Fright Night (2011)
Well. I'm back. There were a couple of flicks I thought about reviewing over the last year but I never got around to it but fuckit, here we go.
Follows essentially the same plot as the original from the 80s. A young man (Anton Yelchin) living in some shitty suburb of Las Vegas discovers that his new neighbour (Colin Farrell) is a throat ripping vampire. In order to save the neighbourhood and his girlfriend (Imogen Poots), he must enlist the help of TV personality Peter Vincent (David Tennant), who specializes in phony vampire stuff.
I don't remember a whole helluva lot about the original Fright Night except that it was sort of cute and it had Prince Humperdinck in it (and not Malcolm McDowell). This version has Colin Farrell and he is smoking fuckin hot. Holy jesus. Yeah, he's playing a really nasty vampire who acts like a total freak when he's not tearing people a part but sweet christ can he rock a white wife beater.
The cast was actually pretty good for what appears to be a run of the mill vampire remake. Anton Yelchin is believable as the main character, Toni Collette is good as The Mom (the character she has played ni every fucking movie I've ever seen her in), David Tennant's ridiculous overacting is entertaining as usual.
And the writing was pretty good. There were some pretty clever lines and a surprising number of chuckles throughout. It just... it got going a little too fast. I dunno, about two minutes into the movie, the main character has been informed that his neighbour's a vampire, half an hour later and everybody knows about it, they then spend the next hour plus trying to kill him.
While I'm not a fan of movies that fuck around for half an hour when the audience knows who the vampire is already, you don't have to jump right in there immediately. There's this thing they call character development, it's supposed to make the audience give a shit about the characters. This movie didn't really bother with that. In fact, what little character development they did manage to work in had kinda the opposite effect.
For example, we know that the main character ditched his best friend since childhood (Christopher Mintz-Passe), later allowing him to be turned into a vampire, so that he could fit in with a couple of dickhead bros and score with a really skanky girl. There's one point in the movie where she says to him somehting like, "I knew you were a dork, I like you because you're different". Apparently lying to a girl to get in her pants is different now. Huh.
But none of that is really a big deal. There's one really major problem I had with this movie. It's true that "less is more" is a good idea when doing horror - the less you show of the monster the scarier it will be when the audience finally gets to see it - but that does not mean that every mildly spooky scene should be so fucking dark that nobody can tell what the fuck is going on. Seriously. This movie might have been kind of scary had I been able to see anything on the screen except for some vague blurs and outlines of stuff. So many movies have been following this trend. And it doesn't fucking work. It's just annoying and boring. Why would I want to watch a black screen and listen to people screaming? I would think it's kind of a waste of money to have actors and a film crew present while you're shooting essentially nothing.
Most of these kinds of scenes are, like, Anton Yelchin exploring Colin Farrell's house and stuff like that so, even though the music would indicate that there is something creepy that I should be looking at, I don't really feel like I'm missing anything. BUT there's one scene where everybody's in this van (I guess) and Colin Farrell is chasing them (I guess) and possibly underneath the van at one point (I guess). It was so god damn dark I could not tell who was where and what was going on at any point. It actually made me angry because I figured I was probably missing something.
That shit is just annoying and somebody needs to tell filmmakers that it is not remotely scary. Other than that, though, this movie is perfectly watchable. It doesn't cover any new ground whatsoever, it's pretty old school, but it's clever and pretty entertaining. I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it but there are worse things to kill an evening with and ogling Colin Farrell was totally worth it.
Directed by: Craig Gillespie. Written by: Marti Noxon based on the 1985 film written by Tom Holland. Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Imogen Poots, Toni Collette, David Tennant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse