By Hemanth Kissoon
“Don't need an invitation if there's no house.” Jerry Dandrige
REAR WINDOW → FRIGHT NIGHT (1985) → DISTURBIA → FRIGHT NIGHT (2011). Your neighbour might be a murderer, who doesn’t enjoy a suburban paranoia thriller mix? Throw in some vampires, that’s got to be there too, well, if you’re not Alfred Hitchcock that is. This is meant to be fun, and it is. I watched the remake first and then the original. The latter has dated. Maybe like THE GOONIES and THE YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES you need to have watched the original as a kid, and then the nostalgia value kicks in so it doesn’t diminish. Remaking a teenage vampire movie must seem a no-brainer. Add in some 3D, and voila!
Nice bleeding credits in 3D – I’m not a fan of this new gizmo, feels gimmicky, but in small doses it’s okay. Then straight into a family being killed at night in a small community outside Las Vegas. Children have started to go missing. Only Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s Ed has noticed, and tries to rope in ex-best bud Charley (Anton Yelchin) to investigate. Charley is now hanging with the cool kids and dating someone well out of his league (he knows it, we know it), and wants to distance himself from his dweeby past; hence the schism with Ed. Yelchin’s persona and acting, and his believably flawed character, help make this a more engaging watch then the morose TWILIGHT banality. We also have Imogen Poots (as Amy, his lady), Toni Collette, David Tennant and Colin Farrell adding class and charisma to a genre that doesn’t have enough of it. Farrell’s Jerry, is the vampire next-door, not in a vom-inducing my-skin-sparkles-in-the-daylight kind of way, but in the I’m-going-to-rip-the-gas-pipe-leading-to-your-house-and-burn-it-the-ground kind. FRIGHT NIGHT does everything you expect, and hits all the tropes without much panache, but the tropes of a 15-rated horror-comedy can be enjoyable. I came out entertained but mildly disappointed that it wasn’t more ambitious, especially from one of the writers on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, and the director of LARS AND THE REAL GIRL.