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Fright Night (2011 remake)

The 2011 remake of the 1980s horror-comedy.

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Chekov, the Doctor and McLovin go vampire hunting!

  • Aug 21, 2011

Back when I was a wee lad and the only way to see movies after they left theatres was cable or your VCR, I stumbled across the film Fright Night. It was a bit cheesy, but it was a lot of fun, and I had enjoyed Roddy McDowell ever since I first saw him in Planet of the Apes. It was a film I was deeply fond of, and so I approached word of a remake with great trepidation. Thankfully this movie is at least as good, if not better, than the original.

The story follows Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin who, thankfully, has the good sense to take off his shirt at one point), a high school senior living in Las Vegas who tries to forget his former friendship with a boy named Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Ed is convinced that a vampire (Colin Farrell), has moved in next to Charlie, and the disappearance of their mutual friend Adam has pushed him to the point where he’s nearly in a panic. Charlie initially blows him off, as he’s far more interested in hanging out with his “cool” friends and being around his girlfriend, Amy (Imogen Poots). Then Ed disappears, and Charlie starts to wonder what’s really going on.

I liked this film a lot more than I expected to. Farrell does an excellent job playing Jerry the vampire. He plays as someone who is just a bit “off”, almost like your basic movie serial killer, which technically is what he is. Mintz-Plasse also does a good job with what he’s given, though I wish he’d had a bit more screentime as, frankly, his portrayal of the character isn’t as memorable as that of Stephen Geoffreys (who later turned to doing gay porn. No, really!).

The real star of the show, however, and the one who steals the screen every moment he’s on, is David Tennant (who, yes, fanboys and girls, goes shirtless for large parts of the movie), playing the McDowell role of Peter Vincent. Now instead of being a washed-up actor, he’s a Las Vegas stage magician who pushes a vaguely Criss Angel image. He hams it up considerably, and does a good job of breaking away from his image as the Doctor. Rumor has it that his character is going to be spun-off into his own movie. I really hope that’s the case.

The movie doesn’t bring much that’s new to vampire lore, aside from making the vampires non-sparkly and restoring all the old weaknesses that modern movies seem to want to gloss over. It does occasionally dip into cliche, but it executes the cliches well, and I’ll say this: I’ll never look at a Century 21 sign the same again.

Ultimately this film stands well on its own and is a very good way to end the summer blockbuster season. One last note: this is a physically dark film, with most of the action taking place in dark rooms or at night. Do not see it in 3-D if you actually want to see the movie.

