Dir: Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, Mr. Woodcock)
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Imogen Poots, David Tennant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Toni Collette
Reason to see: Vampire Films are pretty much always a go, plus the casting is awesome
Going into Fright Night (2011) I was hyped to see a vampire film, but not having seen the original I didn't have much more than that to go on other than hesitation as recent track record for horror remakes have not been. Low and behold, I am happy I took the plunge and dived in as the film is fabulous! It has a great story, charismatic characters and an insightful look at power dynamics and relationships. All of that set in outside-Vegas suburbia, giving it a prime opportunity to play into high school insecurity drama and lots of beautiful people.
The film follows Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin of Star Trek, Terminator Salvation & The Beaver) who is a pretty average guy for all intents and purposes, but gets trapped in between social crowds of his new girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) and trying to avoid his old geek friends including Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse of Kick-Ass), who suspects neighbour Jerry (Colin Farrell of In Bruges, Triage) of being a vampire. I was honestly already sold at the 'possible vampire neighbour Jerry', but as an added bonus we get a complex dynamics of social groups, awkwardness and power dynamics on many levels. I loved the power play in the film which is present at all times, especially between Charley and Jerry, the tense yet subtle negotiation as well as dancing around predator behaviour at every step.
The cast really makes the film a cut above. Anton Yelchin & Colin Farrell play off each other very well in creating the power struggle between their characters, which is something I didn't expect but also adds a great coming of age quality to it. We've actually seen several male coming of age stories in film this year with Stake Land & Bellflower, but those both lost me somewhere and Fright Night kept me in at every moment. Perhaps it's the comedic elements, and considering it's written by 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' veteran Marti Noxon was the magic touch as that show always finessed that beautiful balance between horror, comedy and pop culture. Another huge highlight of the film is David Tennant (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 'Doctor Who') as Vegas illusionist Peter Vincent, whose performance alone is worth seeing the film as he's over the top in all the right ridiculous ways. I also loved that even though it has lots of comedy in it, it still is a true horror film where horrific things happen. I was literally shocked several times during the film, which isn't an easy feat, and they were all true to story or character moments - no pop scare or no cheap shots, but all truly great moments.
Overall it's a great vampire film, horror film and coming of age film and it's got a great sense of humour as sensational performances. Fright Night (2011) will definitely be one of my faves of 2011.
- Bloopers (3 minutes) includes practical goofs & mishaps, flubbed lines, extended reaction shots and lots of brilliant & awkward moments.
- Squid Man – Extended & Uncut (2 Scenes, 3 minutes) Awesome footage home video style of the superhero/role-playing of Adventures of Squid Man, Kid Comeback and Gladiator Boy full on with practical effects and creative editing.
- Kid Cudi Music Video (uncensored version) “No One Believes Me” (5 minutes) movie tie in video set in the tone and setting of the film.
All DVD extras of Bloopers, Kid Cudi Music Video (uncensored version) “No One Believes Me” and Squid Man – Extended & Uncut (noted above) plus:
- Peter Vincent: Swim Inside My Mind
- The Official “How to Make a Funny Vampire Movie” Guide
- Frightful Facts & Terrifying Trivia
- 5 Deleted Scenes with intros by Director Craig Gillepsie (Ride to School; Neighborly; Once A Freak, Always A Freak; Midori & Kerosene; and Back at the Penthouse)
Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll watch it again, repeatedly
I highly recommend it to vampire film fans and horror comedy fans
See also: Fright Night Review on the Movie Moxie Podcast, All 2011 Films Reviewed, All Film Reviews and DVD Reviews
© Shannon Ridler, 2011