Remakes are hard to do. Story focus, character alignment and even special effects have to be thought out extra carefully. It’s impossible to avoid comparisons and the hordes of die-hard original fans that come with them. Thankfully, there isn’t much to complain about Craig Gillespie’s take on Tom Holland’s 1985 vamp flick cum cult classic  Fright Night.

Synopsis

Star Trek cutie Anton Yelchin plays Charley Brewster, a post-nerd teenager with a lot going on. Charley has climbed far up (but not far enough) the social ladder with cool friends like Mark and Ben, played by Dave Franco and Reid Ewing respectively, plus hot new gal pal Amy Peterson (Imogen Poots). All this however, at the cost of losing his long-time buddy “Evil” Ed Lee, played by Mclovin’ a.k.a Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Ed tries to warn Charley about the new vampire in town named Jerry, played by Hollywood stud Colin Farrell.

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Only after a terrifying ordeal in Jerry’s lair does Charley go ape sh*t and all out in trying to rid this awful creature. He then takes on a thrill ride with Amy and his mum (Toni Collette), receiving a little help from master illusionist Peter Vincent, played by David Tennant.

Characters

Anton Yelchin is no Shia Labeouf but he sure delivers. Anton’s character is ten notches calmer than the original Charley (William Ragsdale). Instead of trying to helplessly convince others about Jerry’s identity, this modern Charley ensures that he stays ahead of the game. That is until the vamp grabs his very “ripe” girlfriend.

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Two words – Colin Farrell. ‘Nuff said.

Colin is THE main highlight in this film. Brooding good looks aside, Colin oozes so much badass-ness that it makes Damon Salvatore shine like Edward Cullen. Colin is sinister yet desirable, both haunting and extremely likable. He isn’t really out there or in your face, unlike the original Jerry (Chris Sarandon) who seemed to undergo a billion and one confrontations. But when Colin does appear, his scenes are magnificent and dark, almost as if a fog of evil trails him. While Chris Sarandon’s version of a vampire may be classy and sleek, Colin’s rendition is the exact opposite. Colin is the very definition of a BAMF.

Doctor Who‘s David Tennant is hilarious. A far cry from the original Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall), David’s character is obnoxious and deviant. A master illusionist who isn’t all that pretentious in the end, this Criss Angel-like character packs all the tools and knowledge necessary for extinguishing vampires. After all, he’s the bravado fronting the supernatural TV show called “Fright Night”. While the original Peter Vincent struggles to rekindle with his faith, the remade Vincent grapples between revenge and self-denial. Fun to watch and extremely likable, who needs Russell Brand when we’ve got David Tennant?

Portraying Evil Ed is the innocent Mclovin’ a.k.a Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Although he doesn’t share as much screen time as the other characters or original Evil Ed (Stephen Geoffreys), his troubled and awkward ways appear bold. Unlike the original flamboyant Ed, Mintz finds himself helplessly and loyally trying to convince his former best friend, Charley, about fanged neighbour Jerry.

Midway through arguing about the existence of vampires, Mintz even blurts, “I am seriously so angry that you think I read ‘Twilight’!”

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Toni Collette does an impressive job as a mum. She is hot and very much smarter than the original mumsie! Her version of Jane Brewster is strong and charismatic.


Highlights

Besides the obvious Colin Farrell and David Tennant, there are plenty other reasons to catch Fright Night.

Loud thuds, sudden scares, thrilling sequences and brilliant make-up effects mold this gem of a movie. (Colin’s true vampire form is creepy and visually enticing as well) With a great cast and rooted story focus, the film boldly shifts away from the original masterpiece.

Undoubtedly, the original has had a way with horror fans, including me. It’s still king to this very day due to its unique take on vampires and blood. The modern-day remake steers away from the original’s focus on the attempt of “convincing”. Instead, its plot encircles the “Survival of the fittest” concept; a 400-year old vampire named Jerry versus a bunch of small town residents. Less convincing to be done and more supreme, suspenseful action, Gillespie’s Fright Night revamp is entertainment at its best.

Blood and thrills aplenty, this flick strikes the perfect balance of horror and comedy.

Verdict

Overall, a whole lot of fun. It just oozes the “cool” factor that many other fang flicks lack. Additionally, the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously! Kudos to the genius writer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Marti Noxon, who wrote the screenplay for this film.

Refreshing and nifty, it paints vampires in a very unorthodox manner. Finally, we don’t have to rely on HBO’s True Blood to remind us that vampires are actually scary. Also, probably one of the most badass vamp flicks since Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys.

I honestly find it hard to compare this to the original because both differ in appeal and story focus. Die-hard fans of the original might find it difficult to accept this modern-day renovation but one cannot deny such a perfect marriage of horror and comedy. Before being so quick to compare, people should remember to treat the two movies as separate entities before rejecting either one.

Be sure to look out for the original Jerry as Chris Sarandon makes a wonderful cameo. Stakes, crosses, holy water and garlic are also abundant in this film. What’s not to love?

Rating: 4/5

mr&mrsravenous stake out!