Review

Harry has seen the new FRIGHT NIGHT & found it really fun!

Published at: Aug. 17, 2011, 11:20 p.m. CST

 

I haven’t been a fan of this project at all.   The original FRIGHT NIGHT came in 1985 to theaters…  It hit cable shortly after that – and FRIGHT NIGHT was on multiple times a week in my home.   I watched it habitually.   Incessantly.   I watched this film and Charley Brewster joined a select group of kids that represented my sense of geek identity throughout High School.   Kids like Alex Rogan, Den, Ren McCormack, Ferris Bueller, Billy Peltzer and Charley Brewster…  they were all geeky kids.   They were all outside the typical High School crowd.   They all had not only the capacity to believe in the fantastical, but an almost manifest destiny to discover the unknown and survive it.   Make that shit their bitch, while the typical High School kid became lunch…  or just remained typical and clueless.   There were a lot of these films in the 80s.   Movies that connected with my generation and became a common language when my generation hit online 15 years ago.   I commonly discount finger crucifixes with, “You have to believe, for that to work” – and if the person smiles – it means they get it, they’re one of us.   They’re a geek.

 

FRIGHT NIGHT is one of those films for me.   I love it.  Roddy McDowall’s PETER VINCENT is one of those singularly awesome creations.   That I just absolutely love Roddy McDowall – gives him a cred, that my kid brain absolutely believed that I would go to him to seek supernatural fighting advice.   When Vincent Price hit Wichita Falls – watching Charley contact Peter Vincent…  helped give me the courage to reach out and chat with Mr Price – so I owe FRIGHT NIGHT one of the greatest conversations I had in High School.  

 

Then about a week ago some friends started seeing FRIGHT NIGHT.   A film I had pretty much written off.   I hadn’t liked the trailers, the posters…  it just wasn’t rubbing my rhubarb right.

 

But these friends, they liked the movie, surprisingly so.   So just hearing that, I decided to drop my precious nostalgic rose colored adulation of the original, and just went in hoping to have a good time tonight.

 

There’s a reason to hope this is a good movie.  The script was written by Marti Noxon, who did write some good episodes of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and MAD MEN…  but she is also partly responsible for the horror that was I AM NUMBER FOUR (whew).   The film was being helmed by Craig Gillespie, he made a big splash with LARS & THE REAL GIRL, but then smacked us with MR. WOODCOCK…  so, I was really hoping he’d break out of that sophmore flick slump.   The film’s cast was also fun.   I love Anton Yelchin – from the moment I saw CHARLIE BARTLETT, I wanted more from him.   I can’t wait to see him be Chekov again, and his Kyle Reese was the singular awesome aspect of TERMINATOR SALVATION.   I also love Christopher Mintz-Plasse.  McLovin’ & Red Mist & especially his Augie from ROLE MODELS – which I feel not nearly enough people properly respect.  

 

I was wary of Colin Farrell as Jerry the Vampire.   I do tend to like Farrell in film, but I was worried about what he could do in the part – but open to it.   Not being a DR WHO watcher, I just couldn’t help but wonder if I’d have the dear Dr. fighting the ghost of Roddy McDowall.  

 

Happily, there’s only a couple of moments in the film that I really thought about the original film – and that came in a couple of the key similar moments between the film, but really – this is an entirely new FRIGHT NIGHT – and that’s a good thing.

 

Charley Brewster is that kid whose acne went away and he started to come into his own IN High School.   One day, he had a beautiful girlfriend, and suddenly his friends were not nearly as important as they were before.   Christopher Mintz Plasse’s Ed was his best friend, and now – he really doesn’t register as much of a blip on Charley’s social radar.   “Evil” blackmails Charley into  listening to him, to giving him his time.   BUT – Charley doesn’t need that world of geekery anymore.   He feels he has to hide that side of him, because he’s terrified that his girlfriend AMY, played by the so cute and awesome Imogen Poots, well – he’s convinced that he has to be more normal & well-adjusted to keep her.  

 

In this version, Ed twists Charley’s arm to help him investigate the disappearance of a mutual friend.   Ed is convinced that Charley’s neighbor is in fact a VAMPIRE – which just further pushes Charley away from Ed.   I mean seriously, VAMPIRES?   In a day & age with HOT TOPIC selling all manners of TWILIGHT vampire worship totems?   I get where Charley is – but at the same time, he’s totally being a douche.   As a basic rule, if your girl isn’t vibing with your friends, it is probably a good idea to move on.   Finding a person that flawlessly fits into your life and your eccentricities…  that’s what all good geeks should be looking for.   They exist and may even be the girl you’re dating – a lesson that Charley is sorely needing.  

 

Once Colin Farrell enters the movie – it’s just impossible to not kinda love.   I mean, the BEER SCENE in this is just classic.  The highway chase sequence…  so good.   Colin’s JERRY is not as swarmy as Chris Sarandon’s Jerry.   Colin is playing with his kills.   He knows he has a complete advantage.   Especially over some punk kid.   He’s been alive for hundreds of years – and having this cute lil Charley kid thinking he can enter his house, fuck with his food, make his house SAFE?   It amuses Jerry.   Jerry looks at the crosses and garlic and holy water and thinks of the centuries that they’ve left no permanent scars upon him.    He’s above the mumbo jumbo and most importantly – he knows how to scare the rats into the open.    He’s dangerous & a wannabe motherfucker.  

 

Speaking of mom, Charley’s mom is none other than Toni Collette – an actress that I’ve loved on film for a good long time.  From MURIEL’S WEDDING to EMMA to VELVET GOLDMINE to SIXTH SENSE to SHAFT to ABOUT A BOY to LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE – she’s always delivered in her roles.   Here, she’s a single Mom with a boy that just amuses her and makes her proud.   She likes to listen in on her son’s conversations with his girlfriend – and you can see she likes this girl…  and is proud of her son.   When the shit gets going and her son asks her to trust him, she does the smart mom thing and listens to her clearly freaked out son, and tells Jerry to go get the authorities.   It is a great moment, but what Colin does next is just kind of fantastic.   You’ll see.

