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Film Review: Fright Night starring David Tennant, Colin Farrell

Film Review: Fright Night starring David Tennant, Colin Farrel

Finally. A supernatural movie in which the vampires are supposed to scare you, not dazzle you with their sparkling skin. Admittedly, whilst the trailer for Fright Night looked promising, I still thought the movie was going to be really bad. The posters made it look like it was going to a be a typical teen horror movie where a crazy psycho, in this case, a vampire, moves in next door, but nobody believes the teenagers because the neighbour is just so God damn charming. Surprisingly, Fright Night was nothing like that. Though I suppose I should’ve known that it was going to be really good, I mean, David Tennant is in it.

For those of you who haven’t seen the 1985 original, Fright Night is basically about a teenager called Charlie and what happens after a seemingly charming vampire, Jerry – yes, Jerry the vampire – moves in next door. Charlie’s classmates start mysteriously disappearing from school and Charlie is   coerced into investigating these disappearances by his ex-best friend, Ed Lee (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). He soon discovers that Ed was onto something and Jerry is a vampire. Worried that Jerry may have set his sights on his own mother, Charlie seeks help from the ‘vampire slayer’, Peter Vincent (David Tennant). It’s not long before Jerry realises that Charlie knows his secret and let’s just say, he wasn’t very happy about this. That’s a very brief synopsis because there are so many unexpected twists and turns and I don’t want to ruin the plot.

After watching Fright Night, I’m certain that I’ve been paying too much attention in my English lessons as every five seconds I was saying to myself ‘ooh, that creates a sense of foreboding’. There were certain things about this movie that were so subtle and so clever and they made this film a success. I don’t want to give away exactly what these things are, but I recommend you pay extra attention to what programme the television is showing when it is on and what happens in the video that Charlie watches. The use of technology in the background, dare I say it, created a strong sense of foreboding and hints at what’s to come.

What’s interesting is how this film plays on a lot of vampire stereotypes. There has been a lot of discrepancy recently as to what exactly wards off a vampire as there are just so many different vampire stories popping up but Fright Night sticks to the old traditions. I won’t reveal exactly which methods are used to fight vampires in this film because that’s all part of the suspense. The characters try just about every trick in the book to fight back against Jerry the vampire and you never know which ones are going to work and which aren’t, which keeps the viewer drawn in to the action.
The vampires are a lot more primal in Fright Night. In fact, they almost become wolfish in their appearance when they turn, but minus the fur. Sometimes the vampires changed into demonic creatures that vaguely resembled humans, but on the whole it was just a pair of fangs that appeared. During those brief moments when the vampires did change appearance, I was genuinely a bit frightened which is great because I suppose vampires are supposed to frighten you – at least they were until Edward Cullen came along.

The soundtrack was truly excellent, which really surprised me. It was the music that got me frightened right at the very beginning and it influences your mood throughout the film. Another thing that surprised me was the excellent camera work. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed camera work whilst watching a movie, but there really were some excellent shots in this. They weren’t necessarily panoramic views (though there are plenty of those), sometimes they were really subtle things, but camera managed to capture each scene from the perfect angle.

Part of what made Fright Night a success was the great cast. The majority of the cast were actors of note and if not I still recognised them from one movie or another. I have to say that although I don’t really like Colin Farrell as an actor, I think he made an excellent vampire – Farrell fans will be pleased to know that he seems to have worked out for the role. Anton Yelchin played the main character Charley Brewster and he also starred in Like Crazy, which I reviewed here. Academy-award nominated Toni Collette plays Charley’s mother, though she doesn’t have a very large role in this film. David Tennant isn’t as involved in the movie as I would’ve liked; however, his presence in the second half of the film definitely did a lot for this movie.

My one criticism of this movie is that whilst the majority of the drama and horror looked realistic, the spurting blood really did not. These scenes would’ve looked a lot better in 3D and I imagine that was pretty spectacular; however, I was only watching it in 2D and it looked like red plasma, not blood. The blood looked fine when it was just trickling or lying still, but as soon as it started spurting it began to look computer generated.

Fright Night was a lot better than I was expecting it to be and it instilled a sense of fear in me right from the onset with it’s dramatic and bloody beginning. It’s defined as a ‘comedy horror’ film and I guess that would be about right since there are some horrifying moments and others when I just wanted to laugh out loud. This definitely isn’t a movie for squeamish people or people that get frightened easily. I have almost become immune to the frights of horror movies and I still found myself gasping at a couple of points during the film. If you’re a fan of David Tennant or Colin Farrel then this is a must-watch!

Watch Fright Night online now

If you liked this post, check out these:

Film Review: Like Crazy
Film Review: The Cabin in the Woods
Film Review: Underworld: Awakening
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  1. Cindy
    28th November 2011 / 12:12 AM

    I have to admit I've been completely won over by story lines with vampires and such, not because of Twilight but shows like True Blood and Vampire Diaries haha. This is another to add to my must watch list! PS. totally get what you mean about analysing the movie while watching it haha

  2. Ashley
    3rd December 2011 / 9:14 PM

    Thanks, I'm going to watch it tomorrow.

    If you like scary stuff check out the new series
    American Horror Story, really good!

  3. 4th December 2011 / 1:52 AM

    cool…will definately watch. 🙂

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