Viewed – 23 February 2012 Blu-ray
I was a big fan of the original Fright Night, which if I am correct starred William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon and the late Roddy McDowall. It was a great concept, that of a kid who is obsessed with a TV show hosted by vampire hunter Peter Vincent (McDowell) and then finds out his new neighbour is a vampire. So naturally, as with Hollywood’s growing trend for remaking classic horror movies of late, we come to this … and to be honest, I quite liked the idea of revisiting these characters.
Anton Yelchin plays school kid Charley Brewster, currently dating the hot girl and leaving his nerdy past behind him, by ignoring former best friend Ed (the wonderful Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who is convinced that Charley’s new next door neighbour Gerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire. Of course this turns out to be true, and before long Charley is turning to renowned magician and vampire expert Peter Vincent (David Tennant) for help. This sticks fairly close to the original story (no shock as its penned by Tom Holland, who wrote the original) but deviates in several areas, perhaps to make it more up to date by having Peter Vincent as a Vegas magician than a TV show host, and by having the character of Ed the paranoid vampire obsessive. Charley is portrayed somewhat more heroic than in the past, which surprised me, as this pretty much makes David Tennant’s character pointless, who as a result seemed mostly in the way. Thankfully Farrell delivers the goods as charismatic vampire Gerry, and although much of his actions are a little stupid (such as killing two teen guys in a car in the middle of the neighbourhood) and with no actual depth (he’s a vampire – that’s it), he still made for a great villain down to pure screen-presence. Christopher Mintz-Plasse naturally steals the show every time he appears, and he continues to be one of my favourite young comedy actors. I didn’t like how quickly Gerry was accused of being a vampire though, and a throwaway line connecting him to Peter Vincent was clearly tacked on. Thankfully such shortcomings are masked well with quality vampire effects, lots of blood and several memorable lines (watch out for the reference to Ebay).
Overall then, this was an enjoyable ‘tribute’ to one of the best horror movies of the 80s, and even if the script has its limitations and some of the casting doesn’t exactly nail it – I still had a good time.
Verdict: 3 /5