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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Fright Night (2011)


Thankfully this vampire isn’t named Edward, or Jacob, or any other name that those sparkling vampires have.

This film sees when teen Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) suspects that his new neighbor, the sinister Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell), is a vampire, and turns to a self-styled vampire expert, Peter Vincent (David Tennant), for help. Las Vegas magician Vincent proves useless, and it’s up to Charley to save his mom, Jane (Toni Collette), and girlfriend, Amy, from the seductive bloodsucker.

I have to confession to make…I have still not seen the original cult classic that this film is based off of but after seeing this I may just have to give it a shot.

This film focuses a lot on the horror rather than the actual comedy aspect of the film, which in ways they both worked out. The scares were here but were more suspenseful as they were freaky, and humor had me chuckling here and there which isn’t that bad considering the type of horror/comedy films we have come out in today’s day and age.

The problem with this film is that it doesn’t know whether to choose to be a comedy, a horror, or even an action film for that matter, and just instead turns out to be a bit of a mess. I kept wondering what director Craig Gillespie wanted me to laugh at, as well as be scared about because even as tense as this film may be, it’s never really scary unless it’s trying to live up “the scary factor” with a bunch of cheap jump-scares.

Another problem I had with this film was that after I checked out the trailer, I felt like this was going to be sort of making fun of our usual vampire flicks we have in today’s world, but instead ends up being the same old generic piece of junk that nobody really cares about in the end. I mean I liked how they kept up with a lot of the traditional rules a vampire must have, but they never really made that idea click anymore than it really should have. Some of this could have been amazing, but the writing was just sort of lame.

Although the writing may be poor, the action is awesome and is what kept me going for this film the whole time. The film takes awhile to get where it needs to get but when it does get there, the non-stop action kept me excited as well as the constant flying of blood, guts, and gore at the screen. I did not see this one in 3-D but if I did it was probably a total magic show by how beautiful all of these visuals actually looked and added so much more to the action of this film.

Anton Yelchin is pretty good here as Charlie, with his cool kid look and one-step-ahead-of-you approach to everything, Yelchin keeps this character interesting and somebody we want to win in the end; David Tennant is a bit over-the-top as the local illusionist, Peter Vincent, and seems like a role that was made for Russell Brand but Tennant sells some of the funny moments here, even though the dialogue may be a little crappy; and Toni Collette is OK as Charlie’s mom but she isn’t really given much as well. Oh and McLovin‘s here. He’s the man!

The best out of the whole cast was actually Colin Farrell as Jerry, the next-door neighbor vampire. Farrell absolutely just seems like he’s having a total ball with this role and totally shows the sexual undertones that is within Jerry’s soul when he is sinking his teeth into these people’s necks. Farrell commands almost every scene he’s in and makes you feel uncomfortable and not knowing just what he may do or say next. Great casting job for this part!

Consensus: The action is fun and great to look at, especially in 3-D, and the cast is good but the writing is a little too sloppy because it doesn’t quite know what it wants to be nor does it actually live up to any potential of being a new and cool type of vampire flick that we need to see done well.

5.5/10=Rental!!

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26 responses to “Fright Night (2011)

  1. Sam Fragoso August 24, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Not to be a complete pompous ass, but I reckon you shouldn’t have your tag line including “gay” … press agents will be turned off immediately.

    Unfortunately, you’re no Peter Travers and can write whatever the hell you want, and still get into screenings.

    Just some advice, that’s all.

    Good review by the way.

  2. Mark Hobin August 24, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Great review. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the original. It’s quite different. I liked it better than the remake.

  3. Geek Grid August 24, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Nice review! I agree, the writing was a little sloppy, but I wasn’t expecting an Oscar worthy performance. I still had fun!

  4. Michael August 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I thought David Tennant was brilliant, but I definitely see the Russell Brand vibe you were getting…I think the role was actually written for Roddy McDowell back in ’85, though. ;-)

  5. Kelly August 24, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Great review! I agree that the tone was a bit all over the place. I especially loved Colin Farrell’s performance as well, so I think the performances made up a bit for that. The original is pretty good, albeit be warned it’s a little cheesy. Then again, what ’80s horror movies aren’t? ;)

  6. totheescapehatchrobert August 24, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Nice review! I’m a fan of the original. It’s goofy/bloody/atmospheric fun!

  7. Alan August 24, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    I actually liked this one better than the original because it was more aimed at the fear than the cheap laughs, but don’t get me wrong, the original is worth seeing.

    I’d rather deal with Jerry the vampire than Edward, Jacob, Lestat, or any of the rest. Vamps put their pants on one leg at a time, too.

  8. mducoing August 25, 2011 at 12:20 am

    As you know from my review, I disagree with your premise but think this was a solid review. See the first one, then also see Evil Dead films as well as Drag Me to Hell and other Horror Campo classics. There is a sort of humor in the horror that I think this film does well.

    We also disagree ion the acting but I can see where you are coming from. I think overall it was a solid, fun film that definitely toed the line, had it not been for the ghoror camp genre it represented.

    ps DO NOT see the 80s sequel…horrible.

  9. Kevin Entrekin August 25, 2011 at 2:08 am

    I went in really wanting to like it but just came out mildly entertained. Just thought the story was not all that great. Also, the 3-D didn’t help out much either. Good review.

  10. Joe August 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Well thought out review. I also see the Russell Brand feel to Tennant character but Brand’s fame is going to disappear rapidly while I guess Tennant has staying power. I feel like you would have liked the writing more if you had seen the original first since it does play heavily on the deviations. You gotta give it more than rental quality if you thought the 3D was good-think of all the crap 3D movies out there now and then think about the level of fun it added to this movie. Thanks for your comments on my review over at http://www.grabbagcinema.com

  11. ravingmadscientists August 25, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I agree that the writing could have been better, but more because the character development felt a little stunted. I liked the humor mixed in with the scary and if you see the original, I think you’ll appreciate this one better. Like all ‘cult’ classics, it won’t please everyone. But anyone who likes campy horror flicks (like me) will enjoy it.
    -Nikki

  12. Pingback: (Kinda Belated) Weekend Update – August 21, 2011 « Marshall and the Movies

  13. iheartshiningshinee4ever August 27, 2011 at 7:58 am

    awesome review and I agree Colin did a amazing job with his character ^_^

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