Fright Night is without a doubt the movie I've been most eager to see this summer. And it didn't disappoint. Whether it's going to be my favourite movie of the year, I'm not sure....I've still got to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes and I'm suspecting Andy Serkis's performance may steal that crown. But the new Fright Night....it's good :) Sitting here right now trying to write this I:
- wish I'd written this straight after seeing it because my memory really is shot,
- want to see it again RIGHT NOW.
I'm definitely going to get it on DVD, and despite my self-imposed rule that I'm not going to ordinary 3D movies anymore, I'm only going spend extra money for the occasional IMAX release...there were elements of the 2D Fright Night that are tempting me to break my 3D ban on this one.
There are some movies that have 'suffered' remakes recently. I don't quite understand why they've been re-done when the originals are already brilliant. Oh yeah, to make money....ok, fair comment, but still this doesn't justify some of the remake turkeys.
But remaking Fright Night?
I ADORE the original. It's a classic. It's funny, cheesy (especially the adorable Roddy McDowall and his talcum powdered hair), sexy and, although Goth Child got a bit frustrated watching it because it "doesn't have enough gore Mum" she did admit that suspense builds and builds and pays off with some really scary stuff and lots of gore at the end.
Fright Night 2011 was clearly made for her generation ;) for people who have no patience when waiting for their frights. I think she'll appreciate the opening sequence of the movie.
That is, when I let her watch it. Fright Night 1985 was the first 18/R rated movie I've let her watch (although an R rating in the US means that an under 17 can watch the movie if accompanied by a parent or adult guardian). To be honest, she's seen the gore (mainly melting vampires) in 15/PG13 movies like the Indiana Jones series or The Mummy. Fright Night 2011 is definitely more scary than it's predecessor and probably has to be as horror movies in the last few decades have desensitised us to suspense and gore.
If what I'm saying is making you worry whether this movie is too scary for you, I wouldn't worry. I am a total wimp. I love being scared by suspense but I can't handle anything like the Saw or Final Destination movies. This movie is just fine.....all I'm saying is it is more scary than the 1985 version.
So will I let my 14 year old daughter come to a cinema with me to watch the new movie. Nope, I don't think I will, but I might be persuaded by her to watch it together in the comfort and safety of our home....where there's a pause button, you can watch it in the daytime and you don't have to have the lights off. I'm possibly being an over-protective mother on this one, but there you go.
So should they have remade it?
Yes. The 1985 version though still fabulously good, is very 80s. It is rather dated. And so are the special effects (although having said that I now want to defend them, they're not THAT bad......but the 2011 ones are brilliant!)
Was I worried that David Tennant (the 10th Doctor Who for any of you Americans who haven't yet discovered the greatest television show on the planet) was going to be playing Peter Vincent, a role so beautifully hammed up by Roddy McDowall? No, not really, I was quite excited. David Tennant has hammy as his pre-set acting function :) And when the movie released this clip I was even more enthusiastic:
"Maybe not the omlette" has become one of our favourite catch-phrases around the house just from watching this clip. Although when you see the movie, you'll notice that the above is considerably shorter as they've had to cut out Peter Vincent's swearing....and he swears a lot. I suppose they had the 18/R rating so they decided to make the most of it.
Unfortunately David Tennant as Peter Vincent is not a main character and doesn't have half enough screentime. But Anton Yelchin as the teenager Charlie who discovers there's a vampire living next door is very good and so is Colin Farrell as said vampire.
I've never found Colin Farrell particularly appealing but I love him as Jerry ("that's a terrible vampire name"). Unlike Chris Saradon's original Jerry (by the way, if you're a fan of the original, watch out half way through this new one for his brief cameo, it's good) Colin Farrell doesn't major in seducing or hypnotising his victims.
In one of the many better explanations of what's happening and why in this movie than the original, Jerry is described as (and I hope this isn't a spoiler) "a snacker" and yes, he still has that thing with the apples. As characters in the movie explain, he isn't your broody, heart-torn, Twilight sort of vampire. There's some fab use of his vampire fingernails to unnerve and his reaction to crucifixes and sunlight is definitely more convincing than the original Jerry.
Imogen Poots is far less annoying than the original Amy; Toni Collete is great as Charlie's mum (or mom) and Christoper Mintz-Plasse is equally as delightful and darkly-funny as the original Evil Ed.
What I particularly liked about the movie that I might not have appreciated if I'd never moved to the USA, is the setting of Charlie & Jerry's neighbourhood. I swear it's pretty similar to many of the streets where I live now - the houses look the same, the wheelie bins (trash cans) too, the same short drive and you're out into the desert (there's a fantastic scene that shows this off brilliantly). I suppose this makes sense if you're to believe that it's set in the suburbs of Las Vegas, or somewhere nearby in Nevada.......but it was fab seeing a movie that I identified so clearly with its setting. I understand that I'm probably the only person who's going to get excited about this one ;)
Anyway, I've talked too long again - go see it. It might not be the best movie you'll see this year, but it's great fun, it's got David Tennant in it and he has some great lines and it has the possibility of becoming a classic like its predecessor with the current generation of teenagers....when their mums/moms finally let them see it.