Fright Night: Does It Pack Enough Bite for Everyone?

Article written by:
Jurmane Lallana
Author: Jurmane Lallana
Jurmane is a comic book geek, movie aficionado, feature writer and bathroom singer. He is often mistaken for a giant teddy bear roaming around the metro.

Details

Fright Night revolves around Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin), a high school student adjusting to life as a popular kid as he deals with his relationships with his girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) and former best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). One day, he discovers that his next door neighbour Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire, and things just spiral out of control from there.

Yes, this is a teen movie. However, before you shun this, there’s one more word you should remember: vampires. Truthfully, without vampires, this would have been another production that we could have rightfully ignored. Fortunately, because of their inclusion, the film becomes accessible to young audiences but at the same time still gives enough incentive for other viewers. We are treated to an interesting blend of character self-discovery, romance, creature mayhem and litres of blood.

Physically speaking, vampires have many interpretations. For Fright Night, how the vampire looks like is captured effectively; not too monstrous, not too sexy, and definitely not sparkling. Effects are pretty decent. The film was able to visualize how tasty a human being can be (Not that we should try being cannibals anytime soon, but I’m just saying). Through the screen, you can feel the crunch of every bite that goes through the human flesh.

The film’s take on vampires is traditional. It does not deviate that much from popular culture. For example, if you’ve been exposed to other material before, you would find the ways on how to kill a vampire very familiar. Although this does not make the film more unique, the simplicity is actually fun. For once, you don’t have to worry about a vampire feature you may have missed out. That being said, the origin of Jerry was not explained that well. It was simply narrated. I understand that the focus of the story is how this boring neighborhood deals with such a being, but having a little more background would have been better.

*minor spoilers follow* - Bim

Anton Yelchin has had many key supporting roles before such as Kyle Reese in Terminator Salvation (2009) and as Chekov in Star Trek (2009). This time around, he is put in the spotlight and he shows that there is star quality behind his name. British actress Imogen Poots (Centurion) is a relatively new face in American cinema, and after her performance in this film, it seems she has a brighter future ahead of her (and will have a lot more internet searches once guys get to watch this). Fans of Doctor Who will be delighted to see David Tennant (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) play Peter Vincent, the celebrity vampire “expert” whom somehow reminds me of every Russell Brand character out there. Tennant shows his versatility as an actor and serves as the comic relief for the film. Colin Farrell (Alexander, The Recruit) proves that even though he is not the top go-to-guy for big budget Hollywood films, he can still play a villain right. Jerry the Vampire is the hunky neighbour, suspiciously calm fruit eater and 100 percent psycho killer.

If there’s one thing that Fright Night could have improved on, it would have to be the number of suspense moments. I understand it is not supposed to be as scary as Paranormal Activity or a movie involving apparitions and ghosts, but it should at least have had a lot of scenes where the audience is left white and suddenly gripping the handle bars of the movie house chair. It is, after all, named Fright Night. What we get instead is heavy action – something that may sit well with some but leave others finding it too generic.

Fright Night is a valiant effort to fuse the problems of teenage anxiety and vampires trying to make you their next snack. The film is not for everyone, but is recommended specifically for those who just can’t get enough of these creatures of the night (or teen movies, for that matter), people who miss all of the crazy things that they did back when they were young, or anyone looking for entertainment with a supernatural twist. I have to admit that there are lot of useless vampire, werewolf and zombie movies coming out nowadays. Thankfully, this is not one of them. Please give this one a shot if your schedule allows it.

   

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