While not as fun or inspired as the original 1985 cult classic, the updated and revamped Fright Night has just enough dark humor, horror, and cool 3D effects to keep both fans of the Tom Holland original and newcomers entertained well into the night. I’m a huge fan of the original film, as it was a part of my childhood along with many other wild movies of the 80s. The remake manages to capture some of the dark humor and teenage angst while updating certain elements to help make it more accessible for those that may not as familiar with the ‘vampire next door’ concept.
I’ll let fellow reviewer Chris Pandolfi share his thoughts from his theatrical review, while the whole thing can be read HERE:
“The standout performance of the original film was Roddy McDowell, a washed up horror movie star turned host of the late night creature feature show. In this version, Farrell is the one who brings it to the table, which is only fitting since he’s the one playing the evil vampire. Credit also to Yelchin, who was wise to play it straight, and to Plasse, whose take on “Evil” Ed is infinitely less annoying than that of Stephen Geoffreys. Given the innately unexceptional nature of the story, all the actors do about as well as they possibly can. Fright Night was directed by Craig Gillespie, who wowed me in 2007 with his brilliant debut film Lars and the Real Girl. The two films are not comparable, but that’s beside the point; Gillespie has proven that, in addition to compelling character studies, he can make gory horror comedies that give audiences license to have a little fun.”
For the most part, I enjoyed this new Fright Night, but Not every change is for the better. Mainly with some of the cheesy, low-quality special effects. I could easily tell most were made with CG, and it shows up badly in some parts where more practical effects (as in the original) would have been more effective. It also would’ve been nice if David Tennant had more screen time than what he’s given here in his update of Roddy McDowall’s classic role, as he was easily the coolest thing about this movie for me. Fans should look for his hysterical ‘outtakes’ within the special features and dream how much funnier his take on Peter Vincent could have been.
At least Touchstone Home Video did a great job with the film’s transfer over to Blu-ray. Everything shows up brilliantly, even the darker parts filmed in at night (a rarity in HD transfers). This in turn helps some of the cooler 3D effects show up better, with a lot of them putting you right in the middle of the action, such as the part when the main characters try to run over the vampire with their car while being shown from a rear perspective. The 7.1 DTS-HD audio also help put you in the middle of the things, as you’ll hear every scream and blood drop perfectly.
Sadly, the special features aren’t as fang-tastic as I would’ve hoped. There’s five deleted/extended scenes that easily show why they were cut, while “Peter Vincent: Come Swim in My Mind” gives viewers a brief expansion of David Tennant’s Peter Vincent’s weird stage show that’s shown in the film. The best of the extras were the short, but funny blooper reel, and the weird “Squid Man: Uncut and Extended” home movie that was briefly shown in the movie. Rounding out the extra is a video for Kid Cudi’s “No One Believes Me”.
While it might not be as fun or clever as the 1985 original, this updated Fright Night still has more than enough dark humor and vampire chills to keep things interesting. The whole cast, from Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, all do great work here, though I wish that David Tennant was given more to work with. The 3D is effective and the picture quality is razor-sharp, and while the special features aren’t much, look for Tennant stealing the show with his own hysterical set of ‘outtakes’ that are funnier than anything in the film. If you’re looking to add some new blood to your 3D Blu-ray collection, give Fright Night 2011 a bite. It’s sure to give you and some buddies something to sink your teeth into.
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