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Fright Night Is An OK Vampire Flick

Fright Night
Directed by Craig Gillespie
Written by Marti Noxon based on the 1985 film by Tom Holland
Disney, 2011

I’ve never seen Tom Holland’s 1985 film Fright Night, starring the likes of Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowall, so I won’t be in any way comparing this to the original.  Anyway, vampires needed to become more brutal, right?  The abomination that is Twilight has romanced the devil out of the vampire and even shows like True Blood try to de-fang them in many cases.  Who wants to see vampires…not be vampires?  Apparently a lot of you, so I guess I’ll keep wanting.

Fright Night focuses on Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin, who is a decent actor but may be as anonymous as the actor who played Brewster in the original, William Ragsdale is when people remember that movie).  He’s a once-uncool kid who now hangs with popular people and has a smokin’ hot is-she-or-isn’t-she girlfriend Amy (the gorgeous and unfortunately-named Imogen Poots).  He and his mom (Toni Collette) have the kind of bond that occurs when daddy leaves home, they’re almost like best friends.  Then one day, Jerry the Vampire (Colin Ferrell) moves in next door.

Wise to Jerry is Charley’s once-best friend, Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who is still playing some form of McLovin, although it’s doubtful he’s being offered anything else).  Ed tries to warn Charley about Jerry, but their personal rift gets in the way and Charley doesn’t believe him.  Soon though, Charley, with at least the idea in his head, begins to notice strange things about Jerry and starts to believe, and he’s the one who’s crazy trying to convince his mom and could-be girlfriend.

Charley tries to enlist the help of stage illusionist Peter Vincent (David Tennant, the recent Doctor Who), who collects all sorts of things related to vampires and might know how to kill Jerry.  He’s pretty unhelpful, and for a time there I thought the Peter Vincent character was going to be completely worthless.  But he turns out to be a memorable character.

There is a fantastic scene involving Charley breaking into Jerry’s house and trying to help a victim escape.  It’s suspenseful and has a fantastic conclusion.  The vampires in this are brutal and vicious, with all sorts of CGI teeth coming at the screen.  These guys weren’t meant to be lovers.  I enjoyed most of the last half of this movie.  It does, however, take awhile for the movie to get going, and unfortunately the character of Charley isn’t all that interesting.  Ferrell and Tennant are the performers you will remember.  And if you’re a dude, you’re going to fall in love with Imogen Poots.

So overall, this is a fun time at the movies.  I don’t know how it compares to the original, but it works on its own.

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