Most people hear the word "remake" and immediately go off on a rant. Has Hollywood run out of ideas? That seemed to be consensus when people first heard about Touchstone's plans to remake the film "Fright Night."
I love cheesy '80s movies as much as the next person, but the film didn't seem crying out for a reinterpretation. Then gradually, it started to get more interesting. First came the casting. Colin Farrell filled the shoes of evil neighbor Jerry Dandrige, with Anton Yelchin cast as suspicious teen neighbor Charley Brewster. The rest of the roundup seemed equally intriguing, with Toni Collette, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Dave Franco, and Imogen Poots. Many people also cite "Doctor Who" star David Tennant as the main reason to see this film.
Next, we got a series of photos and trailers, which made the film look, well… kind of cool and scary.
While the original still holds a 93-percent rating (really?) on film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the remake snagged a respectable 74 percent. It would have been nice if the remake worked in a few extra cameos from the original (look for Chris Sarandon, people!), but it seems like "Fright Night 3D" is quite the scary, good time. That said, does the 3D add anything to this update? Let's see what critics have to say about the movie and its high-tech update.
Here is what Touchstone says:
"Senior Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) finally has it all -- he's running with the popular crowd and dating the hottest girl in high school. In fact, he's so cool he's even dissing his best friend (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). But trouble arrives when an intriguing stranger Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves in next door. He seems like a great guy at first, but there's something not quite right -- yet no one, including Charley's mom (Toni Collette), seems to notice! After witnessing some very unusual activity, Charley comes to an unmistakable conclusion: Jerry is a vampire preying on his neighborhood. Unable to convince anyone that he's telling the truth, Charley has to find a way to get rid of the monster himself in this Craig Gillespie-helmed revamp of the comedy-horror classic."
Here is what critics say:
"Following the script's lead, all of the best 3D moments are in the first act, as director Craig Gillespie uses the technology not to throw s**t in our faces (though I actually flinched at the first "Comin at ya!" gag, so kudos) but to have fun with the visuals of three-dimensional corners and furniture. Charley sneaking around Jerry's place, or Ed trying to avoid him - these scenes provide terrific 3D, turning otherwise bland suburban homes into minor carnival funhouse arenas; I actually found myself trying to peer around corners and such. Unfortunately, the cat and mouse stuff is largely abandoned once Jerry blows up the house (an event that you see in the trailer that occurs much earlier than expected), and even when they have a potentially fun set, such as Peter Vincent's weapons room, they never utilize it for anything good. Instead, they start using the technology for (admittedly impressive) sparks and embers flying around after a vamp is toasted, and endless (less impressive) digital blood splatters. I wouldn't go so far as to say that you should SKIP the 3D if you head out to the theater (it is native, after all, not a post-convert), but it's definitely not worth the extra dough in my opinion; if you have any issue whatsoever with the format, this will certainly not change your mind." - BC, Bloody Disgusting
"If they’d found a way to make the movie brighter, this could easily have been one of the best 3D experiences of the year. But it’s a vampire movie, and dimly lit scenes is kind of what you’re in for. They do the best they can within those limitations and the result is a lot of flat out fun. If you’re willing to squint through the 3D haze created by your 3D glasses, Fright Night might be worth paying that 3D surcharge for." - Josh Tyler, Cinema Blend
"But the remake also modernizes in fun ways -- from characters' use of lock-picking phone apps to its employment of 3-D. I've never been a 3D-fan, but here -- with vampire talons and fangs that leap out at the audience, exploding fireballs and whizzing arrows -- it makes campy sense. The technology doesn't seem remotely like fancy "Avatar" shtick; it's more like classic "House of Wax" fun." - Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon.com
[Photos: © 2011 DreamWorks/Lorey Sebastian]