Thanks to the generosity of a friend, I managed to get into a 3D showing of Fright Night last night. I have to admit that I didn't really have an interest in seeing this film at the cinema as it looked like a film that I could wait to see at home, but I'm glad that I went.
Since the film wasn't a post-conversion jobber, the 3D effects looked quite good and were actually tastefully done and not overly gimmicky. The screening did suffer from the usual 3D blurriness of certain scenes, but if you have come to expect that, which I have, it was fine. The overall visual effects were very well done and didn't try to steal the shots away from what was actually happening in the story.
The thing that interested me most was the cast. If nothing else, this aspect of the film is what made me think "hmmm... this might not be bad." Colin Ferrell does a really nice job balancing menacing and unhinged in the role of Jerry. I've always thought Colin was smokin' hot, but, by the end of the film, he was on fire... literally. Anton Yelchin, as Charley, was a bit of a surprise for me; I didn't really know what to expect from him as I really only knew of him from his turn as Chekov in J.J. Abrams' amazing Star Trek reboot. I always love Toni Collette, and though she wasn't given a whole lot to do in this film, she did a decent job playing Charley's mother. David Tennant was his usual self and played up the Peter Vincent role with a lot of energy and humour, but, for me, still came across as The Doctor at times. Perhaps he played that role a little too well. Who can say? Rounding out the cast is Imogen Poots as Charley's girlfriend, Amy, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Charley's friend, Ed.
The film doesn't waste any time in establishing Jerry as the vampire or that things are going to go bad very quickly. I am glad they didn't have that prolonged investigation and revelation process that most writers and filmmakers seem to think we require. Going into this film (whether you've seen the original or not), you already know the basic premise and it's good to just get right into it.
I don't really have a high opinion of Hollywood mining its vaults for ideas because it cannot seem to come up with new ones due to the increasing number of films that "need" to come out to fill up a year, but this was done pretty well. A couple weeks ago, Arnie had pointed out that there is no summer blockbuster anymore because they put out so many films at one time or in a short span of time, pointing to the rapid fire releases of Thor, The Green Hornet, The Green Lantern, X-Men: First Class and Captain America. There wasn't ONE superhero flick this year, there were five. FIVE!!!! So, because of this insane amount of material coming out in such a short amount of time, I guess there aren't too many things they can do, but to pad out the releases with reworked material.
That being said, the film was done well due to Marti Noxon's screenplay. If anyone knows how to deliver a vampire tale with wit, action and some smarts, it's likely going to be someone who worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the bulk of its run. I am not a fan of the recent onslaught of "dreamy" and "sexy" or "angst-ridden" vampire tales, so it was fun to hear dialogue about how vampires are killers and aren't the way they are portrayed in True Blood or the Twilight series.
Was this a great film? No, it wasn't. It was certainly entertaining and definitely worth a matinee. I would rate the film somewhere in the vague space between a B and a B- because it didn't disappoint me, but it also didn't leave me with a need to see this film again.