Category Archives: review

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love (some of) the Remakes: Fright Night (2011) Review

I should probably start this review with a disclaimer: I generally don’t like remakes.  Not that there’s anything wrong with them per se. Taking great stories and giving them a unique spin can lead to great results. But, as a rule, I’d rather see all that talent, money and artistry going to make something new.

Some exceptions to that rule: John carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ (never saw 2011’s prequel/remake), (in a non action-horror way) 2012’s 21 Jump Street and 2011’s Fright Night. In all of these cases; smart ,passionate screen writers and movie makers borrowed brand recognition in order to work with budgets and scales that might otherwise have been unavailable. 

Fright Night isn’t something new in terms of plot: A Vampire moves into town, after initial disbelief the hero realizes that he and only he can deal with this as his love interest is put into danger.  But even if you’ve heard this particular one before, it’s how they fit all the pieces together, it’s the ‘telling’ that makes it all work so beautifully.

First off, Colin Ferrel does a first rate job as the embodiment of suave menace as ‘Jerry.’ In what is either a conscious or fortuitous nod to the original ‘Dracula’ this is a monster who is more ‘manly’ than any of the protagonists, who’s emasculates lesser males as he threatens to turn them into cuckolds.

More to the point though, I love this movie because of all the little touches. The visuals serve the story, the artificiality of the Vegas suburb making for a great (and unique setting). A character using his cell phone to google how to pick a lock, a vampire lighting a house on fire because they won’t invite him in, and perhaps the only ‘No reception!’ scene in recent memory that didn’t make me want to smash my television.  This is the kind of movie where characters do what you’re always screaming at them to: like assaulting a vampire nest at Dawn (not, you know,dusk) and smashing out the windows of the house to let more light in or the mother character chooses to believe her son -even if he has been acting strangely- over the total stranger that moved in next door.

Because of moments like these, the tension actually works in this film which is perhaps even more impressive considering how funny the film can be.  They don’t act stupidly (within reason) and as such you believe in them and you believe in their peril.  So every moment of tension is earned. 

I highly recommend checking out Fright Night if you get a chance, it’s well worth your time.