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Fright Night - DVD Review

Fright Night

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

FOR anyone fearing that vampires were getting a little long in the tooth (and overly brooding) Craig Gillespie’s fun, frothy remake of cult ’80s hit Fright Night should make you think again.

Despite arriving in unecessary 3D, the film gives the vampires back their bite and their mojo while delivering a dual dose of laughter and chills.

Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is the put-upon teenager who begins to suspect that his new neighbour Jerry (Colin Farrell) is, in fact, a vamp following a tip off from one-time best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).

Desperate not to appear uncool to his girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots), Charley sets about proving his suspicions while trying to prevent himself and his mum (Toni Collette) from becoming victims.

Gillespie’s remake may carry the garlic-y whiff of a vampire cash-in but it’s so well done that it can easily be forgiven. It’s also a lot more edgy and sexy than you may have been expecting from a Disney production.

Marti Noxon’s script is often very amusing and savvy enough to make it play well in a post-Twilight environment (the early jokes at that franchise’s expense are priceless), while the balance between the tense, scary stuff and the more outrageous comedy is nicely maintained.

If problems exist, then some of them stem from the fact that Farrell’s charismatic and suitably heartless bloodsucker is arguably more root-worthy than Yelchin’s hero while some character’s are poorly developed (Collette, in particular, isn’t given the screentime her talent merits).

But Fright Night works best when playing up the outrageous elements, whether in its use of Farrell’s playful vamp or David Tennant’s OTT occult specialist (a blast).

Poots also brings undoubted sex appeal (as do Sandra Vergara and Emily Montague in supporting roles), while Gillespie (whose work includes Lars & The Real Girl) ensures the action is both exciting and suitably graphic, making the most of the 3D opportunity for flying blood.

The overall result is a film that entertains more than it ought to while injecting some fresh blood into a genre that had begun to show signs of ailing.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 106mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: February 20, 2012