I’ve had this film on my to watch list for quite some time. The main reason I’ve been putting it off, is frankly that I love the original and I’m not a fan of Colin Ferrell. The only film that comes to mind of films I thought he was good in is Crazy Heart, well and Daredevil. My dislike of his acting is profound I never even tried to look further into this film after learning he was in it, which is basically the first thing you learn about it. Though after I started it, I realized that Anton Yelchin (God rest his soul) stars and David Tennant was also in it. Those two more than make up for the blandness I find in Colin Ferrell.
Fright Night is basically just a semi retelling of its predecessor. Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is a high school senior that just trying to make it through the new year have traded up in social standing. Now friends with popular kids and dating Amy (Imogen Poots), the films resident hot girl. When his childhood friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) uses embarrassing footage along with secrets from their childhood making Charley check in on a missing friend of theirs with him after school. When Charley arrives at the friend’s house they find no one home. Ed confesses that he and their missing friend have been tracking disappearances and murders and believe it to be the work of his new neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell), who happens to be a vampire. Charley not believing Ed leaves after the two have a heated falling out. On his way home Ed is attacked by Mark (Dave Franco), one of Charley’s new friends and resident bully. After narrowly escaping Mark, Ed is attacked by Jerry. Who attacks and turns Ed. After Ed doesn’t come to school the next day Charley gets suspicious and goes to check on him at home. While searching through Ed’s room, he comes across evidence that makes him believe that maybe Ed was telling the truth. When he returns home, he encounters Jerry who claims to need of beer since he’s invited over a lady for drinks. But forgot the drinks. Charley gives him the beer in the fridge, but doesn’t invite Jerry in and notices that Jerry is unable to cross the threshold of his home. That night he hears a woman scream from Jerry’s house and calls the police, who arrive and do nothing. So, he does the logical thing and sneaks in, finds his latest female victim and sneaks her out of the house. Only for her to explode into ash when she hits daylight. Armed with this new information Charley goes to Peter Vincent (David Tennant), stage magician and known vampire enthusiast. Though not believing in Charley’s story has him thrown from his suite. When he returns home Jerry is waiting and lays siege to his home, with his mother Jane (Toni Collette) and Amy inside. After repeatedly refusing to invite him in Jerry burns down the house, forcing them to flee into the desert where he pursues them…
My favorite part of Fright Night is Anton Yelchin. This is due to him playing Odd Thomas, so throughout the film I just kept seeing him as Odd Thomas. Which made the film much more enjoyable and still somewhat fitting. Once again Anton Yelchin did an amazing job. Though his character does come off as a douche, especially where his willingness to ditch a childhood friend from social status is concerned.
David Tennant was by far the funniest and most enjoyable character to watch. Though that is no surprise. Once his character really gets involved in the film third act and his backstory is reviled is where his character really shines.
The vampire effects were… ok. This is due to me really missing the practical effects of the original as the CGI effects here looked silly. Even only a mere five years after it’s release where the effects from the original still hold up. But once I was able to get past that the effects served their purpose, but aren’t worthy of any kind of praise.
Final thoughts, it was good with some genuinely funny moments. The best being the cameo by Chris Saradon, which honestly made me smile. Though I would never recommend this film over its namesake and would only suggest to those who might feel the 1985 version too dated for their taste. 6.5/10