After watching the original Fright Night, I had to watch the 2011 version. Fright Night with Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots was definitely a lot of fun. The film definitely pays homage to the original, but has a feel of its own. In a lot of ways I think it works better than the first film. However, the reliance on CG effects really took something away from it. I give Fright Night the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.
Charlie (Anton Yelchin) is pushed by an old friend, Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), that there is a vampire in their sub-division. Initially Charlie doubts this, but he notices Jerry (Colin Farrell) seems to fit the criteria. It’s not long after he starts to believe that his suspicions are confirmed. Unfortunately, his concern about his neighbor leads to lots of trouble for him and his loved ones.
Anton Yelchin is so amazing on screen. I hate that I only really discovered him a few months before he passed away. He brings so much personality to the characters he plays. The chemistry he seems to develop with everyone he shares the screen with is so impactful to the film. He works with Toni Collette, David Tennant, Imogen Poots, Mintz-Plasse, Dave Franco, and Colin Farrell in this film. Yelchin not only owns the screen, but seems to make everyone better around him.
Tennant is spectacular playing Peter Vincent. He is still David Tennant in most of the mannerism. His character takes on a Chris Angel style, which is extremely different from the original Peter Vincent. He definitely reminds me of his role in Jessica Jones as the Purple Man. He brings his sarcastic wit into this film and works really well to add some comic relief.
Imogen Poots is becoming a favorite of mine. I really love her in 28 Weeks Later, but she was so amazing in Green Room. I didn’t know she was in this with Yelchin until the film started. She brings a lot to a role and is substantially different than her counterpart in the original film. Amy is much tougher and confident with Poots take on the character. She still falls into the same traps that the original Amy did, but she carries herself much different.
Farrell was terrifying and charming in this film. He was THE vampire that I expect to be pulling off mass killings and getting away with it. Farrell really managed to bring the power needed to make a character like Jerry memorable. He was normal enough that most people didn’t suspect him. Yet, he wasn’t a friend to act as soon as he thought his cover was blown.
The weakest element of this version over its predecessor was all of the CG. The blood looked computer generated. The movements of the vampire was often CG . It just looked fake and cheap compared to the practical effects from the past. A squib should never be replaced by CG in my opinion.
There is plenty of greatness in this movie though. Lots of characters with some really funny moments. The story is better in some ways than the original. I thought the build up of the vampire was more believable than Charlie seeing a coffin moving in next door. Yet, in the end I think the original is a little better. However, I’ll take Yelchin’s Charlie and Poots’s Amy over the 80’s versions.