A teenager (Anton Yelchin) discovers that his neighbour (Colin Farrell) is a vampire. When attacked, he tries to kill the vampire to save his family.
Business rating: 0.5/5 star
Star cast: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Peter Vincent, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots.
What’s Good: The second half of the narrative and the climax; the fair performances.
What’s Bad: The routine story; the boring first half; the absence of scary moments.
Verdict: Fright Night will not be able to frighten too many people at the box-office and will, therefore, fail in India.
Loo break: Several in the first few reels of the film.
Watch or Not?: Watch only if you are a fan of vampire movies.
DreamWorks and Reliance Entertainment’s Fright Night is the remake of the 1985 Hollywood film of the same name. It tells the story of a teenager’s struggle with his neighbour, who is a vampire.
Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is a college-going teenager who stays with his mother, Jane (Toni Collette), in a secluded suburb. He is one of the cool kids in school and has a hot girlfriend, Amy (Imogen Poots), whom Charley loves dearly. One day, Charley’s childhood friend, Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), calls him to the house of one of their common friends who has gone missing. When they enter the missing friend’s house, they find nothing at all. Charley disbelieves Ed’s stories about the suburb being under attack by a vampire who Ed claims is his (Charley’s) new neighbour, Jerry (Colin Farrell). Soon, Ed also disappears. Charley notices certain things about Jerry that make him suspicious – like the facts that Jerry comes out only in the night, that he does not enter Charley’s house because he has not been invited in and such other traits that vampires are supposed to have. Charley’s fears are confirmed one night when he sneaks into Jerry’s apartment and finds various strange artefacts as well as a secret hidden chamber. He also catches Jerry attacking a prostitute. Charley warns his girlfriend and mother to stay away from Jerry. He then seeks help from Peter Vincent (David Tennant), a self-proclaimed vampire killer and Las Vegas magician, to kill Jerry. Vincent declines, saying that he was only a showman and, therefore, could not help Charley.
Soon, Jerry realises that Charley has discovered the truth about him. Jerry burns up Charley’s house and chases Charley, Amy and Jane into the desert. When they confront each other, Charley is able to injure Jerry and get away. He admits his injured mother in a hospital and runs back to Vincent for help. This time, Vincent agrees to help him. At Vincent’s house, Charley also meets Ed, who has now turned into a vampire. Meanwhile, Jerry is on his way to kill Charley’s family. What does Charley do next? Is he able to kill Jerry and save his family? What role does Vincent play in all of this? The rest of the film and the climax answer these questions.
Fright Night Review – Script Analysis
Tom Holland’s story has no novelty per se but Marti Noxon’s screenplay does make the latter part of the film fairly engaging. Rather than depict the vampire as a very scary being, the writer has made an attempt to show him as the guy next door who keeps getting dangerous by the minute. But the fact is that the audience is, unlike Charley, never in two minds about whether Jerry is or is not a vampire. As such, the mystery element is as good as missing. Scenes of vampires getting pleasure out of sucking people’s blood is something that is common to all vampire movies and so such scenes don’t really add much to the drama. Only because you have a smart-looking vampire (Colin Farrell), it doesn’t mean that the story becomes palatable or interesting. All in all, the script falters in the first half, especially because of the slow pace at which the narrative moves.
The film’s saving grace, if at all, is the well-conceptualised and well-executed climactic fight sequence, where a courageous Charley takes on Jerry with the help of some vampire-killing tools. Also, the few twists and turns in the last few reels make the audience look forward to the drama, if only so late. Of course, the vampire is killed in the end, as always. But Charley’s achievement after that is something which gives the viewer some satisfaction as it is novel. Having said that, it must be added that the film will appeal only to the youngsters, that too, in the metros only. The boring first half and the immense amount of blood and gore make the film unsuitable for family viewing.
Fright Night Review – Star Performances
The performances are fairly good. Anton Yelchin does well as the nervous teenager. Colin Farrell is given a uni-dimensional role in which he does as required. David Tennant is good as the eccentric magician. Imogen Poots adds some glamour. Toni Collette and Christopher Mintz-Plasse fill the bill.
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