 

Ok – so you’ve noticed I’ve been avoiding talking about PETER VINCENT.   How is David Tennant?  Well, he’s awesome.   By skewering Criss Angel – Tennant wisely side steps everything that Roddy did so perfectly in the original.   He isn’t the late night horror host.   He’s a Vegas nightmare.   A magician that theatrically transforms his magic act into a Goth’s wet dream.   It’s kind of hilarious.     When you take in the whole of this Peter Vincent’s story – you get his cowardice.   There’s trauma in his life.   The character is much more integral to the story, than even Roddy was…  but there’s no denying…  when I hear the name Peter Vincent, it will always be Roddy that I think of.   But I liked this interpretation quite a bit, because it was so completely different.

 

We’re in the midst of a whole set of remakes and not all of them will work.   FRIGHT NIGHT does, it doesn’t succeed as wildly as the other Craig’s remake, but it does manage to be creepy, exciting and funny.   Three things that a FRIGHT NIGHT should always be.  The key misstep of this film was not knowing when to lose the CG.   KNB’s makeup work is great, when CG isn’t mucking it up.   That said, there’s two sequences that used the CG exceptionally well.   I also wanted to give a couple of shout outs.   Ramin Djawadi’s score was pretty damn nifty.   A bit old fashioned at times – but in a way that I miss.   And Javier Aguirresarobe’s cinematography was especially sharp.   I loved how warm his nights were.   Typically in 3D, everything compresses in the dark.   But the way the suburban neighborhoods were lit, I absolutely got the sense of depth and dimension that you see at night.  

 

The best thing I can say is that I really did enjoy the film.   That’s something that I didn’t think I could say, and I’m genuinely happy to be able to.   For me, the original film has too much nostalgia and good memories to ever say I prefer this one, but this one is solid entertainment.

Readers Talkback

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  • Aug. 17, 2011, 11:29 p.m. CST

    maybe now you'll grok some dr who

    by mr. smith

    tennant rocks

  • Aug. 17, 2011, 11:29 p.m. CST

    We'll see.

    by unkempt_sock

  • Aug. 17, 2011, 11:39 p.m. CST

    awesome news!

    by antonphd

    i was going to see it anyway, because how could i not see a film with those actors, but i'm relieved to know that i'll enjoy it. i'm wasn't sure from the trailers. god, i gotta say that i'm impressed with how Colin Farrell has resurrected his career. he had so much potential but then he just kinda fucked it up. now, he's come back slowly over the last couple years and he actually seems like he has more potential than before. kind of reminds me of Robert Downey Jr.

  • Aug. 17, 2011, 11:48 p.m. CST

    Cautious optimism

    by zombieslayer

    Someone very dear to me who obsessively watches the original saw a preview screening and didn't care for it. But Tennant Is my doctor. I am torn. Harrys reviews don't always push me onto one side of the fence I'm sitting on or the other, but this one helps me not dread paying my 9 bucks. Lol

  • Aug. 17, 2011, 11:51 p.m. CST

    Hot damn!

    by ames prather

    This is the type of review I've wanted to read about this movie. Written by someone fond of the original, but open to a different interpretation. The trailers gave me the idea that this was a different take on the story, Jerry was much, MUCH more dangerous in this version. I'm also glad that Mr. Tennent isn't treading on holy ground here. Mr. McDowell was brilliant in the original, a nearly impossible act to follow. It makes me happy to know that the writer and director were smart enough not to go there. Looks like the wife and I have a date this weekend. ??Pseudo?? Out.

  • Cameron was a geeky kid. Ferris Bueller had cheerleaders asking him "How's your bod?"

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 12:11 a.m. CST

    I will never understand the love for the original.

    by Robert79797979

    It is directed like a made-for-tv-movie, the effects are cheap, the acting is sub-par, the script is uninteresting... the entire movie is boring. I just don't get it.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 12:21 a.m. CST

    Sure you did Harry, sure you did

    by coconutgroves

    Btw, keep up with the great work on the site. You've really kept up with the competition.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 12:38 a.m. CST

    RE:If the girl isn't vibing with the friends, drop the girl

    by kidicarus

    Then again, sometimes you have friends that are complete idiots who contribute nothing to your worth as a human being, and it takes an outside person to point that out to you. Fuck all that bro-code bullshit, some friends are meant to keep for a lifetime, others are meant to be outgrown as you mature and they don't.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 12:45 a.m. CST

    it doesn’t succeed as wildly as the other Craig’s remake

    by Dr Eric Vornoff

    Anyone have any idea what the fuck this is referring to? To be fair the open paragraph was pretty comprehensible but by the time he got to the second we get the usual hyphens, ellipses, unfinished sentences and non-sequitars. As a writer Harry does have his own unmistakeable style, I suppose, but it's not a style any normal functioning adult would want to be associated with. A thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters may not be bettering Shakespeare any time soon but I bet they'd still produce a coherent sentence more often than Harry.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 1:05 a.m. CST

    The original was an awful movie, it's sole redeeming feature

    by SmokingRobot

    Was playing upon our affection for Roddy McDowell. A cheap trick, that.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 1:10 a.m. CST

    How can an Ubergeek not be a Doctor Who fan?

    by berserkrl

    That's just wrong.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 1:45 a.m. CST

    Best part of the original.......Amanda Bearse in see through white gown

    by thelordofhell

    mmmmmmmmm

  • Footloose? Craig Brewer is the director. Otherwise that sentence is incomprehensible.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 2:48 a.m. CST

    Sorry Mr. Smith....

    by cerberus

    Dr Who is terrible IMHO. It's the kind of show that the slightly older kids would watch after saturday morning cartoons were finished. I just don't see why this show gets so much geek devotion. It's badly written. It's badly acted, if you can call running down long halls screaming acting. Yes, I have seen Blink. No, I was not impressed. I'm not saying it's not okay to like it, but a signifigant portion of the fanbase actually believes that this is one of the best shows on television...

