Fright Night 3D (R13)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner28/08/2011

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 106 mins

Entertaining horror comedy remake with strong performances, an amusing script and some inventively used 3D effects, though it's never quite as scary or as funny as it ought to be.

What's it all about?
Directed by Craig Gillespie, Fright Night is a remake of the 1985 horror comedy and stars Anton Yelchin as Las Vegas teenager Charley Brewster, who lives with his single mother Jane (Toni Collette) and has recently dumped his dweeby best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) in order to hang out with the cool kids and date sexy blonde Amy (Imogen Poots). When Ed prevails upon Charley to help unmask attractive new neighbour Jerry (Colin Farrell) as a vampire, Charley assumes Ed has been reading too much Twilight but he's horrified to discover that Ed's telling the truth.

When Jerry realises that Charley's onto him, he targets Jane and Amy, so Charley seeks the help of horror-obsessed stage magician Peter Vincent (David Tennant, channelling Russell Brand) to help stake the vamp and save the day. However, Vincent doesn't quite live up to his on-stage persona ...

The Good
Yelchin's likeable screen persona (he's like a notch less nerdy than, say Jay Baruchel) makes him the ideal choice to play Charley and he's on good form here, generating strong chemistry with both Collette and Poots to boot. Similarly, Farrell is great fun as Jerry, pouring on the sleazy charm and basically looking like he'd screw anything that moved.

The 3D effects are put to extremely inventive use, with several great things-flying-out-of-the-screen moments – in particular, there's a bit involving a cat-flap that will have you diving for cover, while the effect really comes into its own when vamps get turned into clouds of ash. On top of that, Gillespie stages a number of effective set-pieces and surprise moments.

The Bad
David Tennant's decision to channel Russell Brand as Peter Vincent actually ends up being something of a double-edged sword – it's a good initial joke, but it ends up making you wonder why they didn't just cast Russell Brand in the first place. Indeed, one visual gag in particular would have been a hundred times better with Brand in the role.

The only real problem with Fright Night, as the 15 certificate suggests, is that it skimps on the scares and settles for frequently amusing rather than laugh-out-loud funny in the comedy stakes.

Worth seeing?
Fright Night is an enjoyable horror comedy remake, thanks to likeable performances, inventive special effects and some effective set pieces. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 24/10/2019 19:26

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