Someone get that vampire a tissue
My general reaction to hearing that a movie has been remade is to cringe. I can understand if there has been a long enough time where the story would reach a brand new audience or technology has advanced far enough to greatly improve the movie. Take The Thing from 1982. That's actually a remake from the 1951 film “The Thing From Another World.” Enough time had passed between movies and technology had changed enough to make it even better. Now, though, remakes are being filmed within the same generation with no other reason then to make money, often to the dismay of the fans of the original movie (I'm looking at you, Evil Dead remake). I had this mindset when I watched the 2011 remake of Fright Night.
Fright Night follows Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Terminator:Salvation) as high school student Charley Brewster. Charley's former best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Superbad, Kick Ass) believes that Charley's new neighbor, Jerry (Colin Farrell, Alexander, Crazy Heart) is a vampire. His suspicions are correct and Jerry turns Ed into a vampire. Charley begins to suspect that Ed was right and sneaks into Jerry's house. He finds his neighbor imprisoned in a subbasement and when he helps her get outside, she bursts into flames in the sunlight. Charley warns his mother and girlfriend, Amy, that Jerry is dangerous, but they think he's just playing a joke. Charley seeks out the help of famed magician and vampire expert Peter Vincent (David Tennant, Dr. Who), but he blows Charley off as a crazy fan. Not wanting to risk being found out, Jerry attacks them, injuring his mother. With his conscience getting the better of him, Peter calls Charley and invites him to his place to tell him how to kill a vampire. Charley and Amy are attacked by Ed and Jerry, with Charley dealing the killing blow to his friend. Jerry captures Amy, turns her into a vampire, and takes her back to his house. Will Charley and Peter be able to stop Jerry and rescue Amy?
If you play with fire, you're gunna getOH GOD, MY HAND!!!!
Knowing that this was a remake, I had to make a serious effort to try and forget the original. The story is pretty much the same, with a few changes, such as Peter Vincent now being Chris Angel-like magician instead of the host of a horror-movie show and completely removing Jerry's guardian. That being said, the movie was able to stand on its own. Yelchin does a good job as the former-nerd turned cool kid. He shows good fear and even better strength when fighting Jerry. Collin Farrell is extra creepy in his role. I'd like to see him in more villain roles. David Tennant, though, deserves the most praise. He is absolutely fantastic in his foul-mouthed Chris Angel-meets-Russell Brand magician role. He's a good source of humor and if you ever wanted to see Dr. Who describe the pain of wearing leather pants, you're in for a treat.
Where the original focused a bit more on humor and all-around general 1980's-ness, this version, while humorous, really hits the horror button. It combines the suspenseful elements of Hitchcock's Rear Window with the ass-kicking action of Vampires. Credit goes to Colin Farrell for being creepy and dangerous, even if you take out the supernatural element. The movie has some good CGI effects and a good amount of blood. Nothing too overboard, but just enough to keep you satisfied. The movie has a good pace and it never really feels too long or dragged out.
Suddenly, Daleks are no longer a problem
I'm still wary of remakes, but Fright Night has definitely softened my stance on them. While most are money grabs, and I'm not saying Fright Night wasn't, as least this movie was entertaining. Even though I knew it was a remake, I still enjoyed it, and that says a lot. I hope other remakes can follow in it's footsteps.