Fright Night

When I first heard that “Fright Night” was getting remade, I thought to myself “Now there’s the type of movie they should remake.” I mean, I remember the name – GREAT title, right – but the movie not so much. So it had that “Pre-existing market awareness” that Hollywood is seeking so freaking desperately these days, yet it’s not messing with any cherished memories. I’m sure the movie has some folks who cling to it more than I did, but no one could really argue it was any kind of classic or anything. So yeah, there you go Hollywood, that’s a good one. Go to town.

The problem is that this movie pretty much perfectly exemplifies why Hollywood should stop remaking movies.

It’s not that “Fright Nigh”t was horrifyingly bad or anything (although that IS the only context that “horrify” and “Fright Night” should be used in the same sentence together).

It’s not that the movie does the original a disservice. Again, I barely even remember the original, I don’t think I’ve seen it since the early days of video stores.

It’s just that this movie obviously doesn’t have much reason to exist outside of the opportunity to cash in on the name. None really at all. I swear, if this was an original script, it would never have gotten made. It’s completely obvious that this movie was “Backfilled”. That is, the Genesis of it was “Hey, we own the rights to this title”, and then the movie came later, loosely based on the original concept.

Here’s an example of what I mean by “There’s not much there” There’s a scene in the movie where a truck slams into the back of another truck.

They used CGI. Noticeable CGI.

I was like, is this what Hollywood’s come to? We can’t even smash up a couple of trucks anymore?

It’s patently obvious from 20 minutes in that this movie is just a cheap rehash meant to grab some box office dollars by capitalizing on the name.

The movie has a couple of decent set pieces, but they’re front loaded, so in the end it winds up feeling like it’s degenerating from a suspenseful film into your standardized quasi action-horror mix with explosions and fight scenes and bad CGI. The biggest problem I have though is that the leads, Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots, just have no screen presence for me at all. It’s not even that they’re bad actors, it’s just that the chemistry and star power is completely lacking. Dr Who? Should have stayed at home, his Russell Brand-esque character was a detraction. Colin Farrell doesn’t need to be ashamed of himself exactly, but I doubt he’ll want to put this movie in his highlight reel. Even McLovin’ felt like he was mailing it in.

I don’t know. It wasn’t the worst movie in the world. It wasn’t even the worst movie I’ve seen this month (It’ll take some anti-septic to wash off “The Change-Up”). I just think your best hope for enjoying it is to hear enough critics bash it that you completely let go of any hope it’s even a little good, and then you catch it on cable one day and you’re like, “Well, whatever, nothing else is on, I might as well check it out” and then you’ve got a chance of saying “Well, that didn’t suck THAT bad”

I’m just doing my part.

C+

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4 thoughts on “Fright Night

  1. I think they’re cashing in more on vampires than the name. Once they’ve scraped all they can out of the Twilight books, they’ll be moving more and more on gritty reboots of the older vampire stuff. Coming in 2014: Channing Tatum is Dracula.

  2. With the exception of Tennant, I don’t think the actors in this film are great. They have brilliant moments either within the film (Potts) and outside of it (Farrell), but they’re pretty inconsistent here. That’s part of a reason why this film falls apart.

    • I think Farrell is ok, I just haven’t seen him in that many good movies. “In Bruges” is the one exception that comes to mind. Good flick!

      I haven’t seen Tennant in anything. Not a big “Who” fan, although I’m sure he’s done other stuff.

      Thanks for stopping by!!

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