by Staff Writer Aileen Cacayorin (@A1L33N)
Team Edward? Team Jacob? Try Team Jerry.
It’s unfortunately unavoidable for a modern day vampire flick to have a Twilight reference, but thankfully, the similarities between Fright Night and the Twilight Saga stop there. Instead, the old school vampire triumphantly bites back, sinister and blood thirsty, in this update of the 1985 original.
Anton Yelchin plays Charley Brewster, newly popular high school student trying to keep his former nerd life from his new friends and new girlfriend, Amy (played by Imogen Poots). That includes geeky ex-best friend Eddie (played by perpetually typecast Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who insists that Charley’s new neighbor, Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire. It doesn’t take long for Charley to get a clue and that’s where the fun begins.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been surrounded by Twilight mania for the past few years, but Fright Night is a pint of fresh blood for vampire movies. No offense to Angel or Spike, but it’s refreshing to have a vampire that isn’t brooding or conflicted and Colin Farrell is delightfully menacing as Jerry. It’s clear that Farrell is having a good time balancing between sexy, creepy, and sinister. He might as well have said “This is how a real vampire acts.” Jerry isn’t full of angst or guilt ridden (really, who needs more of that in a vampire?), he enjoys being a badass and delights in playing with his food first. It’s not long before he has (rather creatively) chased Charlie, Amy, and his Mom (Toni Collette) out of their home and has them fleeing their isolated neighborhood for the bright lights of Las Vegas.
Director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Marti Noxon (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, no less) also play around with the idea of a modern vampire as well, having a bit of self-aware fun. Jerry doesn’t live in a crypt nor sleep in a coffin. He’s hundreds of years old, but he isn’t refined, elegant, or rich. He lives in the suburbs, drives a truck, drinks beer, and watches Real Housewives of New Jersey marathons. And his name is Jerry.
Fright Night is never truly scary, nor is it meant to be. It’s not a psychological thriller nor excessively gory, though there is plenty of blood. There are legitimately creepy and tense scenes, as well as a few jolts and jumps. One scene involving a 6-pack of beer and a well-known vampire convention is particularly tense and it’s a great example of how you don’t need to shed a drop of blood in a horror flick to get your blood pumping.
Loyal Doctor Who fans are in for a treat as former Doctor, David Tennant, takes a turn as Peter Vincent, a goth Criss Angel wannabe Vegas act. With a bottle of Midori liquor always in hand, Tennant’s portrayal is a funny, snarkier, less ridiculous version of a Russell Brand character.
My only complaint about the film would be its use of 3D. It’s not very creative and is pretty much limited to spurts of blood, shards of glass, and the occasional object thrown in your face. It comes off as gimmicky and doesn’t really add much to the film.
What I love most about Fright Night is that it’s an updated throwback to old school creature feature horror films. It strikes the right balance between horror and satire, carnage and fun, and most importantly of all, NOTHING SPARKLES.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 Babbles.
@A1L33N is on the same sleeping schedule as a vampire.