Fright Night (2011) Movie Review

The first time I saw a horror movie I was four years old and it was The Shining on TV.  It was in the midst of a family gathering, with a lot of relatives in the room, but they were too wrapped up with each other to notice what I was watching.  For three years I had nightmares that those two girls were chasing me around that grand hotel.  The first horror movie I watched by purposeful choice, was the fifth installment of Nightmare on Elm Street, entitled, The Dream Child.  I was eight.  I went on a horror-movie-watching binge shortly after that up until I was 12.  I was obsessed, and I watched a lot of bizarre, poorly-made crap.  I became very desensitized, and it became very hard to scare me, especially since a lot of horror movies seemed to be spoofing and parodying themselves.  They quickly became a joke to me at a very young age.

I don’t like the original Fright Night from ’85.  It’s way too lame and cheesy for me – too quintessentially 80s – but I can honestly say that, as a thriller, the 2011 remake is, indeed, a great movie.  It’s the perfect date movie, too.  I saw it in the theatre last summer and my girlfriend kept squeezing my right hand really hard almost every time something startling would happen, especially if it was done by Colin Farrel, who is magnificent in it.  He nailed that role as hard as a lot of guys would like to nail Imogen Poots, who has a fuck-me face that director Craig Gillespie rightly capitalized on.  She plays Amy, the girlfriend of the protagonist, Charley Brewster, played by Anton Yelchin.  She bleeds the role of a very cute and delicate female that screams to be rescued from just about any trauma whatsoever, no matter how small, let alone a ruggedly handsome, monstrous vampire that her awkward, geeky boyfriend happens to live next door to, and whose lonely mother (played by the very hot Toni Collette) is aching to pound.

It’s a very fast-paced horror movie, which starts off with a frightening action scene, and it isn’t much longer before the thrilling starts up again.  Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Fogell in Superbad)plays Yelchin’s friend (or former friend, depending on how you look at it) in the movie, who tries to warn him that a 21st-Century version of a Count-Dracula type is living next door, but, of course, he doesn’t believe him.  Mintz-Plasse’s character, Ed, then gets turned by Jerry the vampire, whose eyes always go black right before feeding from his victims’ necks.  Very cool!  And, yes, Ferrel’s name in the movie is Jerry (which, by the way, is poked fun at in the movie itself) – Jerry the bad-ass, scary-as-fuck vampire, who has survived for four-hundred years, and wants to create a new tribe of vampire converts to join him in his conquest of overtaking the suburbs of Las Vegas, then the rest of the Americas, and possibly even the world.  As ridiculous as it may sound, they make it work.  Not an easy feat, but they do; mainly, I think, because they don’t spend much time on that aspect of it at all, and save it till the near-end to be explained.

David Tennant’s character, Peter Vincent, the overblown, stuck-up, pompous British stereotype of a self-absorbed, successful showman, narcissist and phony, is quite funny, and ends up being Charley’s tag-along.  He owns a wide collection of priceless vampire, werewolf and Christian artifacts that are, of course, put to use.  He’s a spoiled-rotten, vain, egocentric millionaire, and is Charley’s only hope in being able to put an end to the pale-skinned, very hungry, demonic bully next door.  Everything is put to use:  sunlight, crosses, stakes, garlic, holy water, you name it.  The Christian myth is as real in this movie as the myth of vampires itself, and I like that kind of mockery.  I came to the conclusion a long time ago that every vampire movie I’ve ever seen is about Christianity:  “Let us suck the life right out of you, and in return you shall be granted immortality.”  Then you get converted and feel compelled to go around doing the same thing to others.  How quaint.

I give this flick 4 stars out of 5.  It loses points for some of the lame, high-school humour.  As for the 3D, it’s still the best I’ve seen so far – after Avatar, of course.  Most of the 3D that I see out there is worthless, and isn’t worth the extra cash.  It was here, though.  Gillespie and his crew did a great job of harnessing it, so bravo to them.  It made it worth seeing in the theatre, which is a rarity, I think.  Some really great action scenes and special affects, to be sure!  Plus, there’s nothing quite as classic as McLovin’ play an angst-ridden, indignant vampire.  Gold, Jerry…GOLD!