Release Date: August 19, 2011
Audience: Question **
Runtime: 101 minutes
Director: Craig Gillespie
Writer: Marti Noxon
Address Comments To:Robert Iger, President/CEO
The Walt Disney Company (Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures)
Rich Ross, Chairman, Walt Disney Studios
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone: (818) 560-1000
In the story, Charley Brewster (played by Anton Yelchin), a too cool for high school senior dating the most attractive girl in his class, realizes that Jerry (Colin Farrell), the new, mysteriously aloof neighbor next door with his eye on Charley’s mom, is a vampire. Charley must step up to save his friends – or those who are left, including his girlfriend Amy, not to mention his mom, from certain (un)death. It’s too late, however, for Charley’s childhood friend, Ed, who is one of the first teenagers turned by Jerry when Charley refuses to listen to Ed’s warnings in favor of spending time with his new girlfriend.
[SPOILER ALERTS] Charley must turn now for help to alleged vampire expert and magician Peter Vincent (David Tennant), who hosts a sexy magic show in Las Vegas. Everything about Vincent screams illusion and fraud, from his over the top makeup to his wigs and super tight leather pants. At first, he refuses to assist Charlie and Amy, preferring instead to hole up in his luxury apartment with plenty of alcohol and a scantily-clad girlfriend.
However, when “Evil” Ed arrives with a delivery and news that Jerry is on his way to visit, trouble hits closer to home. Amy and Charley try to flee from Jerry and discover a slew of Christian relics and other artifacts used to fight vampires and other occult creatures, collected by Peter Vincent after his parents were killed by none other than Jerry when he was a young boy. Can Peter face up to his fears and help Charley destroy the evil vampire?
The performances all around in FRIGHT NIGHT are excellent. Colin Farrell and David Tennant steal the show as the dashingly evil vampire and glamorized vampire hunter. With a strong script, the movie will hold the horror enthusiast’s attention from beginning to end. In fact, with its new setting – the city of sin itself, Las Vegas – and a star-studded cast, FRIGHT NIGHT offers a refreshing example of how a remake can breathe new life into its predecessor.
Sadly, however, the witty humor, sharp dialogue and strong acting is too often overshadowed by a slew of unnecessary obscenities, hyped-up sexual content, a whole lot of drinking, and much more bloody gore and violence than in the 1985 version. Also, in a reprise from the original, when Charley fights Jerry off with a cross, the vampire scoffs, saying, “The question is, do you have faith?” Judging by the way in which Jerry destroys the crucifix, the answer is a resounding “no.”
Even though the vampire is clearly evil in FRIGHT NIGHT, the movie nonetheless trivializes the role of religion and faith. Instead, it opts to champion a strong humanist worldview whereby Charley and Peter Vincent are left to their own devices, and a bag of tricks, to save humanity from damnation. (By contrast, in THE RITE, the Catholic priest wrestles with his belief before reaffirming his faith in order to become God’s vessel and defeat the demon.) MOVIEGUIDE®, therefore, judges the new FRIGHT NIGHT to be unacceptable viewing.
The performances in FRIGHT NIGHT are excellent. Sadly, however, the witty humor, sharp dialogue and strong acting are too often overshadowed by a slew of unnecessary obscenities, hyped-up sexual content, a whole lot of drinking, and much more bloody gore and violence than the 1985 version. Even though the vampire is clearly evil, the movie trivializes the role of religion and faith. Instead, it opts to champion a strong humanist worldview whereby Charley and Peter are left to their own devices and a bag of tricks to save humanity from damnation. MOVIEGUIDE®, therefore, judges the new FRIGHT NIGHT to be unacceptable viewing.