Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fright Night

After his friend Adam doesn't show up to school for a few days, Charlie is roped into investigating his disappearance by Ed, his other nerdy friend. Adam's vanishing seems to be another in a string of them, and Ed has developed a theory that Charlie's neighbor Jerry, who has sharp fangs and blacked out windows, is a vampire preying on people in the neighborhood. Due to the fact that they live in transient Las Vegas where many work at night, Charlie doesn't give it much thought, until Jerry's behavior grows more and more suspicious. Now Charlie must do all he can to protect his beautiful girlfriend and mother, even if it means enlisting the aid of a vampire expert who has his own show on the strip. "Fright Night" is a remake of a 1985 film of the same name, unseen by me, and blends the vampire movie with the "Rear Window" setup. It is a movie that deals itself very nice cards, including nice atmosphere and special effects, and then misplays its hand. By not following through on Hitchcock's proven rubric, the movie reveals the nature of the neighbor too soon and regresses into a series of showdowns that become increasingly uninteresting and lame. Anton Yelchin turns in a fairly solid lead performance as Charlie, and Colin Farrell and David Tennant are a lot of fun  as the vampire neighbor and the cockney vampire expert, but they are not given any help by supporters Toni Collette (mom), Imogen Poots (girlfriend), and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (nerd) who all come off as incredibly annoying. There is a good movie here (I'm curious how the original plays) but it is bungled by its filmmakers who favor gore and action over tension and suspense.