Fright Night (2011) – Review

1 1/2 Stars


A teenager living in the suburbs of Las Vegas becomes suspicious of his neighbor after a local woman goes missing. Before long Charlie (Anton Yelchin) realizes that the bachelor living next door is actually a vampire. Looking for help in repelling the appealing monster named Jerry (Colin Farrell), Charlie ventures to the Vegas strip in an effort to enlist world-famous illusionist and self-proclaimed vampire expert, Peter Vincent (David Tennant). In the meantime, Jerry’s mother and girlfriend are in danger of becoming eternal salves to Jerry, who has already murdered most of Charlie’s buddies.

Fright Night is the umpteenth reboot of a 1980’s horror film. The original movie debut in 1985 and was followed by a sequel two years later. This update is a small-scale re-telling that de-emphasizes the humorous touches of its predecessor and unwisely settles for a straight-forward and mean-spirited approach. The initial concept remains intact but details have been changed in order to ‘freshen up’ the material. Peter Vincent is obviously a reference to Chris Angel and his mind-freak antics, while the original featured a late-night horror movie host as the expert of occult. Farrell is well cast along with Toni Collette, but Yelchin in the lead is a dud. His delivery is flat and he wears a non-affected expression for the duration of the film.

Craig Gillespie is the man calling the shots behind the camera and he has chosen to stage his scenes in a flat, uninteresting manner. This is right in-line with the overtly dark photography that renders some images during the finale nearly unrecognizable. Fright Night is another in a long line of remakes that serve as proof that some things just can’t be replicated by others.

Director: Craig Gillespie
Stars: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette

2 thoughts on “Fright Night (2011) – Review

  1. Good review Jason. It was a fun movie, however, its humor seemed too snarky for me. As if it was better than most horror-comedies out there, and it just wasn’t. It was fun though, and I think that’s worth congratulating.

    1. I agree with your assessment of the film’s arrogant attitude toward the genre. I also agree that the movie was ‘fun’, although after the first half te ‘fun’ morphed into ‘mediocre’ than absurd. Farrell seemed to bring the right tone, but otherwise the cast was misguided. Thanks for the feedback.

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