“Fright Night” is a re-make of the “Fright Night” movie of the 1980s.  You know my rule on re-makes: only do it if you can make it better than the original.  Otherwise, what’s the point?   Imagine if I re-made a 2000 Porsche 911 Turbo (by the way, it’s pronounced “pore-shuh” for you dumb asses who think it’s pronounced with one syllable).  But I decide to put thin tires on her, 16″ wheels, a 140 hp inline -4 engine, and a 3 speed automatic tranny.  Would that make any sense to you?  Anyway, “Fright Night” the re-make is almost as good as the original — that is an insult and a compliment.  Compliment because I really like the original; insult because according to my rule, the re-make should never have been made.   But it was made, so here we go.

On its own, “Fright Night” is a good movie that is a decent blend of horror and comedy.  Anton Yelchin convincingly plays a high school kid in a developing neighborhood in the desert of Nevada.  He wears sneakers that invites an ass kicking, has a hot girlfriend, a hot mom (Toni Collete)…and his next door neighbor is a vampire (Colin Farrell).   His neighbors are disappearing one by one, and he assumes they moved away suddenly.   His secret best friend, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse (yeah, McLovin!) tells him Farrell is a vampire; but Yelchin assumes Plasse is living out some ultimate, geek fantasy game.   Only when Yelchin sees a video of an invisible Farrell driving his truck does Yelchin believe his next door neighbor sucks more than an unwarranted stop and frisk.  And of course, once you take notice of the supernatural, the supernatural takes notice of you.  This is true, by the way.  So for those of you seeking out proof of ghosts and demons, you’ve been warned.

Yelchin was also warned by Farrell to mind his own business, to focus on the safety of his hot girlfriend and hot mom.  I don’t know about you, but I would’ve taken the deal.  The way I look at it, 50% of the population suck, so I’ll let myself believe that the vampire will kill just the sh*%#ty people.  Anyway, Yelchin is a better person than I am, so he goes toe to toe with the vamp, and he quickly realizes that he’s in way over his head.  So what does he do?  Yelchin seeks the help of an illusionist (hilariously played by David Tennant) who has a show called “Fright Night.”   Yes, Yelchin is that desperate that he would actually believe the man in the t.v. show is who he says he is (magician, vampire/occult expert, brave).  What?  That doesn’t make sense to you?  No one is that stupid?  Uh…you do know that millions of people vote for politicians based on what they say about themselves and what they promise to do, right?

Back to “Fright Night.”  Despite the comedy in this movie, there is more viciousness here than in the original.  The difference is subtle, but noticeable only by those who have seen the original many times.   Also, gone is the male, human familiar from the original.  I think this negatively affects the movie because the human familiar would have given an air of normalcy to the vampire home, making Farrell a more formidable foe because there’s more of a chance no one will believe he’s a bloodsucker.  On the other hand, having Farrell live by himself gives a tighter focus on the Yelchin/Farrell battles, giving “Fright Night” a faster pace.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Fright Night” is the scene when a man accidentally gets in the middle of Farrell attacking Yelchin and his hot girlfriend and hot mom.  The man turns out to be Chris Sarandon, the actor who played the vampire in the original “Fright Night!”   And Sarandon’s character is given the name “Jay Dee.”  Jerry Dandridge is the name of the vampire in both movies.  I like it!

M

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