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 3:24 a.m. CST

    Fright Night was already remade by the SyFyllis channel as

    by Dennis_Moore

    "Never Cry Werewolf" starring Nina Dobrev and Kevin Sorbo. Anyhow, anyone who doesn't get what's great about the original Fright Night is either too young to have seen it when it was fresh, or simply doesn't belong on this site. Too young to understand how it was a love letter to Hammer Horror in the midst of all the dreadful 80's slasher crap.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 3:27 a.m. CST

    Did Marti Noxon include an excrutiating rape scene? It's her

    by Dennis_Moore

    calling card in her TV work.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 3:27 a.m. CST

    Cannot wait for this f**ker! I knew Tennant would be awesome too!

    by HarryBlackPotter

    I AM a Dr. Who watcher and having seen what Tennant is capable of, I was sooooo looking forward to this movie. Love this original, will be there on first night!

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Amen, @bobo_vision

    by mastermold

    Ferris Bueller was not a geek. He was made out to be a god walking among mortals and that movie sucked balls because of it. Everyone else was a waste of oxygen compared to Ferret Buller. And people treat this movie with such reverence. Inexplicable.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 7:21 a.m. CST

    I'm looking forward to this movie

    by Rob

    Just thought I'd let a bunch of anonymous strangers know that... I'm sure you all care!

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Of course he did. He's a fat fucking TOOL!!!

    by bruce

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 7:44 a.m. CST

    I suspect Harry sees a lot of finger crucifixes

    by Righteous Brother

    Mainly from pubescent girls.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 7:54 a.m. CST

    mastermold

    by NightArrows

    You think Ferris Bueller sucked balls as a film? You sir are a stupid, shit-eating mother fucker.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 7:57 a.m. CST

    It's tracking really well on RT.

    by blackwood

    For a mid-August horror-comedy remake? 72% is, like, 90%. I love Colin Farrell. Especially in this stage of his career, having backed off the traditional leading man shit to do interesting work in interesting movies. I dig. Ebert, as always, advocates 2D because the movie is too dim. I don't know who to trust on this one. I kinda want to see it in 3D.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Tennant...

    by Ian

    is the reason I'm seeing this movie in theater instead of waiting for the blu...can't wait.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Harry NOT watching Doctor Who?

    by Red43jes

    If hes not watching DOCTOR WHO, he should have his geek card revoked. Doctor Who has so many things he likes about Sci Fi as well....

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Nightarrows

    by Righteous Brother

    At the risk of being called a stupid shit-eating mother fucker. I fucking despise Ferris Bueller. I know its a film that gets a lot of love from the vast majority of people, and I was about 14/15 when it came out, so I'm of that generation.....but.......I just hate Mathew Brodericks portrayal of him. He's an oily, creepy, low down despicable little fuck - and he's popular?? I'm with mastermold on that one I'm afraid. On the other hand...........I love Weird Science.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Should be retitled "Fright Night DOESN'T suck!"

    by D.Vader

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 9:23 a.m. CST

    not to get off track....

    by jake rodgers

    A couple of months ago, in a Behnid the Scenes Pic of the day article for i think the Maltese Falcon, one of the TB'ers suggested that eveyone see a movie name Sahara with Bogart as a tank commander. Just wanted to say thanks to that person for recommending a movie that is fantastic. It was on TCM last night and i enjoyed the hell out of it. IF it was you, thank you whoever you were. Seriously Thank you.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Or.....Fright Night is Fangtastic!

    by Righteous Brother

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 9:28 a.m. CST

    righteousbrother

    by NightArrows

    No risk, I've already behaved in the manner to which the rules of AICN demand I act. I can see where you're coming from, but I find him entirely likeable because he's not of the pretty boy douchebag variety that usually behaves in such a manner. Bradley Cooper in Wedding Crashers is who I would peg as such. And his intentions are pure, even if they are selfish. Give Cameron the day of his young life. Weird Science is a good film, one I'm very fond of, but Ferris Bueller is one of my all-time favourites.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Harry did your world as a kid somehow have 52-90 hour days?

    by Knobules

    If I sat down and did the math on how many movies you saw over and over along with everything else you did in long stretches it doesn't really add up to 24 hour days.

  • You think he meant SMARMY instead? Maybe Sarandon's vampire was... "swarmy"... but I dunno.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 9:39 a.m. CST

    What is "the other Craig's remake"?

    by D.Vader

    Anyone have any guesses? Does that mean Harry has seen the Footloose remake directed by Craig Brewer?

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 9:45 a.m. CST

    RighteousBrother

    by D.Vader

    I was tying in the "doesn't suck!" line with Harry's title for his Conan review. The Conan movie "doesn't suck"? IS Harry even awake? A smarter man would have registered that dumb mistake early on and switched the titles around. Conan not sucking makes no sense. A vampire movie not sucking makes perfect sense. Hell, "fangtastic" makes perfect sense. But with the titles to his two movie reviews, its like he just couldn't be bothered to think of anything clever. I mean, Conan "has some pretty cool parts"? Its like a 12 year old's class paper.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Swarthy + Smarmy =

    by Righteous Brother

    Swarmy!

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 9:52 a.m. CST

    I see where you're coming from Nightarrows

    by Righteous Brother

    and I know I'm in the minority. Maybe, I'll give it another looksee at some point coming at it from that angle. Now.....back to the Harry and his reviews...

