The fright is right
A REMAKE of a fondly remembered bloodybuddy film from 1985, Fright Night sprays its plentiful supply of shocks and chuckles in all directions. Most of it hits.
You can’t ask for too much more when you’re wandering down the pulpier end of the entertainment spectrum.
Like so many residents of Las Vegas, Jerry ( Colin Farrell) keeps strange hours. You could say he has been working the night shift all his life. Jerry is a vampire. This is a big secret, by the way. If you have become privy to this bleed-to-know information, it’s more than likely Jerry has already sunk his teeth into your neck.
It should also be flagged that Jerry is a strapping hunk as far as modern vampires go, too cool, smart and edgily evil to be ever lumped in with that wimpy Twilight crowd.
As Fright Night starts, Jerry has his Vegas groove on. The itinerant population – plush with tourists, tramps and two-bit hustlers – serves up plenty of easy prey. Failing that, there is always the neighbour.
Which is really where our story begins. Someone next door has stumbled across what Jerry is really all about.
However, the warnings of teenage Charley ( Anton Yelchin) are falling on deaf ears. The cops don’t get where he’s coming from. His ditzy divorcee mum ( Toni Collette) has been blindsided by how hot Jerry looks in a singlet.
Charley’s girlfriend ( Imogen Poots) is showing worrying signs of feeling the same way. What follows plot-wise is not a world away from the same set-up used in Shia LaBeouf’s 2007 breakthrough hit Disturbia.
Only here, all opportunities for sudden bursts of gore and cleverly choreographed action are heartily taken up.
Though not the first name that comes to mind when casting about for a hip bloodsucker, Colin Farrell makes more of the linchpin role of Jerry than many would have thought.
As the moment demands, he can shift gears through funny, funny-scary and scary, all in tremendously convincing fashion. So much so that Yelchin, ostensibly the leading man of Fright Night, often seems surplus to requirements.
Kick-Ass super dweeb Christopher Mintz-Plasse is put to good use as a former friend of Charley’s who crosses paths with Jerry in a bad way.
And, later on, the surprise appearance of former Doctor Who David Tennant as the boozy casino illusionist who comes to Charley’s aid lifts Fright Night out of a short-lived, mid-film rut. As long as there isn’t a sequel, this effort will compare favourably with the original in years to come.
Doris ( Emily Montague) falls victim to Jerry ( Colin Farrell).