By David Katz
Although die-hard fans of the original Fright Night (1985) will probably be dubious about it, September’s Fright Night remake, helmed by Craig Gillespie of Lars and the Real Girl (2007) fame, could well be the big surprise hit of the early autumn. Promising scares, thrills and some serious suburban-gothic vampire brooding, it’s lead by a starry cast headed up by Anton Yelchin as horror-buff Charley Brewster. It is he who discovers that a vampire by the name of Jerry Dandridge (Colin Farrell) is his new next door neighbour. Jerry threatens to pick off his mum (Toni Collette) and girlfriend (Imogen Poots), so Charley turns to Vegas stage magician Peter Vincent (David Tennant) for a bit of old school vampire huntin’.
If the modern vampire film is a spectrum with Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction (1995) at one extreme and Vampires Suck (2010) at the other, the original Fright Night certainly occupies the genre at its most comic and self-aware. It’s undeniable that this remake must have been green-lighted in the wake of this decade’s renewed interest in the vampire myth (blame/exalt the Twilight franchise for that one), but on the surface this film looks as though it could deliver something quite fresh. The collision of high-school comedy and vampire flick is an intriguing one and Gillespie seems to be serving up the rare remake that expands its mythos intelligently for a new era. Comparing images from the original version and the newly released posters of the remake, we can see the 2011 picture has opted for a shiny, glossy colour palette (and it’s in 3D *sigh*), moving away from the gooey home-made special effects and sets that marked many horror films in the 80s.
Chris Sarandon, in the 1985 version, looks, at times, like he’s donning an above-average halloween mask, while Colin Farrell’s take looks polished (would we expect anything less from such a smooth operator as Farrell?) but not without the goth-y romantic features of an Edward Cullen. Although the aforementioned gooiness was undoubtedly part of the original’s charm there is a good chance this remake will wind up as a super-slick homage rather than a total suck-fest. Take a look at the character posters for yourself and, if you’re so inclined, have your eyeliner and Robert Smith hair-mop ready for its release on the 2nd September.