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 9:58 a.m. CST

    The original isn't that great anyways

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Saw it for the first time last year, and while it's enjoyable it is FAR from a classic.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 10 a.m. CST

    Righteous

    by The Shropshire Slasher

    Sometimes the minority has it right.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 10:05 a.m. CST

    What happened to the cameo???

    by film11

    I seem to recall that this site reported that Chris Sarandon was doing a cameo? So...did he?

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Ferris Bueller was NOT a geek.

    by Buddapest

    Ferris Bueller was uber cool, and like a teen prototype for a modern era James Bond for the late 80's; everything the guy touched turned to gold, and he could do no wrong. He could accomplish anything and get away with it, because some kind of unseen cosmic force was seemingly on his side. He had a hot girlfriend, and if anyone in the movie is a geek, it's his best buddy Cameron. Or, if you think about it, Ferris's dad. I've always wondered if Ferris grew up to be a secret agent, to be truthful. But it's ridiculous to label him a geek. Shoot, even the principal in the movie's more of a geek than Ferris could ever be accused of being. How, in any way, shape, or form, can Ferris Bueller be considered a geek, just because he's planes above all the other teens in his peer group? Wow.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 10:23 a.m. CST

    the_shropshire_slasher

    by NightArrows

    Nah. As for Fright Night, the original anyways, I'd always liked it, but I'm not beholden to it as a 'classic'. I like the mood, but could never get past Amanda Bearse as I had watched Fright Night AFTER I had watched Married with Children...Marcy was gross. I'll see this and if I like it, then great, if not, nothing lost.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Harry's Being Generous

    by notarydpo

    I saw this last week at a free screening. It's certainly not as bad as it could have been, but were it not for Farrell and Tennant there would be absolutely no reason to see this in a theater. It's an average horror film aimed towards audiences who prefer jump scares above all else, and the 3D is the about as bad as it gets.

  • I don't like the Las Vegas strip home setting; I much prefer the MidWestern setting of the original, but that's just more what I relate to. The trailers haven't done much for me, and I can't understand why Peter Vincent's character has been given so little screen time in the trailers and advertising. The original is just something I've loved since I saw it in the theaters as a high school student myself. It had an old fashioned vibe, even back then, that recalled Universal and Hammer monster pictures. The seductive music wormed its way into my subconscious. Chris Sarandon was cool. Roddy MacDowall was awesome (an overused and juvenile word, but here it's almost the best way to describe this screen veteran's masterful, fun performance). William Ragsdale was easy to identify with. The makeup effects were fun. The whole movie reeked of atmosphere. This remake can't possibly hit me in the same way the original did in 1985. I don't know if it will have a similar effect on the new generation. I just hope I don't hate it.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 10:48 a.m. CST

    thetoiletbrush

    by Buddapest

    I understand what you mean, but it's like standing by a train track when you know a truck is about to be plowed into, and you're from a safe distance away -- you don't really want to look, but you can't help it. As for me, I'm always fascinated by the things Harry always insists on putting into his reviews for no clear reason: the "giggle" thing, which I find skin-crawlingly ineffective, the constant uses of elipses, and the incessant usage of references to how he sees characters in films being him, or how different people tell him different characters remind them of him; on one level, I understand it, but on another, I just want to know why he likes a film based on its merits as a film, not so much why it elicits an emotional response or past memory for him. It's interesting and annoying at the same time. Don't get me wrong - I like Harry, but it seems like his writing style hasn't changed. Ever. I'd personally like to see some growth. If he could disconnect the emotional aspect of his reviews, and extract personal comparisons to himself and his life, and would focus on the films AS FILMS, and not extensions of his psyche, I think his reviews would be much better. Also, I wish he'd stop being so defensive about why he likes certain films when others don't. Either we like a movie, or we don't. No need to defend what we like. Something either works for us, or it doesn't. A lot of times I agree with Harry's reviews, but sometimes I think he lacks objectivity because he gets too emotionally attached. But that's part of the mystery of film, isn't it? Harry's a good guy. His heart's in the right place. I don't wish him any harm. If he reads this, I hope I've not insulted him. Just some constructive observations.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 10:56 a.m. CST

    how the fuck is Ferris Bueller a geek?

    by Lost Jarv

    Seriously?

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 10:58 a.m. CST

    I think i've spotted at least part of Harrys

    by DrMorbius

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 11:03 a.m. CST

    I think i've spotted at least part of Harry's problem ...

    by DrMorbius

    ... maybe try a little less 'rubbing your rhubarb' ...

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Night

    by The Shropshire Slasher

    Yea. I love the original, but that doesn't make it a classic. As for Bearse, I always thought she had just the right look for that role. I saw this before Married, so I had that going for me.

  • Like when the Amityville Horror remake came out a few years ago. The original was so freaking bad. Fright Night 85' is filed with bad effects, hammy acting and a poor script.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Saw a sneek last week

    by decfx

    It's a fun movie but the major gripe I have with it is that there is zero build up to anything. It felt as if they were in a hurry to get to the "good" parts and left out any real tension. I do have to give props to the BEER SCENE. It was the only real tension in the film.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Harry has seen the new FRIGHT NIGHT & found it really fun!

    by Immortal_Fish

    Of course you did, Harry. Of course you did.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Bearse

    by NightArrows

    Why the (FUCK) would Superman be with HER???

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Re:hatedperson

    by Robert79797979

    Learn the difference between "your" and "you're".

  • Still not quite getting it.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 1:53 p.m. CST

    HARRY - You've just lost the last bit of credibility.

