His windows are blacked out, he doesn’t venture out at night and he has an insatiable taste for teenage blood. But at least he has good manners — he doesn’t dare drain your blood without an invitation to enter your house. Colin Farrell does a terrifying job as vampire Jerry in this gory remake of the 1985 film “Fright Night.”
Fans of the original will notice some formidable changes — Jerry doesn’t have a day keeper, his creepy house is replaced by a newly built cookie cutter home and Amy isn’t the reincarnation of Jerry’s ex-girlfriend — but director Craig Gillespie does a marverlous job of bringing the film into the 21st century (Jerry takes breaks between feasts to watch “The Real Housewives of New Jersey”).
Set in a small, suburban neighborhood outside of Las Vegas, Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) begins to notice his high school classmates slowly vanish without a trace. Charley enlists the help of local magician (and Criss Angel lookalike) Peter Vincent (David Tennant).
Despite Peter’s extensive collection of vampire memorabilia, his best suggestion for Charley is to make a garlic omelet.
Meanwhile, Jerry is on the hunt for fresh blood and has his eyes on Charley’s mother, Jane (Toni Collette) and girlfriend, Amy (Imogen Poots).
While audience members are not left in the dark for too long — we know about Jerry’s thirst for blood within the first few scenes of the film — the lack of suspense doesn’t hinder the film.
“Fright Night” touts a frightening cast (Farrell and Tennant are a delight to watch), but teenage lovebirds Charley and Amy are, at times, a bit bland to watch. Their lack of energy is made up forby Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who portrays high school nerd, Ed, to a t.
At the same time, “Fright Night” is loaded with clichés, including a pair of incompetent police officers and high school students who look impossibly beautiful (where’s the acne?).
While there’s plenty of “Twilight” references in this film, make no mistake, “Fright Night” and “Twilight” are not cut from the same cloth.
Jerry’s closet dungeon where he keeps his victims and his musty, underground den are terrifying. The breaking of bones and spurting of blood from broken arteries are intensely graphic and are meant to be enjoyed in 3-D.
Fans of the 1985 original will relish a cameo by Chris Sarandon.
106 minutes. Rated R.