By Ashley Ohriner
The horror-comedy remake of the 1985 classic “Fright Night” was one of many movies this summer to do little with its 3D format. That aside, the witty dialogue and edge-of-your seat action pick up where the effects fall short.
Charlie Brewster, a teenage boy living in Las Vegas suspects his neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire. When those around him start disappearing, including his quirky, outcast friend Ed, Brewster sets out to destroy the awkwardly named villain.
Don’t be mistaken in thinking the film is just another vampire thriller, though. At one point, Director Craig Gillespie (“Lars and the Real Girl”) and screenwriter Marti Noxon reference The Twilight Saga: New Moon, when Ed jokingly compares Jerry to the lovesick Edward. However, that seems to be about the only thread connecting the two films, aside from sharing cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe.
True to the original, Brewster enlists the help of a vampire killer, Peter Vincent, to help destroy Jerry. This time around, however, Vincent has changed from the gray-haired, anxiety ridden movie star seen in the original to a Las Vegas strip performer who, with his black nail polish and tight leather pants, closely resembles Criss Angel. Coincidence? Didn’t think so.
At the risk of ruining the surprise, those who have seen the original “Fright Night” will notice an appearance by Chris Sarandon, who played Jerry Dandridge in ’85. A short, five minute trip down memory lane sufficiently pays homage to the films’ earlier counterpart.
The casting of Brewster, played by Anton Yelchin (“Alpha Dog”) seems to be the only place where the movie fails. Yelchin has always been a soft-spoken, somewhat awkward actor. In “Fright Night,” however, the audience is left focusing on whoever is next to Yelchin on screen. Perhaps intentional, yet disappointing, one never truly connects with the character. Good thing Farrell, with his effortless, almost eerie presence makes up for Yelchin’s shortcomings. The magnetic actor’s performance alone earns “Fright Night” four out of five stars.
True to the original, yet well modernized, “Fright Night” is the perfect movie to end a summer full of 3D flicks.