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"And I seriously am so angry you think I read Twilight",
This review is from: Fright Night [DVD] (DVD)
I have a confession to make, which will probably get me stoned by an angry mob: I never really liked the original "Fright Night."
Now, I'm not saying that I hated it or that it was bad, but its campy style just didn't appeal to me. So perhaps it's not surprising that -- without nostalgia goggles -- I found myself thoroughly enjoying the remake that eventually got made. And a lot of that is due to Colin Farrell's brilliant performance as a laid-back, casually creepy vampire-next-door.
Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is understandably annoyed when his estranged friend "Evil" Ed Lee (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) claims that his new neighbor Jerry (Farrell) is a vampire. Then Ed vanishes, and Charley discovers -- by breaking into Jerry's basement -- that his new neighbor is indeed a vampire. Unfortunately, Jerry also knows that Charley knows that he's a vampire.
Who can Charlie turn to for help? Why, Doctor Who! No, seriously. David Tennant is in this movie as a leather-clad, foul-mouthed Vegas stage magician who ALSO happens to be a vampire expert. But when Jerry destroys his home and kidnaps his girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots), Charley decides to take the fight to the vampire.
Colin Farrell is a big part of what makes "Fright Night" a good movie -- he acts mellow and laid-back all the time, often chuckling to himself as if the humans' struggles are just an amusement to him. But he never descends into camp cheese. Even ordinary, un-vampirey dialogue is somehow underlaid with menace when he speaks it ("Catch you later!") -- how often do you see a vampire who can sound scary just asking for beer?
It's also really nice to see vampires that aren't misunderstood sad-eyed woobies who just need love. These vampires are vicious, malevolent and apparently possessed by an evil force -- the only moment when you feel sorry for them is when they briefly revert back to their human minds.
In fact, the movie actually reminds me a bit of the classic "Dracula" -- you've got Evil Ed as Lucy, Jerry as Dracula, Amy as Mina, Vincent as Van Helsing and Charley as a composite of all the other male characters. There's lots of tongue-in-cheek dialogue ("Don't do anything I wouldn't do. That doesn't narrow it down. That's like, mini-golf and sushi") and some bloodily hilarious moments (the battle between Evil Ed and Charley).
Biggest problem: the CGI for the vampire faces is pretty horrible.
None of the rest of the cast are QUITE as brilliant as Farrell, but they are all pretty good -- Yelchin is pretty convincing as an ex-nerd who is now trying to be non-"dweeby" enough for his hot girlfriend, and Mintz-Plasse gives a deliciously warped performance as Evil Ed (who seems to have a bit of a crush on Charley). Toni Colette and Poots are also quite good, although Colette's character seems kind of superfluous.
And David Tennant... oh, David Tennant. He completely steals the scene whenever he's onscreen, cussing up a storm and slouching around in very tight leather pants. Not only is he sexy, but he's uproariously funny ("Midori me!").
Normally remakes annoy me, but the remake of "Fright Night" ended up being one of the better vampire movies I've seen -- bloody, funny and weird.