Fright Night 3D – Fan Review (Test Screening)
This is a reader’s (he called himself Charley Brewsterrr) review from a test screening that took place in Orange, California.
I can just see it now, studio execs walking into video stores and combing the aisles looking for something to remake without any care in the world. It is a safe gamble to re-imagine something that was successful before because if it doesn’t gel, it is an out because it worked before and they can push blame elsewhere. God forbid someone takes a chance on an original script as opposed to worrying about losing their cushy job. Don’t get me wrong brother, I am not a hater when it comes to redoing a story. From wave one remakes like The Thing and The Fly, to more creative bankrupt outings like Dawn of the Dead and The Ring – all I want is a good movie, and those four titles delivered. Like a singer doing a cover of a song – the second time around can be a nice companion piece, and in some instances, turn out better.
I knew it was a matter of time before my beloved Fright Night was going to be raped by the suits in Hollywood. If Psycho, The Haunting, and Friday the 13th can be retold – why not Fright Night? Bad examples…I know. But that is the point. Some flicks are stuck in a time warp and are magic in a bottle and must be left alone. I am not talking about the Aqua Net, bad clothes, and cheesy music. The film industry has changed for the worst and here is why. Pop culture and media whoring has ruined a lot of the enjoyment of cinema. The hook is to pander to the trendy youngsters by showing them what they are familiar with: television shows (The Real Housewives of New Jersey) and an unfunny douchebag who was in a hit comedy (Superbad). This motion picture was made for parents who drop their daughters off at the mall.
Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) does battle with his next door neighbor who happens to be a vampire. Jerry Dandridge (Colin Farrell) is his name, and being unscary and looking like a 40-year old version of Robert Pattinson is his game. Students in the small town on the outskirts of Las Vegas go missing and Charley’s best pal – Evil Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) – figures out from watching the news that a vampire is sucking his way through the city of sin. After Ed turns into one of the undead, he visits the throne of master magician and bloodsucking expert Peter Vincent (David Tennant), who I would describe as a cross between Criss Angel and Russell Brand, to assist in destroying Dandridge and saving his girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) before dawn.
What Fright Night got right in 1985 was everything. For every horror nut who grew up on the film, Charley Brewster was us. He spent his nights watching scary movies to the wee hours of the morning. School was tough and dating was migraine-inducing, but watching various monsters and beasts made everything right with the world. That is what made us happy, and to the day – it still does. The script was an homage to Rear Window and The Boy Who Cried Wolf with a dose of that planet 80’s free spirit. Fright Night 3D, more like unnecessary post-conversion 3D, is in such a hurry that it forgets to tell any kind of story. There is absolute zero character development as the cardboard actors just go through the motion and it’s painful. The neighborhood feels like a leftover set from the The Stepfather, as opposed a real home on a real block. Roddy McDowell was the backbone of the original and played like a father figure to Charley. Now he is just a boozing womanizer who doesn’t come to the rescue and is just an afterthought. Chris Sarandon does make a cameo, but suffers a bite to the jugular from CG-faced Colin Farrell (who is solo, no Billy Cole) and is spared the misery that I couldn’t get away from.
No Tom Holland. No William Ragsdale. No Amanda Bearse. No Roddy McDowell. No Stephen Geoffreys. No Jonathan Stark. No Dorothy Fielding. No Art Evans. No Steve Johnson. No Richard Edlund. No heart. No soul. No thank you. You would be better off getting a Black & Decker enema…for real.