2011 / Craig Gillespie / Amazon Prime / R
He tried to get an invitation inside.
These kids are just a little too old to believe in Vampires… Wait… They addressed it!
Anton Yelchin was a well-known child actor, but the last notable film he starred in was “Green Room” along with his love interest in this film Imogen Poots. Poots is also in the Prime original “Outer Range”. David Tennant plays Crowley in “Good Omens” a fantastic Prime original. Lastly, we have Christopher Mintz-Plasse aka McLovin. And then there's the masterful Toni Collette and Colin Farrell. The casting director bought me using familiar faces.
This film follows many of the standard Vampire rules; stakes through the heart, sunlight, those kinds of things (I don’t recall any garlic). 2011s Fright Night handles the story presented in the 1985 version in a fast and loose manner. Peter Vincent is still a key player, Charley Brewster still has a hard time losing his virginity, and Charley’s Mom is still attracted to the new man next door. What’s different with this version is the pace and the tone. The remake is faster and darker. Colin Farrell plays a menacing villain who is keeping women locked away in his closet to feed on. Once the story ramps up Ms. Brewster is wrapped in with the whole mess, which I found to be a nice touch (with her house exploded she doesn’t really have a choice).
The things I do miss are the practical effects. Everything is CGI’d around this time in film history. Charley’s best friend Ed, aka Evil, never transforms into a werewolf-like monster like in the OG, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense but the transformation sequence held up against “American Werewolf in London”, and “The Howling”. There’s also no gardener/roommate character for Jerry (Collin Farrell). Tom Holland (OG director) intentionally built in gay undertones in the original, and this was probably tossed to appeal to a greater audience. By making that change, we also lose out on more character complexity for the villain. He’s just a vampire menace, I guess.
The best parts of the original film are missing here, but overall the story is more compelling and relatable, especially coming from someone who grew up in this era. I would rather turn on the 2011 version to watch, but I do understand the appeal of the 1985 version. If they were to remake this film a third time, I would like to see something that lands directly between the two of these movies. Keep it dark and fast-paced, hold onto the practical effects, and double down on Jerry’s sexual nature.