Movie #28: Fright Night

When charming, mysterious bad boy Jerry (Colin Farrell was born for roles like these) moves into a sleepy Las Vegas neighbourhood on the outskirts of town, some people start to wonder what he’s up to. He’s living next to Charley (played with bashful heroism by Anton Yelchin) and his mom (played by the slightly-too-young-to-be-his-mom Toni Colette), but Charley’s former-best-friend Ed (from before Charley had outgrown his dweebishness) thinks that Jerry is kind of — how you say — undead. Of course, we are all a little suspicious as well, until [spoiler alert, but not really because it happens pretty early in the movie — and you have seen that photo above, right?] Jerry kills and feeds on poor, dweebish Ed (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse from Kick-Ass and Superbad). Once Charley catches on, he seeks the advice of a Criss-Angel-type, goth-y TV personality named Peter Vincent (played by David Tennant much like he played The Doctor but much less powerful, a bit less clever, and a bit more douchey) on how to commit neighbourcide when his neighbour is a vampire. There is a lot of suspense in this movie, but it’s really more look-around-the-corner type tension. The plot is pretty straightforward since Jerry’s endgame is not particularly sophisticated. He’s just content feeding on neighbours (turning the occasional ones as well), but he really gets a mad-on for Charley and his family (including his pretty girlfriend Amy) when Charley starts snooping around. Not having seen the original Fright Night movie, I wasn’t sure if this was supposed to be a funny horror, or a serious one. Let me tell you that I laughed a little and I gasped a little. While the events of the movie are straightforward, there is definitely a sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek tone in the dialogue. That shouldn’t be a surprise, since the screenplay was written by Marti Noxon, one of the writers on Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel TV series. Yelchin, does a good job, as does Farrell, but they are not exactly stretching far beyond themselves here (at least not without CGI). By no means is this an innovative, unpredictable, twisty, genre-mashing horror send-up like some similar recent movies but it’s still a pretty fun (not to mention tense) classic drive-in-style film that’ll probably make you jump in your sofa a few times. Plus, if you (like me) have missed watching David Tennant strut his stuff on screen, you’ll want to see him in this (Hey, he has mascara on!). Even in the over-saturated, played-out sub-genre of vampire films, it’s nice to get back to basics (4 out of 5)

28 down, 22 to go!


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