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    Saw a screening for this. Wasn't happy about this being made to begin with so I'm biased, even more so because I cannot stand Farrell or Tennant. But when dragged along I went, figuring the hell with it, I'll give it a go. What a mistake. Awful from the start. Virtually no characterisation. Farrell is terrible as Jerry, flat as a pancake. Tennant is a joke as Peter and no, Harry, he is NOT more integral to this version than Peter was in the original - that comment from you makes me wonder if you actually saw this rubbish or if you're just saying you did and pocketing a cheque for a good review because that is utter tripe. Hes an afterthought of a character in this, no arc, doesn't go anywhere and there is no pathos to his charcater history at all, it's just weak. Peter in the original was CENTRAL to the whole friggin' movie for crying out loud, and that's even before we go into McDowell's masterful performance. All Noxon and Gillespie did was substitute explosions and bad cgi for what used to be depth and surprising characterisation. Middling actors are now in place of masters. I saw this for free and I still feel like I paid too damn much. If you genuinely saw this, and you genuinely think this is ok as a remake to Fright Night, then I'm sorry pal but I'm gonna have to agree with the other people frequenting this site who say you've lost all reason. This wasn't just bad, it was mind numbing.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 1:57 p.m. CST

    So is Tennant REALLY in this? Or NOT?

    by Big Dumb Ape

    I'm old enough to remember seeing the original in the theater and -- like a lot of people my age -- I groaned out loud and felt another piece of my movie-loving soul die when they first announced this remake. Simply because if a studio was SO eager to do a "young kid vs. a vampire" movie -- and speaking as a writer myself -- for fuck's sake, you're telling me there weren't ANY brand-new and ORIGINAL scripts that could have used instead? There weren't ANY writers available, who could've at least pitched some cool new ideas around such a basic idea, at which point then they could write an ORIGINAL script? Wait -- what am I talking about? This is Hollywood, which we KNOW is creatively BANKRUPT and is now run by suits with no vision, who are simply money-grubbing whores. After all, not only do we have this film, next up is the FOOTLOOSE remake, now to be followed by the DIRTY DANCING remake, which will be followed by... Anyway...if I had any interest in seeing this, it would be because of Tennant. But I've noticed they've really downplayed him in all of the advertising to date. So is he REALLY a major part of this like Roddy McDowall was in the original? Or does Tennant simply have a short cameo bit, where the new kid simply gets some advice from him -- and then he disappears from the film? I'd like to know HOW MUCH of a role Tennant plays. Is he actually partnered with the kid for a good chunk of the movie like Peter Vincent was in the original...or is Tennant just tossed into the mix to play off his name/Dr Who marquee value, to get geek asses to fill a few more seats? Because if Tennant isn't a full vampire fighting partner in this thing...honestly?...I can just save 11 bucks and wait for this to hit HBO.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 2:26 p.m. CST

    YES TENNANT IS IN IT. AND YES — HE STEALS THE MOVIE!!

    by blakindigo

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 3:15 p.m. CST

    3D vs 2D

    by DrAstroZoom

    Whoever was wondering if they should follow Ebert's advice and see it in 2D -- don't. This movie's use of 3D is among the best I've seen.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 4:32 p.m. CST

    It's DOCTOR, not Dr. Fuck sake. Geek my arse.

    by Brody77

    Why does every goddamn "review" have to be prefaced by some bullshit story about your life? Don't take it personally (or do, whatever) but just review the fucking film. I dunno why I bothered clicking over here from the Fright Night FB link, this "review" changes nante for me.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 4:32 p.m. CST

    PS

    by Brody77

    Be nice if they actually acknowledged Tennant is in this movie - some of the trailers he doesn't even appear in!

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 4:33 p.m. CST

    great!!

    by marcus

    I like anton yelchin, he is a good actor, but i don't know nothing about david tennant, maybe he will surprise me.

  • But I watched it 170000 times as a kid and even though that would make me 211 years old now I still did that. And other stuff like sniffing glue and BBQ

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Harry! You Damn Dirty Ape! Where's your ROTPOTA review??

    by Can Man

  • Seriously. Dad and dog fall in the bloody puddle. Louis Lane screams and they drive away. Uh thats it? The "get out!" scene worked and the red eyes outside the window. Two short scares. The end

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Obviously the person who made you ask...

    by Robert79797979

    .. "who cares". That is pretty obvious. That being said, why ask such a dumb question in the first place?

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 7:51 p.m. CST

    c'mon.. Re: Harry's Rhubarb..

    by mcgillj

    ok.. I know Harry seems to HEAVILY overcompensate with the sexual innuendo.. and the language.. for some odd reason.. I don't see why. BUT.. I laughed as the "rhubarb" remember.. remember when the Joker shoots Bruce Wayne over Vicki Vale? "You don't rub another man's rhubarb.." At least.. that's how I took the reference.. and always just seemed one of the MOST psychotic but HILARIOUS moments in Nicholson's performance.. which came after Keaton's amazing FREAK OUT .. made me fondly remember Batman..

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 9:20 p.m. CST

    When is 72% just like 90%?

    by Subtitles_Off

    Never. Not even in August.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 11 p.m. CST

    “You have to believe, for that to work”

    by Ben Drisgula

    Harry if your going to make such a big deal about quoting lines from the movie you should at least get the quote right. "You have to have FAITH for that to work on me!"

  • He was your proto-, hip to be square, future dot com millionaire in the '90's. He was charismatic and extremely smart, which is why people loved him... and a con man. Most popular guys drive sports cars, have some disposable income. Ferris Bueller was shady and lacked personal income. He got by in life only by using people and manipulating the system. The whole day off was made up of using Cameron, who was reluctant to even answer the phone. Ferris has never worked a hard day in his life. Some have even suggested that maybe Bueller was all in Cameron's mind. The devil on his shoulder, if you will. That's getting a little too in the weeds. No need for Ferris to be a metaphor when it's a fucking movie and all characters in some way or another are archetypal aspects of human psyche anyway. But back to the geek thing. His sister got the car, he got the computer, which he used to hack into the school's network. This was the fucking mid-to-late eighties. If you own a computer and fucking hacking in that decade, you're a fucking geek. Fuck, I remember the social stigma of junior high in the early '90s of even admitting you own a computer. It was like pussy repellent. Ultimately, Ferris Bueller is a manipulator and con-man who's smart enough to use a computer. One day Ferris Bueller would have gotten busted in some corporate scandal or gotten into politics and be a shady senator, governor, or president. My money's on all the bullshit, smoke-and-mirror dot com bubble companies that sprang up in the mid-to-late '90's. When the bubble busted, all the bullshit companies that had relied off of cooking the books and good PR crashed. Some of your corporate slimes new when to sell their stocks and get the fuck out of dodge or be arrested. That's Bueller's future.

