Hollywood has stumbled into a time period of two very popular things: Vampires and remaking ’80s movies. Thus, it makes perfect sense that the popular movie from 1985, “Fright Night” has been rebooted.
The vampire movie revolves around the story of a teenager who thinks his new neighbor is a vampire but can’t get anyone around him to believe him. Colin Farrell was appointed the role of Jerry Dandridge, the creepy blood-sucking new neighbor, originally played by Chris Sarandon. Anton Yelchin (Hearts of Atlantis) will replace the original’s William Ragsdale as co-starring role Charley Brewster, the teen who suspects Dandridge of his horrid secret.
Charley’s disbelieving mom, originally played by Dorothy Fielding (Kiss Me Goodbye), will be revived by Toni Collette. The vampire hunter, first brought to life by Roddy McDowall (the original Planet of the Apes movies), will be played by David Tennant (Doctor Who). The role of the original’s Stephen Geoffreys’ character, vampire convert Evil Ed, went to Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad). Charley’s love interest Amy, originally Amanda Bearse (All My Children) will be portrayed by Imogen Poots (Solitary Man).
Although the movie that reignited moviegoers lust for vampire movies, “Twilight,” was all about lovey-dovey romance, “Fright Night” is all about scream-inducing bloodshed with some laughable parts thrown in. Director Craig Gillepse uses a screenplay written by Marti Noxon, based on the original story by Tom Holland.
Elizabeth Weitzman, of the New York Daily News, said the movie blends eighties cheesiness with ’90s snark which when combined, works surprisingly well. “Noxon and director Craig Gillespie update the attitude for a post-‘Buffy’ generation, but their remake is generally faithful to the original,” Weitzman writes.
The film sticks tight to the original but contains some alterations that only serve to make the movie better. Kurt Loder, writer for Reason Magazine, noted that Noxon relocated the setting from an anonymous small town to a desert suburb outside of Las Vegas. This allowed her to change the vampire hunter’s real job from TV-horror movie host to big-time illusionist at the Hard Rock casino-hotel.
Loder applauds Yelchin for sidestepping hero clichés of the first movie and underplaying his funniest lines to make them better and he commends Poots for rising above the silly teen-babe conception with a more level-headed attitude. Loder believes Poots banishes all memories of the poor portrayal of Amy in the 1985 movie. Those who loved the original get a nice surprise with a cameo by the original vampire Jerry.
While intending no insult to Sarandon’s portrayal, Loder and other critics comment on a great performance by Farrell. Loder feels that any small flaw in the movie is canceled out by Farrell’s blend of comic enthusiasm with dark and spooky blood-sucker.
According to CBS the film has received unfavorable reviews, but the number of good reviews far outweigh the bad so he concludes that the majority ruling is the new Fright Night: Bloody good.
The 3-D movie hit theaters today with an R-rating for its bloody violence and sexual references.