However, he’s gonna need help and who better than Vegas Stage vampire hunter Peter Vincent. This is where the film sings. As portrayed by David Tennant, Peter Vincent is not an ageing has been but slick and sleazy Vegas performer, a cross between Chris Angel and Captain Jack Sparrow. It’s honest and real but not without its humor.
Fright Night sets the bar high for itself with its graphic and chilling vampiric opening home invasion. After a picturesque credit sequence we meet Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) and his too hot for him girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) on their way to school. Kids from school are missing but Charley doesn’t really care, he’s too busy enjoying his new status as a cool kid and avoiding his childhood geek friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). It seems that Ed is convinced that Charley’s neighbor, Jerry (Colin Farrell), is a vampire and wants Charley’s help after another friend Adam has gone missing.
After Ed blackmails Charley into helping him they break into Adam’s house only to find it empty. Charley dismisses the incident as Ed still being just a geek living a fantasy and Ed takes off. Not a good idea, a young man on his skateboard is pretty defenseless against a vampire and Ed is no exception. Jerry catches him and perhaps intrigued by his weakness; he makes him a member of the undead. The next morning at school, Charley realizes Ed is missing and his obsession with Jerry Dandridge begins.
Of all the constant remakes this is a breath of fresh air. Nicely paced and beautifully shot. It takes the kitschy premise of the original and gives it a more threatening spin. For a lot of people who grew up on the original Fright Night it presents the film as a new and terrifying experience all over again which is nice.
How does the cast compare? Truth is there is no compression. Though they share a name and some actions with their 1985 counterparts, these characters are products of the modern era. Charley, Ed and Amy are reflections of today’s times, as is Toni Colette’s single mom (Even though she seems type cast as one). Even though it will take years for Christopher Mintz-Plasse to shake the McLovin stigma completely, he adds a sense of dignity and truth to a character that is hard to pull off believably. Where a TV horror host would have seemed dated and hokey (Yes I know we still have them but it’s different), the new Peter Vincent is not only plausible, but steals the show. He leaves you wanting more Peter Vincent vanquishing neighborhood vampires across America.
When it comes to the horror, this film brings it. There is a lot of blood in this movie! Decapitations, burnings, a rescue attempt with tragic results, everything you need for a slam bang vampire flick! Yes Fright Night sets the bar high with its strong opening but it something many remakes don’t do, it has follow through.