  • Ferris wasn't a computer hacking nerd. He didn't even want a fucking computer. He got the computer by default and so he used it as a tool to enhance his debauchery and social activities. He wasn't some nerd who spent his free time writing code...that was War Games. <p> Ferris wanted to live life...because it moves pretty fast...and if you don't look around once in a while...you might miss the point, spire_walk.

  • Aug. 19, 2011, 6:49 a.m. CST

    only 1 "that said" in the whole review

    by animas

    you are improving !

  • Aug. 19, 2011, 6:52 a.m. CST

    The original IS a genre classic so cram that noise!

    by ZodNotGod

    And the original is a love letter to all of us who love Hammer Horror of the 60's-70's. If you don't get that, your loss. The remake will be missing a great performance by the original "Evil Ed," that guy was hilarious. Who stangely enough quit the main stream biz to work in gay porn.

  • Aug. 19, 2011, 6:53 a.m. CST

    ...

    by ZodNotGod

    And Bearse is a lesbian. Something in the water on that set!

  • Aug. 19, 2011, 6:57 a.m. CST

    The Sequel!

    by ZodNotGod

    Does stink!

  • Aug. 19, 2011, 7:09 a.m. CST

    "Your so cool, Brewster!"

    by ZodNotGod

  • Aug. 19, 2011, 7:30 a.m. CST

    ...and a Merry Christmas to you too !

    by hastros

  • Aug. 19, 2011, 7:55 a.m. CST

    @robert79797979 you were either...

    by AllThosePowers

    ...considerably older than you ought have been when the original was released or perhaps either too young, in which case you've only recently seen it, there's a reason why lightening in a bottle is called lightening in a bottle, too bad you missed it, btw what did you think about the bit where he fingered her on the dancefloor, that's one of my favorite bits hehehehe!

  • Aug. 19, 2011, 7:57 a.m. CST

    The other Craig remake is obviously Footloose.

    by Griefo

    Craig Brewer. Hustle and Flow is a great movie. I think this Footloose remake is gonna be fun

  • Aug. 19, 2011, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Harry, did you really see this film...?

    by AllThosePowers

    ...sounds like you're allowing the studios to grease-palm you. Whay would you say a film is fun and good when it clearly isn't? Answer=$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • Aug. 19, 2011, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Whoa! Farrell actually bettered Sarandon

    by Shpadoinkle

    Saw this last night, and it almost stands shoulder to shoulder with the original in terms of fun and scares. Colin Farrell gives an incredible performance as Jerry Dandridge, really did not think he had it in him (but then this is his first horror film) to be that menacing, he's by far the best thing in the film. He made Sarandon's vampire seem cheesy and ultimately tame in comparison. The only thing I wasn't sure about was the CGI enhancements when he's in vampire mode, looked a bit shitty. Preferred the Charley and Evil in the original, they were just so much more likeable and identifiable (yes, even Ed) but this one is worth the price of admission. Never expected the remake to be this good. Top marks to the director too, film looked amazing.

  • Aug. 19, 2011, 11:59 a.m. CST

    If the best thing Harry can say is

    by kolchak

    "I really enjoyed this", you know it's a mediocre piece of shit. No saliva splattered diatribe about how it took him back to his youth? This is his equivalent of a "meh".

  • Aug. 19, 2011, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Remake or not it was great

    by beane2099

    I was impressed by this movie. I really expected to hate it but it was pretty awesome. Tenant is no McDowell but he's damn close. The interaction between him and virtually every other character is great. August has been the month of remakes, but I gotta say I've enjoyed them all thus far.

  • Aug. 19, 2011, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Did we change the meaning of "respect" and I missed it?

    by glasshalfempty

    I keep reading, on AICN and elsewhere, over and over again, that Fright Night 2011 “respects” the 1985 original. If by showing “respect”, we mean: stripping the material of all of its heart …marginalizing characters into afterthoughts, removing from them every trace of soul and tragic nuance …replacing playful thrills with arch coolness, ramped up chase sequences and tacky cgi …dumbing down or rushing through--or simply doing away with--everything that was special about the original, leaving a soulless empty shell of a movie behind … Then, yeah, the remake absolutely “respects” the original, all right. And, yes, I’m a fan of the original; and, yes, I’ve seen the remake …with an open mind, thanks to all of the now bafflingly positive reviews from people I normally respect and trust. Not only do I disagree that the remake respects the original, I don’t think it respects the audience in general on a storytelling level--it is lazy, disappointing work, remake or not. Only the performances (good, across the board) raise it above Platinum Dunes/Screen Gems level of remake dreck. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m driving over to my parents’ house and showing them some “respect” by taking a shit on their dining room table.

  • I was wrong, and this time I'm happy to admit it. "Fright Night" (2011) is very good. Trailers can be deceptive in a beneficial way sometimes, because I hated the "Fright Night" trailers, but the good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and elsewhere sold me on a matinee. This is as good a remake as one could possibly hope for and (I can't believe I'm about to say this) Colin Farrell is fangtastic! David Tennant's Peter Vincent was an amusing cross between Chris Angel, Russell Brand and Jack Sparrow. This is not an insult to the original film. It does pay homage to it, but it also spins off in different directions making it feel both comfortably familiar and fresh & exciting at the same time. All the practical effects are great and the movie only slips a couple times when resorting to unneeded and distracting CGI. I'm as shocked as anyone else to say this, but I'd recommend this to horror/vampire fans.

