Colin Farrell and Anton Yelchin star in the remake of the 80′s horror cult classic Fright Night. Craig Gillespie directs the film with little zest or charisma. Yelchin and Farrell do the best with their roles, but the incredibly dark picture, pointless 3D and uneventful story don’t really make this version of Fright Night all that worth it. It’s truly a shame though because the film seemed like it had the best intentions, but it goes nowhere in a hurry.
Charley (Anton Yelchin) is finally growing up into the man he’s always wanted to be. He’s ditched his nerdy friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) for a much more attractive girlfriend named Amy (Imogen Poots). He lives with his mother in a suburb of Las Vegas and a mysterious new neighbor has moved in right next door. Jerry (Colin Farrell) is apparently a road worker on the overnight crew, which explains the dark windows and lack of activity from his house during the day.
Ed notices several classmates missing from school and he confronts Charley in hopes of getting to the bottom of what really is happening, but new Charley ignores Ed until it’s too late. After realizing the truth and discovering that Jerry is really a vampire Charley must do whatever it takes to protect himself, his girlfriend and his mother. He seeks help from a vampire hunter/sideshow act in Vegas named Peter Vincent (David Tennant).
Toss in some mildly entertaining jokes and a bucket or two of mostly CGI blood and you’ve got yourself a Fright Night remake. This latest reincarnation is mostly a comedy with some bloody violence thrown in. It would have worked much more effectively had the story not been complete garbage. There’s nothing I hate more than proper talent going to waste.
Anton Yelchin makes for a very believable lead. Charley is a confident individual who has come from a geeky past. I was a little hesitant at first when I discovered that Yelchin would be leading the cast as the brave Charley, but he nails the role right out of the gate. He’s funny in moments, especially when he confronts Jerry and he’s also got a little bit of a bad ass in him when he goes to battle towards the end of the film.
The best role and perhaps the most important role of the film is that of Jerry the vampire played so sprightly by Colin Farrell. He brings the perfect amount of humor to the film without ever feeling like he’s playing it too straight forward. When he morphs into the hideously rendered vamp you do start to feel a chill, but that’s mostly because the CGI work is laughably bad and because Jerry is one strong being. The way he delivers his lines is the most enjoyable part of the film. Watching him trick Charley into trying to save an innocent victim is priceless. He perfectly captures a charming asshole. You hate him, but you can’t help but to fall for his traps.
I wish you could say the same for the rest of the supporting cast. Imogen Poots rocks a questionable American accent for most of the film and David Tennant is just flat out annoying. None of the two click with Yelchin or Farrell on any level and it becomes unbearably boring watching them try. Christopher Mintz-Plasse does his usual thing as Ed. It’s kind of irritating watching him playing the same character at the beginning of the film, but once he comes back later things get a little more tolerable.
Another massive complaint about the film is the lighting. Everything is so dark. I understand the purpose for jump scares, but it gets to be a little too much when you can barely see Charley walking down a hallway.
Fright Night (2011) is another horror remake that drops the ball. Somewhere in production everything went wrong. Colin Farrell and Anton Yelchin make the film watchable, but no one else seems to be trying. The supporting cast is forgettable, the blood is poorly done in CGI for the most part and the film as a whole is just lacking suspense and lacking any real meat.
Disney brings Fright Night (2011) to Blu-Ray with a very hit or miss 1080p video transfer. In the day Fright Night (2011) looks gorgeous. It’s full of warm colors and outstanding detail that’s sharp and crisp, but in the night the film takes a massive fall in quality. The image becomes murky and hard to see at times. The detail is lost in the poor lighting and the film becomes cold and lifeless.
At least the audio doesn’t die down when the colors do! The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is full of scares and thrills. Each detailed beat can be heard in the highest quality possible. You’ll have no problem understanding even the faintest whisper.
Fright Night (2011) comes with a few special features, none of which offer much of anything worth viewing. Check out the list below.
- 2D and 3D versions of the film
- Peter Vincent: Come Swim in My Mind (HD): A short extra that features the character of Vincent discussing an overview of his “show”.
- The Official “How to Make a Funny Vampire Movie” Guide (HD): The cast and crew discuss the different elements in making the film both a comedy and a traditional horror vampire film.
- Deleted & Extended Scenes (HD): Nothing here worth wasting time on.
- Squid Man: Extended & Uncut (HD): An extended full version of the backyard film Yelchin’s character was seen in briefly during the movie.
- Bloopers (HD)
- Music Video (HD): “No One Believes Me” by Kid Cudi.
- DVD Copy
- Digital Copy
I’m guessing by now people have already forgotten about Fright Night (2011). It’s the type of movie that comes and goes rather quickly. It didn’t really do well at the box office yet most critics actually ended up liking it. I don’t hate the film by any stretch, but I don’t really like it. It’s frustrating if anything because it has the talent and means to be a great film, yet it isn’t. How can you fumble this badly with Colin Farrell and Anton Yelchin giving two stellar performances? They do more than enough to make the character side of things work, yet the rest of the film always feels generally boring. Fright Night (2011) never really takes advantage of the humor presented, which means it’s not really a comedy. Fright Night (2011) also doesn’t ever really become a full horror movie, with very little scares or gore, so it’s not a real horror film either.
It’s sort of a little bit of both, minus any real strength. It takes jokes and tries making them funny, but they mostly don’t connect unless Yelchin or Farrell spit them out. The blood and gore are cool when they’re done practically or even when the CGI looks kind of real, but most of it is just too bright and too unnatural, leaving the effect less effective. There are a few chase scenes that try and build on the horror aspects of the film, but they either end too quickly or lead to nowhere. One particular car sequence was impressively shot, but again it leads to nothing.
The Blu-Ray comes with a great video transfer during daytime scenes, but an incredibly annoying one during the night. The audio is great and captures what little scares come from the movie. The special features are typical disc fillers, but the DVD and digital copy make it a nice addition to the collection if you want to watch it on all formats. Plus, the 3D version of the film adds some depth, but cancels that out with washed out detail and even more darkness.
Fright Night (2011) might make for a good rental if you’re into horror comedies or if your Twilight disc is broken and you just need to stare at a physically fit vampire, but everyone else is better off passing on this one.