If you’ve seen the “Fright Night” trailers or are familiar with the ’85 cult classic, you know this is not your run-of-the-mill vampire movie — at least by today’s “Twilight” standards, anyway. There are no swoony undead to be found in this horror-comedy — just a lot of blood and plenty of laughs.
Here at MTV News, we’ve been amped about the film from the get-go, and even featured it as part of our exclusive Sneak Peek Week leading up to the Movie Awards. The film stars Colin Farrell as a bloodthirsty vampire who heads to suburbia and terrorizes his next-door neighbor Charley, played by “Star Trek” veteran Anton Yelchin. Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays vampire convert “Evil” Ed Thompson, “Harry Potter” alum and former “Doctor Who” David Tennant is vamp-hunting showman Peter Vincent and “Solitary Man” breakout Imogen Poots portrays love interest Amy, with Toni Collette and Dave Franco also popping up.
Now that the well-received reboot is finally in theaters, it’s time to see what the critics think. Grab your garlic and hold onto some holy water as we sift through the “Fright Night” reviews.
The Original Story Vs. The Reboot “You’ll need a taste for nostalgia to really appreciate ’Fright Night,’ which knowingly blends Eighties cheese with Nineties snark — a combination that works better than it sounds. Authenticity is the key to the movie’s success: the remake is actually based on a 1985 horror flick, and was written by Marti Noxon, well-known for her work on ’Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’ One thing’s for sure: if you’re expecting the self-serious brooding of ’Twilight,’ you’re gonna be disappointed. But if you have a soft spot for cult horror comedies like ’The Lost Boys,’ ’The Monster Squad,’ or even the first ’Fright Night,’ this ought to be right up your (dark) alley. Noxon and director Craig Gillespie update the attitude for a post-’Buffy’ generation, but their remake is generally faithful to the original.” — Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
“Former ’Doctor Who’ star David Tennant has a plum role as a Criss Angel-like Vegas cheeseball whose vampire-themed stage show might hide a special connection to vampire lore. It’s a big, fun performance overshadowed only by Farrell, who plays his character as a monster who’s learned to use an ordinary-dude exterior to blend in with his new surroundings. When he asks Yelchin for a ’sixer,’ Farrell delivers his lines with a Matt Dillon-like flatness, but his eyes tell another
story: Beneath the surface, he’s all coiled hunger and pitiless manipulation, doing what he has to do to get close to victims who, against their better judgment, want to get close to him. He creates almost unbearable tension by doing virtually nothing at all, and though ’Fright Night’ eventually reveals him as the vampire equivalent of the f—ing shark from ’Jaws,’ it’s never better than when it lets him poke his fin just above the surface.” — Keith Phipps, the Onion A.V. Club
The Final Word
“As in the earlier film, this one dances always at the edge of comedy. It especially has fun with the Rules of Vampire Behavior, which Jerry even teases Charley about. Without spoiling a single thing, I can tell you that one of the inevitable stakes through the heart in this movie is an inspired use of product placement. As vampire movies go, ’Fright Night’ is a pretty good one.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Check out everything we’ve got on “Fright Night.”
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