I was never much of a fan of the original Fright Night. As a die-hard horror buff, I’ve tried many times to see what everyone else sees in it, yet I always find it boring and pretentious, and the humour to be very dry. Thankfully all of that has been remedied in the new version, and it’s quite possibly one of the best vampire movies ever made.
Charley (Anton Yelchin) is a smart, semi-cool, high school kid living in a desert suburb just outside of the Vegas strip. Although he appears hip, his ex-best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) knows the truth about his geeky past, and threatens to release video of the two of them role-playing if Charley doesn’t help him.
You see, Ed believes Charley’s new neighbour, Jerry (Colin Farrell), is a vampire who has been killing off kids in their school. Charley doesn’t believe Ed and blows him off. Then Ed goes missing and, sure enough, all signs lead to Jerry. Now Charley’s worried and starts spying on Jerry, soon uncovering the truth: Jerry is indeed a bloodsucking vampire.
Now on a mission to protect his mom (Toni Collette) and girlfriend (Imogen Poots), Charley heads to the strip to meet with Peter Vincent (David Tennant), a Chris Angel-type performer who is supposed to know everything there is to know about vampires. Will he help Charley defeat Jerry or will Charley be sucked dry?
The greatest thing about this Fright Night is how well Farrell plays the vampire. He has fun with the role, is effortlessly cool, and downright awesome in the part. While Chris Sarandon felt like a snobby Dracula-type in the original, Farrell lets loose, camps it up for the audience, and it rocks.
Yelchin, Tennant, Collette, and Poots also give great performances that help carry the movie. The only downside to the cast is Mintz-Plasse, who seems to be getting more annoying with each movie he’s in.
Considering director Craig Gillespie’s career consists of the lacklustre comedies Lars and the Real Girl and Mr. Woodcock, and the underwhelming Showtime series The United States of Tara, Fright Night is an amazing step forward for him that is not only better than the original, but is a new classic in its own right.
Cast: Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Directed by: Craig Gillespie
Top image: A scene from Fright Night. Courtesy DreamWorks.