Fright Night (2011)

Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) has a new neighbour; a night owl with very literal boundary issues. When cornered by his ex-friend and one-time fellow dresser upper, Ed Lee (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Charley is forced to consider that the strange disappearances slowly robbing his school of pupils might in fact be the handiwork of his potentially vampiric neighbour. With Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell) on to him, and alleged vampire expert Peter Vincent (David Tennant) proving less helpful than hoped, Charley must stake-up if he is to protect his mother (Toni Collette) and girlfriend (Imogen Poots) from almost certain undeath.

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I freakin’ LOVE Buffy the Vampire Slayer; you might even say I’m a bit of a Buffy buff, if you’re one of those people anyway. It seems Craig Gillespie does too. Having never actually seen the original Fright Night, then (eh, what are you going to do?), I am going to pad out the next paragraph with the few potentially arbitrary comparisons I can make.

Now, I realise that if we do ever see a Buffy movie it will most likely be a Godless, Whedon-less affair courtesy of  the Kuzui heathens, but a part of me nevertheless refuses to surrender the dwindling hope that I will see a smart, good-humoured vampire flick on the big screen. Who knew that what I was actually waiting for was not Sarah Michelle Gellar’s long overdue comeback (come on, we both know Ringer‘s never going to take off), but the decidedly less blonde spectacle of McLovin the Vampire Slayer.

As a self-confessed Christopher Mintz-Plasse hater (hater might be a bit strong actually, let’s say ‘not-getter’), I was as surprised as anyone when I found myself strangely allured by the prospect of seeing Kick-Ass‘ Red Mist wielding a stake. In a film that boasts a hugely bearable Mintz-Plasse, Gillespie could have been forgiven giving himself a good old pat on the back and having a nice, long rest on his laurels. But no, Fright Night has almost too much going for it, with a winning sense of self-awareness poking fun at everything from Twilight to more traditional, archaic vampire lore, while also being an accomplished and hugely engaging genre film in its own right. Take a bow, Ms. Marti Noxon – I knew that Buffy talk was going somewhere.

Anton Yelchin is fantastic as the ex-geek, troubled teenager-turned vampire hunter, bringing the same intensity with which he rather admirably saved Terminator Salvation from old mardy pants to the role of Charlie Brewster. Mum Toni Collette and love interest Imogen Poots provide admiral support, but the real praise should go out to Colin Farrell and David Tennant, who ham it up beautifully as infamous vampire and celebrity weirdo respectively. In sacrificing sobriety for a sense of joviality, all involved have ensured that Fright Night escapes any bad-will currently felt towards the genre, simultaneously distancing it from the less sardonic original. Or so I’m told.

With a great script, some brilliant performances, a good few dustings and some effective 3D, Fright Night is an absolute delight. A welcome dose of vampire slaying and a genuine, ostensible, bona fidely decent remake, this might be as anti-Let The Right One In as it is the anti-Twilight, but it is a balance that nevertheless works magnificently.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

One Response to Fright Night (2011)

  1. Pingback: September 2011 – What, there are no good sharks? « popcornaddict

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