Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shining Night

Considering I'm quite a fan of Tom Holland's 1985 classic horror flick Fright Night, I was a little worried about a remake. I don't know why considering there have been some good horror do-overs such as John Carpenter's The Thing, Cronenberg's The Fly, or as I told you earlier, the Nightmare On Elm Street remake. The Fright Night remake doesn't surpass the original, but it definitely works as an equal.  My cautions kind of disappeared once I found out Marti Noxon, one of the writers of Buffy, was behind the script. Fortunately, she wrote something that differed enough from the source to be enjoyed on its own, while still including a few nods to the original.
The most notable changes are in the characterization.  First up, Jerry is no longer the suave and sexy neighbour but goes for just the new guy on the block, before changing to the cold menacing bastard pretty early on. Then of course we have Peter Vincent. No longer is he an aged horror actor, stuck hosting repeats of his work on TV, but a Vegas magician with a penchant for the occult. Admittedly, it was the casting of Peter Vincent that got me interested even more. If there was anyone who could do Roddy MacDowall proud, it'd be David Tennant.
Mind you, with Anton Yelchin as Charley, I kind of looked at this as Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover. Even there, it succeeds. Even if there wasn't any technobabble.
The token cameo by original Jerry, Chris Sarandon was also quite well done. An improvement on the usual Stan Lee variety.
Another highlight was the surprise repetition of a character arc. If you've seen the original, you know who I'm talking about, if not, I'll shut up. Anyway, when you-know-what happened to you-know-who, I wasn't quite expecting it to happen.
All in all, it comes across a neat flick, even if the vampire effects aren't quite up to scratch.

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