Fright Night (2011)

Released: 2011
Director: Craig Gillespie
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant


A slow start but David Tennant saves the day

I’ve never been a big fan of horror movies – I never seem to find that they scare me very much.  I’ll have the occasional jump or squeal followed by a nervous giggle but no more than that.  There’s only been two films that have really spooked me – 28 Days Later and 1408 – I needed to keep the light on for half an hour or so after watching both of them.  Perhaps surprisingly then I quite like vampire stories.  They don’t particularly scare me but I enjoy them.  I’m not a sophisticated Anne Rice fan or anything like that – give me a bit of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and I’m happy.

When I first read about Fright Night, a remake of the 1985 horror film of the same name, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be pure horror or much lighter fun.  Learning that Buffy producer and writer Marti Noxon was the screenwriter I took a guess at which side of the fence this fell down on and off I went to see it.

Teenager Charley Brewster lives in Las Vegas with his mum Jane.  He’s finally friends with the in-crowd at school and has a stunningly beautiful girlfriend who is way, way out of his league.  His only problem is his suspicion that his new next-door neighbour Jerry is a vampire.  After friends and neighbours are killed Charley turns to illusionist and vampire expert Peter Vincent for help.

The first half hour or so of the film dragged quite a bit.  Anton Yelchin as Charley doesn’t have the personality or presence to carry a film on his own.  Colin Farrell dominated the screen every time he appeared as Jerry, the neighbour from hell.  Yelchin just faded into the background in comparison.

Things took a turn for the better when David Tennant turned up as the sweary, hard-drinking, roguish and louche Vincent.  He brought a much needed injection of humour and stopped me from losing interest in the movie.  As anyone who’s watched UK TV  over the past few years will know, David Tennant has star quality.  We saw it in Doctor Who and it undoubtedly saved this film.  And who knew he would look so good wearing dark eyeliner?  Not many blokes can pull that look off!

We saw it in 3D, which was the only version screening anywhere near us.  I tried to go in with an open mind, I really did, but five minutes in and I was feeling grumpy.  3D glasses aren’t very comfortable over ordinary glasses and I hate the way everything is made so dark by 3D – it completely ruins the whole cinema visit.  There were a couple of fun moments but they were overplayed and didn’t make the experience worthwhile.

There weren’t any big scares in Fright Night, there were a few laughs (all provided by Tennant) but it’s not frightening or funny enough to be a success.  Colin Farrell was good as the vampire, Jerry, but he wasn’t threatening.  He would have been dispatched in a single episode of Buffy and with more humour and style than in this film.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.


  1. You’ve so got this wrong. The first half was rubbish, but the second half of the film was utterly brilliant, to the point where I’d happily see it again. Up until David Tennant appeared I was seriously thinking of walking out (and didn’t actually realise it was him for quite a while either). He wasn’t a lone star – he lifted the performance of the entire cast.

    You’re right on the 3D claptrap though. Never, ever take me to a 3D film again. I’ve tried it a few times and 1) it makes your eyes hurt, 2) it makes the visuals rubbish. Does it reduce the resolution at all?

  2. Love this film. Such a great giggle.

    Sorry you had a bad experience from the 3-D. It was not so bad when used in 02 cineworld.


  3. HI. Great review. I’m no big of horror so I think i’ll wait for this one till it comes out on tv. Agree with you totally on 3D. I truly dislike 3D and avoid it at all costs.

Speak Your Mind