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Suburban Las Vegas teenager Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is led to believe by his best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) that his new neighbor Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell) is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths. When neither his mum (Toni Collette) nor anyone else believes him, he and his girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) enlists Peter Vincent (David Tennant), a self proclaimed vampire killer and Las Vegas magician, to help him destroy the all powerful Jerry.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Fright Night has all the elements you'd expect from a teenage vampire movie in 2011 - and that's one of its problems: predictability. But it is also its strength, in that it sticks to the comic horror genre template, down to the radically liberal character of Peter Vincent (David Tennant), one of those eccentric rocker types always played by a snooty but wayward English actor. Tennant fires up all his scenes either with high camp delivery or sardonic quips.

If only that tone were maintained throughout, the film would have a certain chutzpah, but it tends to labour its scenes and stretches the story to two hours - way too long for either comedy or vampire genres. It's a remake of the pioneering 1985 version by Tom Holland (106 minutes), which was generally seen to be before its time in mixing horror with comedy. But much water has flown under the cinematic bridge since then.

While everything is overdone, some of the sets are worth noting. Vincent's lair in a Las Vegas high rise is a standout, a veritable museum of memorabilia, antique sorcery and vampire items, and a well stocked bar at which Vincent indulges in a green beverage - a lot of it. Also neat is the recurring use of traditional anti-vampire tools that Charlie scatters about to fend off the jaws of Jerry.

The idea of casting Colin Farrell as the vampire Jerry is better than the reality; Farrell does his best juggling the character between evil and slyly amusing, but the uncertainty of the tone gets the better of him. Both young leads, Anton Yelchin as Charlie and Imogen Poots as Amy his gf make a good fist of it, given they are both rather dull characters as written. Their budding romance seems rather lame in this age and succumbs to tired tricks of interrupted kisses. More fun, though, is 'Chris, mints please' whose combo of verve and nerdy strikes just the right tone, even after .... but I won't spoil things.

Toni Collette has a dreary time as Charlie's mum, until Jerry's nasty neighbour persona comes charging out, when she gets to do what mum's always do during a vampire attack.

The film's special effects - notably spurting blood in 3D - are cool enough for the teenage target audience and the score helps you keep up with the scary bits.

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(UK/US, 2011)

CAST: Colin Farrel, Anton Yelchin, David Tennant, Christopher Mintz-Passe, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, Dave Franco, Grace Phipps

PRODUCER: Michael De Luca, Michael J. Gaeta, Alison R. Rosensweig

DIRECTOR: Craig Gillespie

SCRIPT: Marti Noxon (1985 Fright Night by Tom Holland)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Javier Aquirresarobe

EDITOR: Tatiana S. Riegel

MUSIC: Raman Djawadi

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Richard Bridgland

RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 15, 2011

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