Guest Blogger: Fright Night Review

Our guest blogger this week is @TimeGeek who is from the USA and has written fans a review of her viewings (yes there have been several!) of Fright Night:
Fright Night: A Horror-Comedy Done Right. Again.
Remake. That’s a dirty word in Hollywood nowadays and one that turns off many a moviegoer, myself included. When a studio announces that they are going to remake a movie, the media and the readers groan & moan about how they will once again take a perfectly good movie and ruin it trying to recapture the glory of the original both onscreen and at the box office. In the end, it all boils down to rehashing old ideas and attempting to once again make a quick buck.
Whenever I first read about a ‘Fright Night’ remake, I was horrified (no pun intended)! This was a great movie from the 1980’s that was going to be dismembered and put back together in some bizarre way because, on a whim, someone thought it would be a good idea. I was ready to roll my eyes and yell, “NEXT!”, when I read the name David Tennant.
Now Tennant is a very intelligent man and while he may have played a silly role or two in the course of his career, he knows a meaty, challenging character when he sees one. His decision alone to take on the role of vampire slayer, Peter Vincent, in the remake of ‘Fright Night’ sold me on this film from day one.
There’s that word again - remake. It certainly does not describe the 2011 version of ‘Fright Night’ because what screenwriter Marti Noxon has managed to do here is not simply retell original screenwriter and director Tom Holland’s story but to reimagine it completely taking the basic elements of the original and whipping out one of the best scripts in Hollywood I’ve seen in years.
The story is still the same: New neighbor moves into boy’s neighborhood, people begin to disappear, he realizes his neighbor is, in fact, a vampire, nobody believes him and he must find a way to take this vampire down. The difference, this time around, is that the story is no longer linear and superficial. Yes, Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) must come face to face with his vampire neighbor, Jerry Dandridge (Colin Farrell) in the end, but his journey there is an emotional one riddled with doubts, guilt and fear.
This time, Charley isn’t the one convinced his neighbor, Jerry, is a vampire - not initially - it’s his friend ‘Evil’ Ed Lee (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who approaches Charley with the idea only to be mocked and turned down. And then, Evil disappears. Thus begins Charley’s quest to find out what’s really going on with his neighbor Jerry.
But the character differences hardly end there. The once reluctant, grandfatherly, late night horror show actor/vampire expert, Peter Vincent (originally played by Roddy McDowall), is now a far younger & very sexy Las Vegas illusionist and vampire expert played by David Tennant. This new Peter Vincent isn’t just fearful for the sake of it; he is downright scared to death of vampires and with good reason! Like Charley, this version of Mr. Vincent has an emotional basis to initially reject any involvement in this vampire nonsense but, eventually, also conquers his fears, doubts and guilt and emerges a true vampire slayer - sort of.
I’m not even going to bother going into detail about the film’s visuals and use of 3D because there is no way to effectively convey in writing the rush of being on a roller coaster ride that this new version of the movie will give you. It may not have the outstanding make-up and animatronic special effects the original film had but director Craig Gillespie’s cinematography and CGI/3D effects are used intelligently and tastefully proving that, in conjunction with a brilliant script, they can be used successfully to produce a damn good film!
The cast of ‘Fright Night’ is top rate. Every single actor does an amazing job with their role. Colin Farrell is just plain creepy as vampire Jerry Dandridge, Anton Yelchin conveys the teenage identity crisis Charley goes through to perfection and David Tennant manages to portray so many facets of Peter Vincent in such a short amount of time that the only phrase I can find to describe his performance in this film is acting genius.
Tennant is not only absolutely hilarious, providing the majority of the comedic relief in this film, he also delivers the deepest and most moving scene in the film without uttering a single word. While all the actors really deserve praise, it is David Tennant who really gets the opportunity to shine and put his acting abilities on display in what is, interestingly enough, one of the major roles with the least amount of screen time and earns, what I consider to be, the most outstanding performance in the film.
I could go on and on about what a fabulous film ‘Fright Night’ is both as a horror/psychological thriller and as a comedy but it would be much more fun to just see it for yourself! It is, without a doubt, the best Hollywood reimagining I have ever seen and, quite possibly, even better than Tom Holland’s original ‘Fright Night’.