  • Aug. 19, 2011, 9:22 p.m. CST

    SMARMY not SWARMY

    by misterfurly

    harry learn the english language

  • I don't always agree with any particular reviewer on AICN, but this time I freakin' agree with every damn thing Harry said. About the actors. About the music. About the effects and the couple of times when the CGI was unneeded, and in fact, worse than practical effects would have been. Shit, this Harry dude knows a thing or two about movies. Who would've thought? I could almost copy and paste this review and put my name on it.

  • Aug. 20, 2011, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Box-Office Disaster: $8 million opening weekend

    by Dursman2000

    I actually want to see the film, but talk about a flop. If you can't get to $10 million, and you're including 3-D ticket premiums, that is a total bomb. Colin Farrell is box-office poison (and always has been). http://www.deadline.com/2011/08/first-box-office-top-5-utter-confusion/

  • Aug. 20, 2011, 10:59 a.m. CST

    dursman, the weekend is not over. In fact it only just started.

    by Bobo_Vision

  • It's no surprise that it would tank at the box-office. People will likely end up ultimately enjoying it when they finally see it on Red Box, on demand and cable TV. There is a long history of cult films following that same trend. To get people out of their homes, drive to the theater and pay for a ticket, the marketing has to at least look like it promises something special. The marketing folks, for whatever reason, failed to replicate on what the movie actually delivers.

  • Aug. 20, 2011, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Yes, David Tennant isn't just a cameo

    by mullymt

    I was worried about that, too, but he's part is pretty significant, and grows throughout the film. He nails it. The movie is really fun, and the 3D is definitely worth the few extra bucks. That aspect was really well done.

  • Aug. 20, 2011, 3:21 p.m. CST

    I've been a champion of a good remake of this for years...

    by lynxpro

    Seriously, the old film is flawed and in quality barely a cut above a made-for-cable 80s flick. Actually, I'd pit it below an episode of "Forever Knight" for that matter. Roddy McDowell is about as credible a vampire killer as Anthony Daniels would be [or Tony Randall, or Charles Nelson Reilly for that matter]. It reminded me too much of the tv sequel to Salem's Lot in the fx department. Now, had they cast Darren McGavin as Peter Vincent back then, that would've been a whole different can of whoop-ass but alas their casting director was not a person of inspiration [apparently]. And Amanda Bearse as the damsel in distress? Ellen Degeneres please... So yeah, I'm gonna go watch this film and enjoy it.

  • Aug. 20, 2011, 3:24 p.m. CST

    and I'm not watching it for David Tennant either...

    by lynxpro

    ...'cos Paul McGann was a better Doctor! Actually, casting him as Peter Vincent would've been badass...of course, he already was David Talbot as well as a Lesbian Vampire Killer...

  • Aug. 21, 2011, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Bobo - It IS Over for FRIGHT NIGHT...and CONAN...and SPY KIDS

    by Dursman2000

    Three big openings handily beaten by THE HELP and APES.

  • I'm a big fan of the original FRIGHT NIGHT but I agree, the ads looked hideous. I still want to see it eventually but it'll be on Blu-Ray. I also think we totally saw 3-D overkill this summer. This weekend in particular - CONAN, FRIGHT NIGHT, SPY KIDS - saw 3-D movies all open at once and they all bombed. They oversaturated the marketplace for 3-D and the demand was not there.

  • Aug. 21, 2011, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Didn't go anywhere

    by Nick

    No depth of character in Jerry or Peter like in the original. Tennant was wasted as a character compared to Roddy McDowall. Evil Ed was just annoying and couldn't wait for him to die. You really felt bad for the original Ed. Sarandon was much more interesting as Jerry than Farrell.

  • Aug. 21, 2011, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Even the trailer for this

    by ObiBen

    is hideous. Godawful acting, boring, flat cinematography, cheapo CG. The original wasn't high art, but accusing it of being barely above made-for-tv grade and having bad effects compared to this creative abortion is wildly disingenuous. The transformation scene from werewolf to slimy skull in the staircase probably beats every crappy pixelated effect in the remake. Welcome to the dumb future, as a poster above said.

  • Aug. 21, 2011, 8:40 p.m. CST

    I'm glad this movie bombed.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    Fuck it, why do we need a remake of FRIGHT NIGHT? Who cares if the original is dated? That's become part of its charm. This is not like CONAN. There isn't a big reservoir of source material to draw upon. So, instead of refashioning Holland's original FRIGHT NIGHT into something glossy for today's masses (What good did that do, anyway?), the studio and the filmmakers could have, you know, made an original fucking vampire story that aspired to be the FRIGHT NIGHT of this era. The public has spoken, FRIGHT NIGHT remake, and it says: CHOPPED.

  • Aug. 22, 2011, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Not as good as the original

    by eric haislar

    But still not bad. The wife and I had fun.

  • The original was 'meh' at best, as were most of the so called classics of the 80's. This new version hasn't any cool source material to draw from, can't expect it to be much better than the original.

  • If so, let me come to your house and shake some sense into you. Also, Role Models was amusing but I think if you evaluate your praise of Augie you will find it is more due to your personal sympathies and empathy for the character rather than him not getting the respect due. Of the best parts of that movie, McLovin's character was not one of them. If you think the original Fright Night was not good, why are you posting in here? If we're going to make 80s vampire movie remakes, how about a remake of an early Jim Carrey in 'Once Bitten'?

  • Aug. 22, 2011, 7:24 p.m. CST

    2011 version was fun but blew its wad too early

    by Gary Busey's Upper Half

    I mean the first fucking scene in the movie is a vampire attack. Evil Ed gets turned in the first 30 minutes. Immediately after Charley tells his mom about Jerry, Jerry blows up their house and chases them down the freeway. Slow down! The original built a lot of atmosphere first before we see a lot of vamping going on. The desert/Vegas setting didn't help either - there's just nothing creepy or gothic about the Vegas strip or a or a prefab suburban housing development in the desert.

