Directed by Craig Gillespie
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Okay, so let’s pretend that we live in a world in which the original Tom Holland classic Fright Night does not exist. For the purpose of this review I’m going to try to judge Craig Gillespie’s redux strictly on its own merits. That’s fair, right? There’s just one problem … this flick really doesn’t have many.
For those of you unfamiliar with the storyline, a secretive vampire named Jerry Dandridge (Farrell) moves in next door to a single mom (Collette) and her nerdy awkward son, Charlie (Yelchin). Things are going okay until Charlie’s best friend, Evil Ed (Mintz-Plasse), discovers Dandridge’s nefarious ways and warns Charlie that, yes, he is indeed a vampire and their entire small town, just outside of Las Vegas, is now at risk. Bodies begin to drop. Charlie begins to panic. Dandridge catches on. Charlie turns to Peter Vincent (Tennant), the vampire killing magician, for help. In a nutshell that’s all there is to it, and honestly? There doesn’t need to be much more because these are all the elements of a fun little vampire flick.
Fright Night does a couple of things right and several things wrong. The devil unfortunately is in the writing, editing, and direction. Most of the film’s characters lack spark and anything even remotely resembling intelligence. They do really dumb things that are so unforgivably ridiculous that the viewer ends up being distracted from any fun he or she was having. Simply put, it’s hard to care about any of them. Interesting plot devices are drummed up and then quickly dropped. Chasm-sized gaps in logic permeate the entire affair, and the ending is about as toothless and unlikely as they come.
On the good side of the fence – the flick is delightfully and surprisingly gory, and David Tennant as Peter Vincent absolutely steals the show, delivering the kind of energetic and fun performance that you’ll be wishing everyone else would have. If there is a Part Two … please … just make it about him.
In terms of picture quality, you may just want to stick with the normal Blu-ray edition. Having a 3D package is great and all, but any scene that takes place at night is just a dark, murky mess. Hell, even the standard DVD looks better during these moments. Though I will say that everything that takes place during the daylight hours looks pretty damned impressive.
The real star of this show? Fright Night‘s DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless soundtrack. This, folks, is 7.1 at its finest with every single channel being utilized to its full potential. You’ll be enveloped in the soundscape. Completely immersed. If only the movie was this good!
In terms of special features there are several different packages available: a 3-Disc Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, a 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, and a single-disc DVD. All features are noted below. The first of the included featurettes is the two-minute long Peter Vincent: Come Swim in My Mind interview. Basically, if you want to play along and pretend that this character is real, Vincent gives you an overview of his Vegas show. From there we have the eight-minute Official “How to Make a Funny Vampire Movie” Guide, which more or less is a fairly standard behind-the-scenes piece with various members of the cast and crew. Once you’re done with those, there are several deleted and extended scenes, some trivia, and the entire Squidman movie featuring Charlie and Ed as kids. Finally we get to a gag reel, which is in no way funnier than the included Kid Cudi music video that ranks up there with some of the most abysmal stuff I’ve ever seen or heard.
It may sound like I’m being hard on this flick, and maybe I am. Not because it’s horrible, though, because its not. Hell, I wish it was all bad. I wish it was such a travesty that it genuinely infuriated me. I even wish it would have been stellar and unmissable. At least then it would have made me feel something. Anything. As is, it’s an entirely middle-of-the-road forgettable flick that’s not too much of a chore to sit through. If that’s your thing, more power to ya!
3-Disc Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack (1 Blu-ray 3D + 1 Blu-ray + 1 DVD with Digital Copy) Special Features
2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (1 Blu-ray + 1 DVD) Special Features
1-Disc DVD (1 DVD) Special Features
Digital (3D, High Definition & Standard Definition) Special Features
2 1/2 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5