Fright Night (2011) - Online Review

'everyone seems to think that 'really?', asked with a helping of condescending snark, is a veritable choice for comic put down of the year'

A particularly disappointing remake, the failures of Craig Gillespie's rehash of Tom Holland's original Fright Night can be summed up by examining the differences in the subtext; in Holland's film, it was all about sex. In Gillespie's, it's about the fear of growing out of spotty teenage pursuits and drifting away from your changing friends. One of those ideas is, well, sexy, slightly dangerous, something that fits into the Horror genre. The other is not.

If the subtext gets us off to a bad start during our two hours in the company of Colin Farrell's vampire - serving Holy Water as an aperitif, perhaps - then the script is positively the faux pas equivalent of plonking your main course down with a kebab stake running right through it. Marti Noxon has form for this under-written drivel (I Am Number Four) but the evidence of Buffy on his C.V. suggests he was a logical choice. Gone though are that show's sharp one-liners and comebacks, in their place everyone seems to think that 'really?', asked with a helping of condescending snark, is a veritable choice for comic put down of the year.

The successes of the film are almost purely down to its heavyweights; Farrell and, in a genius bit of casting, David Tennant, who shines as the obnoxious Las Vegas-showman with a penchant for vampire history only hidden beneath his crippling cowardice. That these two share but a handful of scenes is in-keeping with the original's plot but hey, this is remake territory and when you've got two game A-listers, giving it significant ham-like oration, why not manipulate them together a little more?

The problems though, despite the success of the vampire and the vampire hunter, continue to stack up. Someone actually says 'you know this is a trap right?' (reply: 'I'm counting on it') as the script continues to plough a furrow looking, presumably, for a Holy-water-well in which to drown itself. Lead Anton Yelchin too seems far too happy to spout this guff and you have to wonder quite how much of this rests, at least partially on his shoulders. His Charley is a world away from William Ragsdale's original; annoying without saving grace, charmless, an empty vessel to lead a film full of nothing-much-noticeable.

Fright Night (2011) was playing on Sky Anytime.


  1. I really liked the remake, but I've got to admit that I've never seen the original. Also loved McLovin's (really, will he ever go by any other name?) appearance as the doofy best-friend-turned-vampire-ahhh.

    1. He was definitely an improvement on the guy that does that in the original. Original guy is a bit too whiny and his character isn't developed at all.