  • Aug. 23, 2011, 12:29 a.m. CST

    slamdancin' ewok

    by lynxpro

    Obviously you haven't seen the original tv movie "The Night Stalker". Had you, you'd agree Vegas is an ideal setting for a modern [retro classic?] vampire tale.

  • Aug. 24, 2011, 2:12 p.m. CST

    This one is inferior to the original in every way

    by Sick Fixx

    For one thing, Evil Ed is reduced to almost a bit part in this mediocre version. Secondly, the piss poor CGI of this new version can NEVER match up with the award winning, jaw dropping, handcrafted special effects of the original, from the Billy Cole melting scene to Evil Ed dying as he transforms back into a man to Amy's Baraka-like face. And the dance scene in the original? Way sexier than what we get here. He just bites her, right there in the open. The movie lacks any subtlety. Colin's Dandridge makes no effort to conceal his identity. The entire movie, he's literally like 'Hey, I'm a vampire! And I'm not even trying to hide it!' I would call this movie disappointing but I knew it wouldn't live up to the original. Its running time of ninety minutes makes it feel like half a movie. They condensed everything from the original. Even the Peter Vincent character doesn't really get room to breathe here.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Why remake something that worked the first time?

    by Nancy Clark

    1. Because it worked the first time 2. Because movie studios want something they know will make money

  • Aug. 28, 2011, 9:36 a.m. CST

    The original blows

    by NightArrows

    This one was a LOT of fun. Fuck you crybabies who can't let go of the past. The original was a fucking bore for the most part. Ohhhhh Roddy" McDowall is in it! He was a monkey in a shitty Planet of the Apes film(s)! Fuck off. The original's "dance scene was way sexier"??? What the fuck? Why don't you go put on a dress and dance yourself into the Birdcage. 'award winning, jaw dropping, handcrafted special effects of the original' HAHAHAHAHA oh man, thanks for the laugh. This place is full of people who need to get a grip on reality.

  • Aug. 28, 2011, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Again

    by NightArrows

    Fuck you whiney, cling-to-the-past cunts who can't grow up and have to latch on to every single thing that comforted them in the past. The original is a SHITTY MOVIE.

  • Aug. 28, 2011, 9:42 a.m. CST

    The Hammer Horror of the 60's-70's...

    by NightArrows

    ...Sucked too. The SHIT that some people watch, and fucking cling to, astonishes me.

  • Aug. 28, 2011, 9:43 a.m. CST

    And again

    by NightArrows

    The old-man mentality in this place that smells like mothballs and loser is RIPE.

  • Aug. 28, 2011, 9:49 a.m. CST

    'removing from them every trace of soul and tragic nuance

    by NightArrows

    doing away with--everything that was special about the original

  • Aug. 28, 2011, 9:49 a.m. CST

    FIX THE FUCKING SITE HARRY

    by NightArrows

    The quotes still don't work you idiot

  • Aug. 28, 2011, 9:52 a.m. CST

    'removing from them every trace of soul and tragic nuance

    by NightArrows

    HAHAHAHAHAHA What fucking film were you watching? The shitty original that looked like a 10 dollar made for TV movie? (and fuck off with the It's supposed to look like that bullshit). Or the one with the quote/teens/unquote that look like they have kids of their own? Or the pathetically laughable 'eroticism'? The list could go on and on. This one's a gem too: Quote: doing away with--everything that was special about the original AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Fuck offffffffff with the bullshit already!

  • Aug. 28, 2011, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Bearse

    by NightArrows

    Anyone who thinks she was sexy should be neutered.

  • Aug. 29, 2011, 10:52 a.m. CST

    I agree with the slamdancin' Ewok. Not a good remake

    by PinkFloyd7

    Just saw this movie and, while it started out decently, it just quickly descended into another bad remake. What was the point in blowing up Charley's house so damn fast? I was expecting Jerry to try to at least use some vampire tricks to trick Charley's mom into letting him into the house. There was no slow buildup of tension in this movie. In the original, Jerry tries for as long as possible to convince everyone he isn't a vampire. In the remake, he just doesn't give a shit right from the beginning. This movie was like the original on steroids.

  • Aug. 30, 2011, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Saw it. Didn't hate it.

    by proevad

    Liked the evil ed twist, Chekov was pretty good in it. Shit just didn't really work for me though. Wasn't scary and the first one was. Yeah, I said it. It was.

  • Aug. 31, 2011, 11:37 a.m. CST

    David Tennant as Russell Brand...

    by Dazz

    Over-rated, gurning, prancing, terribly over exaggerated ponce that made Doctor Who unbearable coupled with RTD's shit hack writing.

  • Aug. 31, 2011, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Great review, really enjoyed the movie

    by Jake Jarvi

    The tragedy is that my buddy and I went on cheap night and were the ONLY TWO in the theater. This thing is dying on it's feet and that sucks. Fright Night was a great night out. Way better than it ever had a right to be.

  • Sept. 1, 2011, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Harry losing more and more cred by the day...

    by space doughnut

  • Sept. 3, 2011, 7:17 p.m. CST

    I agree re: Ferris Bueller & Weird Science

    by Van_Dammes_Forehead_Lump

    I dislike Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I love Weird Science. So that's where I sit on that particular debate. As for the original Fright Night - it's awesome. As for the remake of Fright Night - it's good...surprisingly good. Anyone agree with me? Anyone? Bueller?

  • Sept. 5, 2011, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Never understand the love for the original?

    by Fan180

    The Gettysburg address would have been better if it rhymed. The Mona Lisa needs to be Photoshopped to look more like Charlize Theron. Dobermans should be genetically modified so that when they bark, they shoot bees at you. Fathers who give their son the same name should replace the abbreviation Jr. with "THE REVENGE" or refer to them as "PART 2"