Cast, frights ensures remake is a must-see

Remakes aren’t always easy to follow up on, especially when the original is a timeless classic. But that’s exactly where director Craig Gillepsie found himself when starting his latest film, “Fright Night.”

For those who don’t know, the original “Fright Night” is considered a cult-classic and one of the best films to come out of the ‘80s. It has been the inspiration of modern vampire works that include Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight” series and the HBO television show “True Blood.”

The new “Fright Night” continues Hollywood’s latest fad of releasing remakes of ‘80s classics this fall. The film features a good cast, with a very strong performance from Colin Farrell as the head vampire.

Coming into the movie, my expectations were unfairly biased due to the fact that the “vampire” theme has seemingly been beaten to death by television and Hollywood. But excellent direction and strong performances from the main cast made up for a dull script.

Set in a Las Vegas suburb, the film is centered around the main character, Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin), a high school student who has grown out of his geek stage and become one of the most popular students at school, much to the dismay of one of his former friends, “Evil” Ed Lee (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) — a dorky teenager who has an uncanny ability to identify vampires.

Charley, who is also dating one of the most popular girls at school, Amy Peterson (Imogen Poots), lives at home with his mother (Toni Collette) after his dad left them.

When Ed tells Charley that Charley’s new next door neighbor, Jerry Dandrige (Farrell), may be a vampire, Charley doesn’t believe him at first. But as more and more unusual things begin to happen in his neighborhood, Charley starts to believe that Ed might have been right.

After observing Jerry’s habits and declaring (for a fact) that he is a vampire, Charley travels to downtown Vegas to ask for advice from a celebrity expert on vampires, Peter Vincent (David Tennant).

He turns out to be a fraud, however, and Charley is left with nobody believing him. Charley knows that he has to kill Jerry in order to save his friends and family or they will soon become his prey.

Most of the movie is not meant to be taken seriously and has a strong resemblance to the comedic relief of Ruben Fleischer’s “Zombieland” or Edgar Wright’s “Shaun of the Dead.”

At times, it becomes legitimately scary and has the feel of a true horror film.

However, Gillepsie refuses to let that become the theme of the movie and the end result is a very entertaining film.

The true surprise of this film is the breakthrough performance of Farrell, who needed this role more than anyone to show that he’s still relevant.

It’s certainly not easy playing a sadistic vampire, but he couldn’t have played the part any better than he had.

With that said, “Fright Night” is an enjoyable and surprisingly really entertaining film that won’t have you looking away from the screen even for a second.

It’s flicks that bears the right blend of horror and action while not taking itself too seriously like other movies of its kind have done.

JACOB TARR

[email protected]