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April 14, 2012
I agree.
November 05, 2011
I did like the remake a lot, but not as much as the original. I thought the original was a lot more fun.
September 01, 2011
Is there another option to the 3-D? Our local is only offering it that way. I was planning to see it tomorrow even though I am a big fan of the original and was looking at some of the changes they had made with fear and loathing. I found large portions of DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK which was NOT in 3-D to be so dark that I could hardly tell what was going on in a few scenes, so hearing this from you concerns me--I'm going to be laying out a lot of money here.
September 01, 2011
Go out of your way to avoid seeing it in 3D. Most of the movie takes places in dark places, and 3D won't do that any favors.
September 02, 2011
There aren't any 2D versions of it in our area. That would seem to leave it as a TV or DVD movie.
August 31, 2011
I am running late with my movie viewing but I need to make time for this just out of curiousity....Thanks!
August 31, 2011
Hahaha, I haven't caught the original, but this one sounds pretty sweet!
More Fright Night (2011 remake) reviews
review by . January 13, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
The Rise of The Vampire Called
When I first heard of the remake of 1985’s horror-cult hit “Fright Night”, I have to admit I wasn’t really skeptical and yet, I really wasn’t that much excited about it either. I mean, the original film was a product of its generation; it had its clever charm to me when I was teen, but it never kept the same charm to me once I’ve gotten older. I was hopeful to have a grittier and darker horror film but deep down, I knew a remake just wouldn’t stray too far …
review by . August 19, 2011
Twenty-six years ago, "Fright Night" premiered in theaters and went on to become a fondly remembered title amongst horror fans. The movie cleverly combined horror and humor to create a fresh take on the vampire and teen horror genres which had started to grow stale. While the movie spawned a largely forgettable direct to video sequel, the original film has remained popular over the years. So, when I first heard that they were planning on remaking the film I was skeptical as I felt it would be very …
review by . December 24, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    I have some fond memories of Tom Holland's "Fright Night" from when I watched it just a few months back; and it's upon those very memories that I built my expectations for the 2011 remake. Having seen the original - which is a classic in vampire cinema -, I came in expecting vampire mythology of both the classic and modern variety, plenty of gore, plenty of special effects, and plenty of style. Can I truly say that, with those expectations set out, I was disappointed? …
review by . August 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         It’s fashionable to bemoan the tragic life of a vampire, as recent films such as Let Me In and the Twilight saga have so clearly demonstrated. In all fairness, they make a valid point: There’s nothing appealing about vampirism, which transfers a desperate need for human blood and bestows the curse of soulless immortality. The interesting thing about Fright Night is that it takes everything we know about this blatantly parasitic lifestyle …
Quick Tip by . December 18, 2011
Not the crappy remake id expectes when i saw the trailer. Aside from one very quick and dumb moment it was very un-twilighty. Peter Vincents character though different from the origional came off looking like a sexy Russel Brand, and though im not a fan of the actor, Evil Ed's character was an improvement over the origional..way less irritating. I liked that the film makers pretty much stuck to having the vampires look the way that they did in the origional instead of just throwing on some canine …
review by . August 21, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Back when I was a wee lad and the only way to see movies after they left theatres was cable or your VCR, I stumbled across the film Fright Night. It was a bit cheesy, but it was a lot of fun, and I had enjoyed Roddy McDowell ever since I first saw him in Planet of the Apes. It was a film I was deeply fond of, and so I approached word of a remake with great trepidation. Thankfully this movie is at least as good, if not better, than the original.    The story follows Charlie Brewster …
Quick Tip by . May 19, 2011
It was inevitable. It seems like lately two things that are sure to happen in Hollywood must be remaking films from the '80s and making films about vampires for teenagers. So, of course, the idea of remaking the classic horror comedy Fright Night was a no-brainer. And that's exactly the impression it gives in the new trailer. The original film was humorous, quirky, and edgy, but it never took itself too seriously. This film on the other hand looks banal and humorless and as if it were emulating …
About the reviewer
C R Swanson ()
Ranked #59
   I'm an aspiring writer and reviewer. I run a blog, I'm working on a novel and spend my free time reading and playing video games. I also spend waaaaay too much time and money on movies. … more
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About this movie


Arriving amid a flurry of dopey sequels and dudes with power tools, 1985's Fright Night came as a welcome blast of fetid air for the horror genre: an affectionate spoof of classic monster movies that also managed to deliver some genuine scares, as well as a pair of top-notch performances by Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowall. The 2011 revamp (apologies for the pun) can't boast the same novelty factor, but it does a surprisingly good job at speaking for itself, just the same. Director Craig Gillespie's film follows the same basic blueprint as the original--high-school kid (Anton Yelchin) suspects that his next-door neighbor (Colin Farrell) may be a Creature of the Night, enlists celebrity (David Tennant) for help--but with a number of smart alterations, particularly the decision to move the setting to the desolate outskirts of Vegas, where unexplained disappearances and nocturnal lifestyles are par for the course. (Kudos to cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe, who gives the nighttime scenes a musty, tangible vibe.) Writer Marti Noxon, a Buffy vet, keeps the dialogue light, while also delivering some sharp insights about the state of today's Twilight-savvy teen. (In perhaps the biggest switch from the original, the barely veiled gay subtext has been replaced with a cautionary tale about outgrowing your friends.) On the debit side, Gillespie and Co. can't always replicate their source material's atomic-clock timing, with a few promising scares undone by ...
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Director: Craig Gillespie
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Release Date: August 19, 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Marti Noxon
Runtime: 120 minutes
Studio: Touchstone Pictures, The Weinstein Company, Dreamworks
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