Best Movies of All Time + Toni Collette



"That is a terrible vampire name. Jerry?
-- Charley Brewster
Fright Night is a 2011 horror film directed by Craig Gillespie that serves as a remake of the 1985 film of the same name. When a number of people start to disappear from their small-town community outside the Las Vegas Strip, Charley Brewster's (Anton Yelchin) estranged best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) makes a stunning accusation: he claims that Charley's new neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell) is actually a vampire. Charley doesn't believe him, however, but after Ed mysteriously disappears as well, he starts to get a little suspicious. After a little while, it starts to seem as though Jerry is targeting Charley's mother (Toni Collette) and girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) as his next victims. As a result, Charley seeks out the help of an apparent professional vampire slayer named Peter Vincent (David Tennant), who hosts his own theatrical show at one of the casinos on the Strip. Jerry's advances soon become more and more dangerous, and Charley desperately seeks the answer to stopping this menace before it's too late.

As some of you may now, I wasn't a huge fan of the original Fright Night. I thought it was good, but there were definitely some glaring flaws. To be honest, the only reason I watched it was in preparation for the remake's release because I like to see original films before seeing their re-imaginings. That being said, there's quite a bit of throwback to the original film in this particular remake. While a lot of the storyline has been changed (i.e., Charley is no longer the teen obsessed with the occult; Vincent is a young man; etc.), there's definitely enough to constitute this as a remake rather than a complete re-imagining. For example, Jerry is still a hyper-sexualized vampire, whose bloodlust places the emphasis on lust. I could go on and on with the comparisons, but I'll leave that for another time.

One thing that I liked about both films is that they delve into the historical mythology concerning vampires. Rather than having something like those "vampires" in the Twilight films, we actually get a look at vampires how they should probably be portrayed. They're able to be killed with a stake through the heart. They can't go out into sunlight. They have to be invited into a home before entering. It's refreshing to see that a film can apply these age-old myths and still make them relevant and believable. At the same time, however, this remake gives Jerry the chance to be a little edgier and more savvy to the 21st century. He's been around for so long that he's found loopholes in his restriction, making him all the more demonic a foe.

Let's talk about the acting for a little bit. Yelchin does just fine as the film's lead, bringing his usual self to the screen. I've seen him bring more entertaining roles before, but he's serviceable for this type of film. To be fair, he's not given a ton with which to work, so what we get works. Farrell does a great job with his role. In fact, I think he did a little bit better than I expected. You get the sense throughout the film that he had a ton of fun making this movie. I love when an actor's enjoyment conveys to the screen, and it's no different this time with Farrell's performance. He has a couple of scenes that are truly fantastic, so if there's any reason to see Fright Night, it's him. The rest of the cast fills out quite nicely, with Collette, Poots and Mintz-Plasse giving decent performances. Tennant is good for a number of laughs as well.

Overall, there isn't anything truly spectacular about Fright Night, but I personally think it's an improvement over the original 1985 film. While it doesn't offer a ton of scares, there's definitely some good suspenseful moments, and the laughs are pretty consistent throughout. Still, I wouldn't say that this remake is a must-see. If you're a fan of the original film, I'd say give this one a go, if only for the references to its predecessor. Who knows - maybe you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

Movie Review Summary
Grade: B-
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2011, Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Colin Farrell, comedy, Craig Gillespie, David Tennant, Fright Night, horror, Imogen Poots, movie review, remake, and more:

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