Film Review: Fright Night (2011)

fright-night-2011 headerTo be honest, I am not a horror movie expert, but I know a horror movie when I see one. To that I ask myself, why do multiple critics think that the 2004 cult classic Shaun of the Dead is scary? I’ve seen Shaun a lot, and I have never thought for one moment that ANY scene from it would come back and haunt me in my dreams. To this day, I will still laugh at all of the dumb, subtle homages it makes to other zombie movies.

To this I lead to the 2011 remake of the 1985 movie Fright Night. Fright Night is about Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin, Charlie Bartlett, Star Trek), a normal high schooler who just was deemed “popular.” After one of his classes, his old best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Superbad, Kick-Ass) starts talking to him about all of the disappearances that have gone all but unnoticed. Ed gets Charlie to go and visit one of their schoolmates’ houses, claiming that he thinks Charlie’s new neighbor is a vampire. Charlie, of course, blows it off. But after Ed becomes missing, Charlie starts becoming more aware of who his neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell, In Bruges, Horrible Bosses) really is.

I must say, Colin Farrell makes a good vampire. After a talk with Charlie about some beers, Jerry basically came out and told him that he was a vampire, describing both his mothers scent (played by Toni Collette, The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine), and later describing his new girlfriend (played by Imogen Poots, 28 Weeks Later) as “ripe.” Jerry doesn’t deny that he is a vampire, but almost flaunts it. He could have been playing an innocent role the entire movie, but he basically came out of the shoot and said “bring it on.” Jerry might be a terrible vampire name, but is one of the better vampires of this generation (that isn’t saying a lot, because most of the vampires that have come out for this generation has been from Twilight).

One of the things that I must commend the movie for is it’s attention to “the rules of Vampires.” Vampires cannot walk into your house unless the are invited in, they can be staked in the heart to kill them, and light harms them, not sparkle. There are moments in the film that they could’ve royally screwed up, but they had an intention to detail that was more delightful than annoying.

The film was shot pretty well, though had some moments that were definitely shot just for the 3-D aspect. Even though I saw it in 3-D, it seemed like it was tacked on at the last minute, just to get some more money out of it. That’s just a small pet peeve of mine, so you can ignore this if you want.

Another thing that I must say about this movie, and the reason I brought up Shaun of the Dead, is the humor throughout. Although some media outlets have called it shocking and scary (it has some moments, but are very scarce), I laughed more than I jumped. Fright Night is no Nightmare on Elm Street, nor is it a Shaun of the Dead but I don’t believe it’s trying to be. And if it was, it fell on it’s face on both accounts

Earlier this year, I saw the trailer to this movie and had already written it off as just some pre-teen vampire garbage. Maybe it would’ve been worse if I’d seen the original, this film would’ve gotten a lower score, but in a world of crappy horror movies, I don’t believe it would’ve mattered. However, I found this movie to be quite enjoyable. Though predictable in nature (like most vampire movies are), it still is a good movie to go see with your friends this summer. If you are looking for a true horror film, then you will need to look elsewhere.

Final Grade: B-

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