Horrorfest 2017 Presents: Fright Night (2011, Craig Gillespie)


Hear me out on this: I like the original Fright Night a lot. It is one of the quintessential horror movies of the 1980s, and a very wonderful original vampire movie. Despite this I still slightly, ever so slightly, prefer the remake. Usually folks are aghast when you tell them you think a remake is better than the original, even when there are a good number of remakes that are easily better and some are among the best movies ever made. I now know how a certain Mail Girl on a certain streaming site feels when she admits that she prefers the remake. The modern Fright Night though is just as creepy and eerie as the original, and I really dug some of the changes they made which thankfully resulted in a movie that isn’t just a paint by the numbers flick only with a modern finish.

The cast for this helps a lot, as the late Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette, David Tennant and Imogen Poots form the main cast. It also helps that Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Dave Franco also show up, although Franco isn’t given a major part and Mintz-Plasse unfortunately disappears for a good chunk of the movie. Craig Gillespie decided to make Farrell more as a sleek monster vampire who charms every one else around Yelchin’s Charley while threatening the young man and giving him one warning before deciding to wreck his life. The fears of suburbia hiding awful things manifests itself again in the remake, and I really dig how this movie was shot in terms of color schemes and the feeling that night was always present or just around the corner.

Plus David Tennant is utterly hilarious in this movie as Peter Vincent, and he almost steals the movie right out from under Farrell. It helped to cast an excellent actress and horror veteran in Collette as Charley’s mom, and Poots is actually pretty good in the thankless supportive girlfriend role. Despite being really cheesy at times and lacking some of the elements that made the original so effective, this is a pretty good remake and definitely is one I would like to watch again. I also need to track down the 1980s sequel to the original and create my own marathon featuring all three movies.

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