Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fright Night (3D)

I think as a rule, all movies should at least be entertaining and having achieved this, can then even be forgiven for other cinematic misdemeanors. It's in this very field of entertainment value that Fright Night scores top marks, proving that there's nothing like some dark humour and gory deaths to spice up one's week!

Fright Night's storyline isn't rocket science: A teenager gets harassed by his neighbour, who also happens to be a non-vegan vampire that secretly feeds on a group of unsuspecting suburbian folk. The first and best thing about Fright Night that you'll notice is that it has no misconceptions of greatness: It's a simple and funny movie that relishes in its own horrific ridiculousness. Whilst it might take some time for certain folks to get to grips with the film's quirky approach to horror (especially if they aren't used to films like this), your're almost certain to appreciate the film's light take on a dark subject in the end.

"The first and best thing about Fright Night that you'll notice is that it has no misconceptions of greatness..."

Fantastic performances by a few unexpected cast members make this dark comedic adventure just that much more enjoyable. Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine, The Dead Girl, United States of Tara) plays a defenceless mom who has seemed to develop a liking for her vampiric neighbour, played with the utmost delicacy by Colin Farrell (In Bruges, Miami Vice). Farrell really is the highlight of this film, as a slightly trashy vampire that's just too sauve for big theatrical entrances and dramatic one-liners. It might seem like an unlikely role for Farrel, that's more use to serious roles, but it just goes to prove that Farrel really can pull off just about any role.

The film's protagonist also seems like a bit of an unlikely choice, but Anton Yelchin (Charlie Bartlett, Alpha Dog) is a believable teenager struggling with the fear of losing his beautiful girlfriend, his friends and a significant amount of blood. Along the way however, he manages to become a man, with the ability to fend of supernatural forces and keep his girlfriend satisfied. The rest of the cast is just as brilliant, with Imogen Poots as Charlie's defenceless  girlfriend and David Tennant ( Doctor Who, Harry Potter) as a hilarious Vegas showman, serving up some of the film's best comedic moments.

"...a believable teenager struggling with the fear of losing his beautiful girlfriend, his friends and a significant amount of blood."

Whilst it might have been wholely unintentional, the movie did come across to me as an oustanding analogy for the many struggles a teen faces and how these struggles in life contribute to the shaping of their inevnitable adulthood: Growing up is a turbulent journey (that might or might not include vampires) that we all need to go through.

The film truly is best enjoyed in 3D, mainly due to the fact that the inherent cheesy nature of 3D film effects only helps to highlight the film's best parts. The effects are gloriously over-imagined and leads to more than a few 'Wow' moments as blood gushes from necks and vampires distingerate into glowing ash particles that seem to land on the tip of your nose.

Taking into consideration that Director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, Mr Woodcock) only has two titles behind his name worth mentioning, this film is really a great achievement and should help to position Gillespie as a capable director nor afraid to take chances with the stories he tells.  Fright Night is a clever film, totally aware of its own inferiority, which ironically makes it a superb film, best enjoyed with a group of friends that believe that humour is a dish best served dry and bloody.

This could end badly... and you know it probably will.
Highlight: People just seem to lose their heads in Vegas – Vampires are no exception.