Grizzly Review: Fright Night (2011)

Being such an uber fan of the 80’s classic that was the original Fright Night, I went into this one with excitement and apprehension. Were they going to do something completely different than the original or stick to the same thing? Luckily they did a little bit of both. They changed a few things, but gave plenty of nods to the original and what they did change was actually pretty cool.

So we start off with pretty much the same premise as the original Fright Night. There’s a young kid named Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin) who lives with his mom (Toni Collette), has a girlfriend and all of the normal teenage problems you would expect. Luckily that’s where the remake changes things up a bit. The relationship between Charlie and Ed was different, as they were nerds-in-arms in the past, but now Charlie is one of the “cool guys” who won’t talk to Ed to maintain his status. I was pretty surprised at how fast they jumped into the “he’s a vampire” mode, but it didn’t kill the movie for me. It’s not long before Charlie is suspecting that there’s something more going on with his new neighbor Jerry than meets the eye.

I never thought that Chris Sarandon could be replaced as the smooth talking, hooker slaying vampire from the original, but Colin Farrell really took that role and ran with it. He was excellent as the vampire lord, looking like he had a ball playing the part the whole movie. Chris Sarandon had a great cameo in the movie that made me grin ear to ear and it’ll be easy enough for you fans of the original to catch, trust me.

Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots did fine as Charlie and Amy respectively in the movie. They may not have been the most interesting characters in the flick, but I didn’t hate them either. Yelchin is great in pretty much everything up to this point, such as Kyle Reese in the most recent Terminator and Chekov in Star Trek which we’ll see more of in the next year or so. Christopher Mintz-Plasse played “Evil” Ed perfect, compared to his annoying counterpart from the 80’s Stephen Geoffreys. Honestly I’m not sure if Mintz-Plasse can play anything except the dorky outcast kid that he is notoriously famous for since the creation of the Hawaiian organ donor Mc’Lovin in Superbad. Is that a bad thing?

The biggest role that it seemed like the movie kept under wraps until the release of the movie was that of Peter Vincent. We knew that Doctor Who veteran David Tenant would be playing the Las Vegas Illusionist, but other than a couple of publicity pictures there wasn’t much in the way of footage of him. I was skeptical because of how much I adored the Roddy McDowell ‘Peter Vincent’, because there is no way that anyone could replicate that character. Thankfully Tenant took the character and made it his own. At first it seemed like he was channeling Russell Brand, but after about five minutes I began to see he wasn’t as annoying as his fellow countryman. Peter Vincent was definitely a drunken mess to start out, but they pulled out a twist in there that made him have a far more integral part to the story that surpassed the original.

I can’t help but give the movie a 5 out of 5 grizzlies based on what it was, plus I’m a little biased with my love for the original. It was a horror movie that gave me everything I wanted from it and then some, with a bit of humor injected here and there.

It honored the original that it was derived from while still maintaining its own separate identity. I’m definitely disappointed that the movie didn’t fare so well in the box office, limiting its chances for a sequel. Though perhaps based on its modest budget we may still see the continuing adventures of Charlie Brewster and Peter Vincent. And now, check out the awesomeness that is the musical version of the original Fright Night below!

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