Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Fright Night" Rocked!

Well that was a pleasant surprise.  I decided to take the chance and see "Fright Night" the other day.  I've yet to find out why the 2D version is in such limited release (as per my last post, I won't go to a 3D movie), at least in the area.  The second week of release has seen no change in area times.  So playing hooky one afternoon, I decided to go see a movie.

I didn't hold out much hope for the movie since I wasn't a huge fan of the original and trailers didn't lead me to think the remake would be an improvement.  I went for David Tennant and while he did an excellent job with the revamped role of Peter Vincent, the movie had even more to offer than that. The humor/creepy mix was just right and the pacing, not just the editing but the pacing of the acting, was really tight.  The characters seemed to have a little more substance than those in the 1985 version.  Where Chris Sarandon played Jerry as a suave, GQ-sort of vampire in the original; Colin Farrell played him as a sort of grown up, feral, Eddie Munster.  The original Jerry the vampire moved through the 1985 movie confident in his security even after Charlie Brewster discovered what he was.  He was one of the most powerful beings on earth, possibly hundreds of years old.  What could suburbanites possibly do to him?  The 2011 Jerry had no such delusions, prowling through the film, his attention fixed on the person in front of him yet his senses open to any other threat that might be in the vicinity.  (There was a neat little cameo by Chris Sarandon for a little Jerry-on-Jerry crime).

There are of course the usual "oh come on!" moments.  But you can forgive the movie those trespasses because in general it's so entertaining and even managed to heighten the tenseness in the concept at the core of the original: How do you get people to believe that the guy next store is a vampire?  Of course it helped in this movie that Jerry had all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

David Tennant was great as Peter Vincent.  The original character, played wonderfully by Roddy McDowall, was a nostalgic take on the sort of once famous actors who turned to whatever work they could scrounge up after their fame had faded. In the case of the original, as host of a sort of Creature Features TV show that played the movies which had brought him such fame.  Such a character probably wouldn't resonate with 2011 audiences, many of whom have never seen the sort of “Fright Night” television film fests that the character was relegated to hosting.  The character of Vincent was ramped up a bit for the remake: a young, flashy, successful Las Vegas magician who none the less had a story arc that might prove useful as a springboard for a sequel.

So all in all, not a bad time at all.  The question is might there be a sequel?  And if so, will it be released in 2D at all or will finding a viewable version be as arduous a quest as killing a vampire.

My vendetta against 3D continues.

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