by Jesus Ibarra
Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.
As a remake of the classic horror film, Fright Night doesn’t aim to reboot the original film, but merely update it to our time, and tighten it up considerably to make a fun, horror-comedy about a ruthless vampire moving in as your neighbor.
The basic plot of the film is high school student Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) has to kill the vampire Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell) in order to save himself and those closest to him, with a little help from vampire expert Peter Vincent (David Tennant). There are a couple of twists and some awesome action and suspense sequences that I think make the film extremely convincing that Jerry is not the brooding vampire that just wants someone to love him. And in large part it’s because Colin Farrell plays the sleazebag monster amazingly. Every time he smirks it makes you want to run because you know something bad is about to happen, and Jerry the vampire will probably enjoy it.
David Tennant also gives the best performance of the film as a booze loving, womanizing, foulmouthed stage magician who has a penchant for collecting old things and vampire knowledge. I loved David Tennant before the film because he was the Doctor from Doctor Who, but this performance just confirms what I already knew: the guy is an incredibly talented actor who can do anything. There are a ton of nerd references and little nods to the original as well.
The reason this movie worked is because it found a balance between comedy and horror, and it embraced conventions about horror and vampires. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched a movie with some sort of monster type villain, like ghosts, vampires, demons, or aliens, and it’s like the people in the movie are barely hearing that these things exist and have no point of reference. Therefore, I love it when this film gets meta, and acknowledges that vampires have importance in our pop culture and people know the basic tropes that deal with them. However, the film goes beyond those conventions and brings them down. Vampire Jerry can’t get into the house without an invitation, so what does he do, burn it the hell down. It’s sequences like that, and talking about actual books and films that exist, that make this movie good, adding that sense of realism to it. This is a great summer flick that I guarantee you will enjoy.
Fright Night is now playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website.