Thursday, 1 September 2011



Again, as with Conan, why bother? What are the new boys bringing to the table? And the answer, yet again, appears to be not very much beyond a few bigger star names, four-letter words and shiny happy 3D. They haven't improved the story, the characters or the vampire effects, all of which were fine in Tom Holland's original which didn't have the questionable benefits of whizzy CGI or shiny glasses. Far from it: it's a watchable enough and just about tolerable ride but it does nothing that hadn't been done better 26 years ago. As a remake it has the validity of Rupert Wainwright's The Fog.

The plot of Fright Night is pretty much unchanged: ordinary kid Charley (Anton Yelchin) comes to realise his new neighbour Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire. Once his best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) has been turned it's up to him to save his girlfriend (Imogen Poots) and mum (Toni Colette). And his only ally is louche Vegas magician and alleged vampire expert Peter Vincent (David Tennant blatantly channeling Russell Brand) whose first instincts are to drink heavily and run away....

That the film even manages to reach the level of "okay" is some kind of achievement. It has none of the charm or style of the original: the main characters are dull, colourless and provide no reason why we should be interested in them. And Tennant's Peter Vincent is, for most of the time, an arrogant, foul-mouthed and egotistical knob. The 3D is entirely redundant and scenes shot in unlit houses at dusk might as well be audio only because even without the glasses you can barely make out what's on the screen. It's entirely unremarkable and a disappointment even given that expectations weren't high. Really, how difficult is it to muck up Fright Night?


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