Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Halloween Reboot #2 Fright Night

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Fright Night.

I am a big fan of the original film. Seeing it in my youth I thought it was awesome! It did not age well, but I gained a new appreciation for it. The suburban gothic vibe it was putting out, the soundtrack/score, the intentional/unintentional campiness; just made Fright Night a completely different and much more awesome

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The original, so much fun!

2011 and Fright Night gets the reboot/re-imagine treatment.

The story is basically the same. We have one Charley Brewster and a vampire name Jerry living Next door. Charley discovers this. He then has to convince anyone to believe him. Then he tries to recruit a magician who touts himself a dabbler I the dark arts/ guys who knows stuff about monsters. You then get the damsel in distress as the girlfriend is captures. All this to lead up to an eventual showdown that we all know is coming. Basically, this (and the original) is a Rear Window take-off with a vampire.

I actually didn’t hate this reboot, in fact I liked it. Why? Well….

Colin Farrell for one.


Colin Farrell played the role of Jerry, the vamp next door. Now where the original Jerry Dandridge vampire came off as very white collar, a collector of fine furniture, is a seducer of women, has a giant fancy house, is posh and seems like an 80’s Regan-ite vampire. He also had this bit about a long lost love story bit. The new Jerry ,the vampire, is very blue collar in comparison. He likes beer and watching t.v. between human snacks. He has a regular house and a very Spartan lifestyle. He also forgoes all that poncy romantic vampire stuff. Instead he comes off like aa an intense creepy stalker mixed with an apex predator. His take on the vampire is just so different and still as threatening as the original Fright Night vampire. Colin Farrell, good job!

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David Tennant’s dark magic gothic-ish magician replaces Roddy McDowell’s B-movie star turned late night movie show host in the reboot. This was a bit of a stretch for me. I mean I get wanting to modernize the film, but a Vegas magical act that reeks of Chris Angel meets Hammer films just seems out of place here.  I guess the idea of a late night low budget horror movie/show host wouldn’t work now. Would it? Yeah I think it could. Make him an do an interweb show or be some interweb celebrity instead. The magical act bit was pretty lame. However, David Tennant was still awesome as the not Chris Angel Peter Vincent.

The “kids” looked more age appropriate in this film. Sure they were all 20-somethings, but they were still quasi-believable as high school kids more so than the original film. I know it was the 80’s but Charley and Amy looked way too old for high school even then.

Imogen Poots (great last name) is way more believable as the hot girlfriend in distress than Amanda Bearse. Plus, they ditched the long lost vampire love crap and that was fantastic. Like the world needs another love sick vampire story in it.
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The opening sequence was a great bit of fun! A chase from the unseen stalker, monster, beast, etc. through a house of carnage. It also had the typical jump scare to drive the point home. Sure it was a horror movie trope, but it I thought it was a great introduction.

There is a surprising cameo with Chris Sarandon, the original Jerry the vampire.

They ditched the classic vampire transforming into bats and wolves. Plus they passed on all the mist/fog that seems to crop up in the vampire mythos. It worked much better without that.

There isn’t a stupid faced annoying vampire lackey in the reboot. I don’t miss that guy with his face that just aches for a good punching!

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Shotguns and crossbows? A much more tactical approach to vampire hunting here.
So it sounds like it is a descent and fun reboot, but are there issues? Well yes there are some.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse as “Evil” Ed sucks! I really wish they would have cast anyone besides him.

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The change of Peter Vincent to magician was lame. David Tennant was awesome with the role given him, but the whole magician spin was awful.

 Image result for fright night 2011 amy

The C.G.I. is abysmal! The transformation from Colin Farrell to full vampire is unforgivably awful! Why not just do a simple latex appliance instead? It could have been so simple and effective. Instead we get awful computer graphics that pull you out of the scene because they are so terrible.

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The move to Las Vegas suburbia instead of some random miscellaneous suburbia I was hot and cold with this choice. The Vegas setting is decently worked into the story; you know people missing, the come and go families, all the night life made some sense but felt a bit tacked on too. Like having it set in “Sin City” had weight behind it instead of just being a plot point.

The original film had this creepy gothic looking mansion that just can’t be beat. It gave off a vibe to match Jerry the vampire. I guess I miss that look of the big ominous house, the fog surrounding it. The red eyes watching from inside the darkened rooms.

Yeah my issues, sans awful C.G.I, are all pretty small.

As a reboot this isn’t terrible.I almost hate saying that, but it is pretty fun. A reboot horror film that isn’t pure drek is rare. Yes, it is nowhere near as fun as the original. Yes, there are some flaws; but in the end it is an enjoyable horror film based on a previous property.

I think I can actually say that I like both the original Fright Night and the reboot in similar yet different ways.

Alright next Wednesday is the reboot of an early 80’s slasher……… Maniac.

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