Fright Night * *
Director: Craig Gillespie.
Screenplay: Marti Noxon.
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant, Toni Collette, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Imogen Poots, Dave Franco, Chris Sarandon.
Yet another horror remake comes our way with this modern take on the 1985 original. Really though, all this latest one delivers is the use of CGI that wasn’t available in the 80’s. Added to which, the special effects from the original were actually rather good, so ultimately, this is no improvement whatsoever.
Charley Brewster’s (Anton Yelchin) teenage life is going pretty well. He has a good relationship with his mother Jane (Toni Collette); He’s dating the gorgeous Amy (Imogen Poots), albeit at the expense of losing his geeky friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), and is about to finish high school. But then he begins to suspect that new neighbour Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire and enlists the help of ‘vampire slayer’ Peter Vincent (David Tennant), to protect himself and loved ones.
Having the claustrophobic American suburbia as your setting, while sinister things are going on, is normally a winning concoction. It certainly looks this way, when we are introduced to our characters from the get go. However, we kind of know where the story is supposed to be heading yet it takes an age to get there. Too much time is spent on yapping and not enough on biting. It’s no big secret that Farrell is the bloodsucking villain of the show but it seems to waste a lot of time reminding you of this, instead of letting his fangs loose. Like the original, the mixture of humour and horror is competently handled (most notably from Mintz-Plasse doing his “Superbad” schtick and Tennant in the mould of a leather clad, ball scratching Russell Brand) and the film does deliver some dark and threatening moments. Overall though, it’s a bit stop and start and has far too many lulls to fully grip. The performances are what (almost) keep the film’s life from draining away. Farrell makes for an intriguing, brooding vampire, seemingly, relishing the role and Tennant adds some much needed zest to the proceedings. Wasting the talents of the wonderful Toni Collette is unforgivable though.
Ultimately, it’s a lacklustre affair that should appeal mainly to the “Twilight” generation of spotty-faced youths. There may be some biting involved here, but really, there’s nothing to chew on.