Here we go with another remake. I’m not sure if I like reviewing them because some people take the original to heart, and get easily insulted if you like the remake. I try to take each movie for what it has to offer, and not let the fact that it is a remake cloud my judgment. So that brings me to Fright Night 3D. Let me talk a little about this movie before getting into the question that everyone wants to know.
Charley (Anton Yelchin) is a just a teenager trying to survive high school. Once more of a nerd, he has now hooked up with a popular girl, and is hanging out with the cool teens. Life is good except he can’t shake his nerdy past, and more specifically his ex-best friend, Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Ed is convinced that there is a vampire, who has killed one of their friends, living in the neighborhood. Charley tries to ignore Ed’s warnings, but eventually becomes suspicious about his new neighbor, Jerry (Colin Farrell). Maybe life isn’t good after all.
Let me get right to my only real complaint about this movie, which is the 3D. While the 3D is effective and fun in Final Destination 5, it is a detriment to Fright Night. It is too distracting, and makes some scenes look awkward. There are some scenes where it is clearly forced upon the audience instead of being in the natural flow of the movie. The only 3D effect that really looks good is the ash and sparks floating in the air, which happens to be one of the only nice 3D effects in Priest too. This is one of those movies that 3D just isn’t necessary.
The movie has a good mixture of humor and action. The first half of the movie might lean a little more on comedy, while the second half is more about the action, but overall it works. There is nothing out right hilarious, but there is plenty of entertainment, particularly from Ed, and the vampire killer Peter Vincent (David Tennant). If you’re trying to add a little humor to your movie, casting Christopher Mintz-Plasse seems like a good choice. When he appears in his first scene people laugh before he even says anything. I’m not that familiar with David, but he does a great job with his very unusual character. Actually, his character reminds me a lot of Russell Brand, and I’m not sure if that is a good thing, or not!
Christopher and David aren’t the only ones that do a good acting job, as the acting is strong all around. Casting Colin as a vampire was somewhat concerning, but he does an excellent job. Jerry is a strange vampire at times, and Colin makes him seem ever bit as strange. When it comes time to be evil, Colin nails that as well. Anton does a good job of playing a teen that isn’t sure who he wants to be, and having to protect his girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) and his mother from a creature he doesn’t fully understand.
While the 3D effects are poor, they do a terrific job with Jerry’s vampire face. When he gets really mad, his face kind of puffs up, and a huge mouth full of sharp teeth appear. It is kind of shocking because it sort of comes out of nowhere the first time it happens. They also do a good job with the action. One of the more intriguing scenes is when Charley, Amy, and mother think they are safe inside the house, but Jerry has a way of working around the need for an invitation.
And now to address the question everyone wants to know: how does it compare to the original? From everything you just read you might be able to guess what I’m going to say. Overall, the remake doesn’t do the original any injustice. The remake uses the original as a guide, but has plenty of good things going for it. The original gets to the conflict between Jerry and Charley a little quicker, but isn’t as funny.
One of the major differences in the two movies is the Peter Vincent character. In the original, he is a well-dressed older man, and like I mentioned above, he is Russell Brand in this movie. It is clear to see that they try to top how Jerry’s face looks in this movie, and they successfully do so. The remake digs a little further into who Charley is, and the internal conflict that causes. The only conflict he has in the original is convincing people that Jerry is a vampire. Also, the remake is a little more creative with the final sequence between Jerry and Charley.
Obviously being a remake some people will pass on this movie. Really, the only thing they should pass on is seeing it in 3D. It follows the general storyline line of the original, but it becomes its own movie with a good mix of humor and action. There are some differences, but that just adds to the entertainment. The acting is great, including a surprisingly terrific performance by Colin. I hope I don’t insult any fans of the original when I give this movie 3.5 pools of blood.