I’m not big on remakes or 3D, so this new Fright Night 3D remake already had two strikes against it just in the title alone. Yet, somehow, the movie won me over. Typically, upon hearing that a film is being remade, I immediately scoff and question why, especially if the original film is a classic that I feel doesn’t need an update.
The remake of 1983’s Fright Night, which is in theaters now, stars Colin Farrell as the vampire Jerry Dandrige and former Doctor Who star David Tennant as vampire slayer Peter Vincent.
Now, if you enjoyed the original movie, you’re probably wondering why you should bother to go see the new version, which was released in both 2D and 3D. While I’m a fan of the original Fright Night, I really like the remake, so I feel there’s room for enjoyment of both films. Therefore, here’s 5 Reasons To See The Fright Night Remake.
1 – It Stays True To The Original
While some parts have been changed — Charlie and Ed have grown apart; Charlie’s mom is the local realtor who sells the next door home to Jerry; Peter Vincent’s profession is different and he has a more defined back story; and Jerry’s creepy handyman is (thankfully) nowhere to be found — but for the most part, the remake sticks to the main plot of the original. After Charlie realizes his new neighbor Jerry is a vampire, the teenager stops paying attention to his sexy girlfriend Amy and obsesses on outing his blood-sucking neighbor and attempting to defeat him with the help of vampire expert, Peter Vincent. In both films, Jerry has great sex appeal and uses it to flirt with Charlie’s mom and seduce Amy. I liked how the filmmakers didn’t feel the need to update this new version so much so that it would scream “It’s 2011!”. If not for a few subtly used modern-day items, you might question which decade the events take place and I dig that.
2 – Jerry the Vampire Is Actually Scary
In the original film, Chris Sarandon channeled Frank Langella’s 1979 Dracula to play his vampire Jerry. He’s got thick luscious hair, talks really slow and smooth, and struts around in robes. While we see his fangs and claws come out to drain his victims, he’s big into seducing and glamoring them; even when he goes on a rampage, it’s hard to be frightened by Sarandon’s Jerry. Collin Farrell, on the other hand, has us fearing him right from the start. While his sex appeal is at an all-time high in this remake, which explains how his female victims can fall prey to him so quickly, it’s understood from the start that he is a monster and a killer, and even without the necessary invite to cross the threshold into Charlie’s house, he will get to you. Even if Farrell hadn’t played Jerry so frighteningly, just seeing the “renovations” he made to his home is enough to scare the crap out of you out, reminding us that vampires are no joke.
3- David Tennant Is Awesome
No disrespect to Roddy McDowall’s portrayal of vampire slayer Peter Vincent in the original movie, because that performance was classic. But, David Tennant – damn! We first see Tennant with long locks and facial hair performing his Las Vegas act, as he’s a magician in this new movie. I thought it was a very cool scene. Yes, soon after that we see him swaggering around his home doing his best Russell Brand impersonation — weird, but still not bad. It’s after that when we learn more about him and see him in action that this Peter Vincent becomes so friggin’ awesome. If you’re a fan of David Tennant (and I know all my fellow Whovians are), trust me, you’ll want to see him in this. And after you do, you’ll be saying, I need me some more David Tennant.
4 – Badass Medieval Weaponry
In a movie about a vampire who’s hundreds of years old, I want to see people fighting him with more than just wooden stakes and in this movie, you get the wooden stakes and more. Here, Peter Vincent has a massive arsenal of medieval weaponry perfect for fighting vampires, and while it might look like a museum, the items come in real handy when Charlie finds himself face to face with one vengeful vampire.
5 – Old School 3D
Here’s my stance on 3D: If I have to play extra for a movie AND wear some crooked-ass germ-ridden pair of dark 3D glasses, then I’d better see some shit flying at me Friday the 13th Part 3-style. And that’s the kind of 3D you get in the new Fright Night. Now, it’s not like through the entire movie you’re being bombarded with 3D, it’s just during pertinent parts, as well as a few times just for laughs. I’d gladly pay 5 extra bucks for my theater ticket for Fright Night than for the likes of Last Airbender or the Clash of the Titans remake or even a movie shot in 3D like Avatar.
There’s plenty more reasons to go see the new Fright Night (can you tell I enjoyed it?). No, it’s not a perfect movie; it has it’s flaws, but it has its endearing qualities that far outweigh the negatives.