Movie Review: Fright Night 3D
More funny than frightening, but on some levels enjoyable nonetheless.
I never saw the original, and normally would have tried to watch it before hand. However, after my marathon Harry Potter thing I think I have done enough pre-movie watching for one month. I will have to just judge this movie on it’s own merits. My best friend Dave says the original was great. Actually he says it was Big Trouble in Little China great, which is saying a lot in my book. I guess I will have to see it soon. (Pork Chop Express image courtesy of the movie t shirt category)
So Fright Night. I enjoyed it in a campy way. I am always appreciative of vampire movies where the vampires are not somehow good and/or sparkle in daylight. In this movie vampires do what vampires are supposed to do in daylight: burst into flame and die quickly. Not great, however, and if you really think about it you can be pretty bothered by a lot of the film. I strongly suspect that once I see the original one I will come to realize that this flick is one of those horrid too slick CGI remakes that are so prevalent right now.
So, the movie. Charlie (Anton Yelchin, from the new Star Trek and the God-awful Terminator: Salvation) is a high school kid who has recently made the nigh impossible (at least in my experience) transition from uber nerd (apparently he had attended a Farscape convention. I have done the same, and see no problem with that) to cool kid, and apparently one of the perks of rejecting who you really are on the inside is a super hot girlfriend. His ex best friend Ed (Chirstopher Mintz-Plasse from Kick Ass and Superbad) is feeling hurt about being dropped like a bad habit and is threatening to reveal some of the cooler (IMO) moments of Charlie’s youth. He needs Charlie’s help proving that the new neighbor, Jerry, is actually a vampire.
Of course, Jerry actually is a vampire, and whole families are going missing. Ed gets turned when Charlie leaves him hanging. Some humorous moments occur as Jerry (Colin Farrell, who wavers for me between kind of cool and really annoying. In this one he was the former) is super creepy and threatening. Vampire hunting hijinks ensue. The action gets very Buffy the Vampire Slayer-esque, which makes sense as the writer Marti Noxon actually wrote a bunch of Buffy episodes. If you have seen even one show then you have more or less seen all the action and story resolution in this film.
By the way, I looked up Marti Noxon in IMDB and was surprised to find out first of all she is a woman, and second of all pretty hot for an older woman. I have to say I am intrigued by her writing style and assumed intellect. I’ll add her to the list of women I will never get to meet.
Anyway, stuff blows up. We get a couple of appearances by the stupidest cops in the history of law enforcement. David Tennant from Dr. Who shows up as a local “expert” on vampire hunting. Vampires die. Humans die. A happy ending gets pulled out of nowhere.
The stars. Kind of funny. One star. The characters and their dialog was probably the best part of the film. Two stars. Decent CGI. One star. Some really hot women (although no gratuitous nudity, which I was pretty offended at. If you are going to get an R rating anyway can you at least throw your horny guy audience a bone here?) One star. None of the characters acted in what I thought was a stupid, typical horror movie manner. One star. No sparkle or “good” vampires. One star. Total: seven stars.
And the black holes. There was nothing thrilling or frightening during the entirety of this film. It does not deserved to be called a horror movies. One black hole. For a movie that seems to want to reside in the “funny horror” neighborhood of horror films, it really wasn’t all that funny. A few chuckle-worthy moments, but that’s pretty much it. One black hole. The 3D did nothing, and the blood and gore was minimal and obviously fake. One black hole. They fell back on the whole Buffy-style “no-one-in-town-ever-notices-the-fact-that-kids-and-entire-families-are-going-missing” thing that was my biggest beef with Buffy (sorry, but if several dozen teenage kids went missing in a town the size of Sunnydale there would be about 1,000 FBI agents parked there). One black hole. The cops were dumber than a sack of hammers and failed to talk to the woman in a domestic disturbance call, look into three separate hit and run incidents, or even look into an obvious case of arson (sorry, digging up a gas pipe and setting fire to it is pretty much going to raise a couple of eyebrows when the fire department comes around). They are seriously written to be non-entities for the duration of the film. One black hole. In the movie the main vampire is said to want to turn all his victims and pretty much needs to feed every night. A little basic math would mean that if he turns one person each night and then they each turn one person by the end of a full month the entire population of North America would be vampire. Petty I know, but really two lines of expository dialogue would have cleared this up. One black hole. The ending might have been good for an episode of Buffy, but reeked of POOYA syndrome (Pulled Out Of Your Ass) for a movie. One black hole. Total: seven black holes.
So a final score of zero stars. Not really good, and honestly I can’t recommend you spend your hard earned dollars seeing it in a theater. Also, I very strongly suspect that if I had seen the original Fright Night I would end up giving it another 4-6 black holes. Just look at the review I did for Conan. This could be a good brainless NetFlix night. Not bad, just not that good.
I’m at a trade show for the next two days (viva Las Vegas!) so my next post won’t be until Tuesday night maybe (probably Wednesday). Have a good start of the week.