ANTON YELCHIN COLIN FARRELL TONI COLLETTE
The vampire genre might be done-to-death at this point in American cinema, mostly thanks to the popularity of the Twilight series. With tons of films trying to piggy back on the Edward & Bella fascination, Fright Night, a remake of the 80’s noir, provides us with one of the most satisfying fang flicks in years. Fright Night works almost entirely because of it's brilliant casting. Bad boy Colin Farrell seems to have been born to play this part; his rugged good looks combined with his James Dean bravado make him the ideal choice for the deadly vampire next door. Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, The Beaver) continues to get better with every film project he takes on. While many of his previous leading roles haven’t been the right fit, this is his time to shine.
A former “dweeb” whose acne has cleared up enough to be in a society where the hot girls actually go for the geeks (geeks who wear fitted jeans and have touchable messy hair), Charley Brewster (Yelchin) is dating one of the hottest seniors in his class. Charley has become a dick to his former friends, as he now tries to ensure he maintains his new, somewhat popular status. His former sleepover nerd pal, Ed (Christopher Mintz Plasse), tries to warn him that his new next door neighbor, Jerry (Farrell), is a vampire and their mutual best friend, along with others, have gone missing. After Ed disappears, Charley begins to notice the signs as well as the flirtation between Jerry and his single mom (Collette).
“I hate the f*****g desert, now I have a psycho next door!” says Collette’s character as she, along with her son and his girlfriend, speed away from their isolated, cookie cutter neighborhood in the middle of the Nevada desert. Fright Night’s script works because it takes itself just serious enough to present real danger with a dark comedic twist. It finds that fantastic pace and mood that Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell had but stays away from the camp. It’s the dark humor that distances this film from other vampire flicks, not to mention Fright Night has actors delivering appropriate performances. Without missing a beat and recognizing why this film was relevant, they poke fun at Twilight early on.
Fright Night pays homage to the original, but for most of the new generation it is something fresh we haven’t seen before. The film also has a strong female character presence lead by Collette, who always plays the “cool mom”. She has some really great scenes and memorable moments, one involving a steak and a 21 Century realty sign. The heightened sense of danger and uncomfortable dialogue in the beginning between Charley and Jerry is pretty great stuff. Farrell nails this role with his creepy nice behavior, as if this role was handwritten for his personality. The first hour of the film that takes place in the outskirts of Las Vegas is a completely unique setting that I haven’t seen before. Closer to the end of the film we get farther from that initial originality.
Final Thought – Superb casting elevates this to the best blood sucking film in ages.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Michael Woody