of Men homage set inside a speeding car — and director Craig Gillespie, whose previous film was the quirky indie comedy-drama Lars and the Real Girl, gives some real attention to human interaction (and vampire/human interaction). I get the feeling he wanted to make a classical vampire flick about repression, and some of it resonates nicely. (There’s even a quick shot at David Tennant’s lack of staying power in bed.) Everyone in the film has a weird, frustrated angle on sex except Jerry, who represents casually, carnally taking what you want when you want it. Only a metaphorical rapist like Jerry can be truly sexually fulfilled; everyone else is too human, too awkward, to let loose and get it on.

The movie was filmed in 3D — the extra dimension wasn’t added later, as in Thor and Captain America — and, as usual, it looks best when suggesting depth. Not a lot pokes out at us, though the sparks that emanate from dying vampires float lazily and rather beautifully out into the theater, like fireflies saying hi. Some scenes, especially an early one inside a missing kid’s darkened house, will get the audience squinting to make out what’s happening (in that case, not much). Various implements of vampire-slaying do invade our space now and again, and blobs of blood and billows of fire.

But for the most part, there was no compelling reason for "Fright Night" to require special glasses. Have fun trying to find a theater showing it in plain ol’ 2D, though.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=21015&reviewer=416
originally posted: 08/21/11 17:12:22
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User Comments

2/20/17 morris campbell not that bad the original is better though 4 stars
6/29/14 Aleksandra Alimpic is cool 5 stars
7/28/12 cr a cool remake with enough scares and laughs for any horror fan. 4 stars
5/24/12 Nancy Silly but I couldn't stop watching it (waited for it to be on MovieCentral tho) 3 stars
9/16/11 Frances Brilliant! 7 times. 5 US and 2 UK. Primarily Tennant;Cast, score Fantastic. 5 stars
9/08/11 Bob Dog Enuf humor for a non-horror fan like me! 5 stars
9/07/11 Todd Teghtmeyer Better than I thought it would be 4 stars
9/03/11 johnny cage one of the better horror films i've seen lately 4 stars
9/02/11 Doubter Wow...rarely have I read so many planted reviews in the comments. Lame film. 1 stars
8/24/11 Judy Loved it!! Love Colin Farrell- sexy hunk!! 4 stars
8/22/11 Jary Saw it yesterday. Did I really need to pay the extra $$ for 3D glasses? Waste of time & $ 1 stars
8/21/11 Kristy Loved it! Thought it stayed true to the funny/campy/horror movie the origional was! 5 stars
8/21/11 Jennifer Rogers I loved it, Colin is sexy, but I love the original as well! Great film 5 stars
8/21/11 Buffy Winchester AWESOME MOVIE!! Colin Farrell was Amazing and Hot and Sexy!!! 5 stars
8/21/11 Meg Morris Enjoyed it; few slow parts but good blend of comedy gore and a hot Colin Farrell 4 stars
8/21/11 Holly Really enjoyed it. Tennant was superb, as always. Everyone perfectly cast. Will see again. 5 stars
8/21/11 Alizarin Rose David Tennant was brilliant, the movie was fantastic! 5 stars
8/21/11 Melissa better than expected. Great dark movie, but still love the classic. 5 stars
8/20/11 Maat g What a great remake,a type of movie you would go see it a few times 5 stars
8/20/11 Will Thought this was the best horror remake since dawn of the dead, good mix of horror + comedy 5 stars
8/20/11 Daniel David Tennant stole the show...Brilliant! Just Brilliant! 4 stars
8/20/11 Rachel Decent, funny and scary mixed well...better than I expected! 4 stars
8/20/11 Victoria I didnt like it. Very slow, my friend and I thought Colin Farrell was very hot though!!! 2 stars
8/20/11 Karolyn D. Tennant & Colin Farrel rock the screen. A Must-see! 5 stars
8/20/11 Jordan I expected it to be good, but it was absolutely brilliant. Great justice to the original. 5 stars
8/20/11 tara spencer a for special fx--liked sarandon and mcdowell better 3 stars
8/20/11 charlie burns a+ for gore, a+ for acting, hot girls, wife loved colin farrell 5 stars
8/20/11 brad slow long and dry 2 stars
8/18/11 Kim Kelly Could use tighter editing but had its funny moments, Tennant was hilarious 3 stars
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  19-Aug-2011 (R)
  DVD: 13-Dec-2011


  DVD: 13-Dec-2011

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