Plot: What’s it about?
Ahhh, vampires. Seemingly everywhere you turn, you can’t escape them and – here’s the kicker – they’re not even real! As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews for vampire movies, they’ve been around for ages and it would appear that right now it’s the most opportune time to cash in. With the myriad of vampire movies/books/TV shows and comic books out there, there’s not a lot of steadfast rules when it comes to these fictitious creatures. And depending on what outlet you’re viewing them on, those same rules may or may not apply. And if you’re reading this review and the title of this movie sounds familiar, well that’s because this is a remake of the popular 1985 movie by the same name. You think the filmmakers figured they’d take a popular movie from the 80’s and try to cash in on the cultural phenomenon that is vampires? No, a movie studio would never do that.
If you’ve seen the original then you won’t need much in regards to the plot. We find the same cast of characters, though portrayed by different actors. The setting is Las Vegas, a perfect place for a vampire in that most work nights and sleep during the day. Jerry (Colin Farrell) has just moved in next door to Charley (Anton Yelchin) and his mother (Toni Collette). Charley has broken free of his geeky friends, namely Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and is now dating Amy (Imogen Poots). But it’s not too long that Ed figures out that Jerry’s a vampire and it doesn’t take much convincing to see that he was right. Charley’s one hope is to enlist the help of Vegas performer Peter Vincent (David Tennant) a Chriss Angel type of performer who may or may not have some history with Jerry. Will they succeed or will they fail?
I remember seeing the original “Fright Night” a long time ago and I’d actually forgotten how funny the movie was. I’m not talking “Evil Dead” funny, but these two movies aren’t really meant to actually frighten – rather they’re meant to entertain. Colin Farrell plays the role of Jerry as tongue-in-cheek as he can and actually pulls it off. I’d forgotten how entertaining he was as an actor. The rest of the cast, save Toni Collette, is relatively unknown and it’s a shame that the movie wasn’t more properly received. With a budget of $30 million, “Fright Night” only managed to rake about half of that back in. I personally prefer the original, but in the realm of vampires, there are certainly better choices all around.
Video: How does it look?
“Fright Night” was actually made with 3D in mind, though this Blu-ray looks pretty darn good. As one might expect with any movie of the genre, there are several dark scenes though they’re balanced out with some daytime scenes. The 1.78:1 AVC HD image looks very sharp, crisp and vibrant throughout. There’s a featurette that tells us that over 200 gallons of blood were used in the making of this film and we do see plenty of the stuff. Visuals are very clear, we can even see the forehead wrinkles on Anton Yelchin’s face (poor kid, to have those so young). Farrell’s jet black hair seems to blend into the background during some of the interior shots and there’s the tiniest bit of grain with some of the early shots. This is fairly consistent with a major studio release and viewers should appreciate the quality.
Audio: How does it sound?
To compliment the video, we’ve got a DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack that sounds amazing in some parts. Being a horror movie (funny or not) the filmmakers feel obligated to include the sudden burst of sound when an actor turns around, peeks around the corner and so forth. Vocals are very crisp and clean, we get to hear Farrell lower his voice as he attempts to sound like a grizzled 400 year old vampire. There are some great examples of surround sound in this movie, engaging the rear channels and immersing the viewer in the experience. This is a good, solid sounding track that’s sure to please audiences.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The extras on “Fright Night” aren’t too encompassing, but do give a pretty good overall look at the film. We have a few featurettes that start out with “Peter Vincent: Come Swim in my Mind” in which the show is “real” and we get a look at it. The official “How to Make a Funny Vampire Movie” guide is just that. We get some insights from the cast and crew as they reflect back on the original and how they approached this remake. Five deleted scenes are shown as are some bloopers and a three minute “Squid Man” feature seen in the film. There’s also a digital copy of the movie for your portable device.