Fright Night

[3.5 stars] Fright Night (2011) on IMDb

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A vampire movie that doesn't take itself too seriously. And a remake of a 1985 movie which I haven't seen. But I had a fine time.

In a sterile Las Vegas suburb, young Charley has it pretty good. He used to be a nerd, but has recently acquired a hot girlfriend, Amy (to the consternation of the local jocks). His father is not around, but his mom is nice. The only thing slightly out of place is their new neighbor, Jerry. He's blacked out his windows, and has a construction dumpster in his yard, but there's no visible construction going on. Also people keep vanishing from the neighborhood. What's up with that?

Charley's friend, Ed (who's still a nerd) thinks he knows what's going on: Jerry's a vampire. And he's right, for all the good it does him. Pretty soon Charley's convinced too, and Jerry decides it's time to vampirize him, Amy, and his mom. After a couple of close calls, Jerry tries to seek help, not from the cops, but from "Peter Vincent", a sleazy Vegas stage magician, who's rumored to be a vampire expert. He is, but he's also a dissolute coward.

Part of the fun of a vampire flick is discovering the rules. For example, that cross thing? Doesn't work on Jerry, sorry. But apparently the must-be-invited-in rule applies. (And, as one of the good guys discovers to her chagrin, you have to remember which vulnerabilities apply to vampires, and which apply to, say, werewolves.)

The cast is uniformly good. Charley is played by Anton Yelchin—where had I seen him before? Oh, right, he was Chekov in the latest Star Trek movie. Colin Farrell is excellent as Jerry.

Last Modified 2012-09-24 8:10 AM EDT