Not many vampires these days really do it for me. You have all of the leather clad Underworld vampires, glittery hipster vampires from Twilight and not much else these days. It’s a far cry from actual threatening vampire menaces from Blade and 30 Days of Night. But, to find a true Vampire lord that added equal parts terror and douchey charm into the horror mix, then look no further than Mr. Jerry Dandrige from Fright Night.
I’m gonna go ahead and be biased for this one because it’s one of my favorite horror movies of all time. Does it stand the test of time? Hell no. At this point there is nothing appealing about watching Prince Humperdink dancing to an eighties song with Marcy D’Arcy, but it’s still a fun film, with great special effects and an awesome performance from Roddy McDowell as ‘Peter Vincent the Great Vampire Killer’.
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!
Finally! Finally there is a trailer for the reboot of 1985’s vampire tale, Fright Night! With an August 2011 release it certainly took them long enough. The original Fright Night had some pretty cheesy moments to be sure, but Chris Sarandon looked great in his vampire form, and put on a great performance as Jerry Dandridge; the smooth talking vampire next door. Roddy McDowell was more than superb in his role of Peter Vincent the Great Vampire Killer, and his role is now filled by ‘Doctor Who’ star: David Tennant.
Charley Brewster is a regular kid with the normal problems of a teenage life, but his problems only get bigger as his new neighbor Jerry moves in. Due to the urging of his friend Ed and some snooping of his own Charley deduces that Jerry is in fact a vampire. And what’s worse is that Jerry knows that Charley knows… and even more worse no one believes Charley.
Also, you might recognize our hero Charley, played by Anton Yelchin who has made a name for himself the last couple years with roles like Chekov in Star Trek and as a young Kyle Reese in Terminator: Salvation. Kid is up and coming!
I’m thinking that looks pretty damned good. It can’t surpass the original no matter how cheesy it was, but this new one I am looking at as a completely different film, rather than a step by step remake. It looks like a hybrid of Disturbia and The Lost Boys to tell you the truth – and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Colin Farrell looks like he was born to play a vampire and I initially has misgivings with him being cast in the role, but it seems like he is back in demand with Fright Night, Horrible Bosses and the new Total Recall all set to come out in the near future. I was disappointed we weren’t given a glimpse of Tennant as Peter Vincent, but I suppose it’s good to not spoil everything with a trailer. I can even live with Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin’ Fogel) being cast as Evil Ed, because lord knows the original played by Stephen Geoffreys was a bit annoying at times. And Geoffreys has had an interesting filmography since Fright Night (Ahem! Porn!)…
I’m interested to know what all of my fellow Fright Night fans think of the new trailer. Worth seeing or not? I’m pumped for it in a big way, a big reason being that Hollywood has been dropping the ball on Vampires in general since the Twilight craze. True Blood is even hard for me to watch, but it’s a hell of a lot better than Twilight.
Sound off below people!