Somehorrormovieswanttoturnyourstomachintofermentedbatteryacid。

Somewanttoslapyouwithpolitical/gender/socio-culturalstatements。

Andsomearejusttheretobringtheawesome(andshoweryouwithironicgore)。

WhichbringsustoFrightNight,opening?

today。

The1985originalwasoneofthosetepid’80smoviesthatmakeusoldsfeelallnostalgicbut,attheendoftheday,wastrulycrap。

Thepremisewasyourclassic“fearthysuburbanneighbor”scenario:teenagekidliveswithsinglemominAnywhere,USAanddiscoversthecoolsingleguynextdoorisavampire。

Clichésandlamespecialeffectsabound,andcharactersflounderinpoolsofphlegmaticdialogue。

TheonlylifeinthismoviewasChrisSarandon(ofPrinceHumperdinckfame)asthevampire,thoughwithhisoilybicepsandRizzohair,helookedlikehe’dsprungstraightfromthebowelsofaRichardSimmons?

video。

Buttheremake…Well,it’ssimplygreat。

Betterthanamid-August‘80s-remakevampireflickhasanyrightto?

be。

DirectorCraigGillespieknowsexactlywhathe’sheretodo:makeasmart,mainstreamcarnage-festthatmanagessomeoriginalitywithoutgoingallYōkaitortureporn。

Giveusadoseofsavvydialoguebetweenyourstandardrelatableteens(loveableheroCharleyBrewster,playedbyAntonYelchin,hasafallingoutwithhisformerbestfriend,ChristopherMintz-Plasse,overtheirLARPingpast)。

Shovelonsomegoreandmonstereffects,andthenletthecharacterscutloose。

MartiNoxon’scleverscriptlullsyouinto“Yeah,yeah,Iknowwherethisisgoing”complacencyforthefirst20minutesorsoandthentossesinafantasticloopthattakesusfullyoutof’80sdullness。

Theelementthatmakestheplot-crazinessworkisthesetting:Vegas,thatsanctumoftransiencewherenothingwholesomeornormaleverhappensto?

anyone。

Andthenthere’sthecast。

Girlshavebeengettingtheirfairshareofattentioninhorrorlately,butthisone’sallabouttheboys(hey,wecanaffordtobegenerous)。

Thankfully,thetwofemaleleadsgetsignificantintelligenceupgradesfromtheoriginal;themom(atanandsexyToniCollette)andcutiegirlfriendAmy(ImogenPoots)canhandlethemselvesinacrisisanddon’tsubjectustoanyoftheflailingidiocyoftheir’80scounterparts(thoughAmandaBearsewillalwaysbeawesome)。

ButFrightNightbelongstothedudes。

TheaudiencecheeredwhenMintz-Plasse,akaMcLovin,hitthescreen(poorkid?

—?

butthisisthetypecastinghandyou’vebeendealt,soyoumayaswellrunwithit)。

DavidTennantisslap-somebodygoodas“vampireslayer”PeterVincent,aMidori-guzzlingpleather-wearingfaux-Russell-Brand-doing-Criss-Angelthat’sfunnierthan,well,RussellBrand。

Sarandonshowsupforafuncameo(whichalmostnooneinthetheaterregistered,sincetheywerestillencasedinamnioticfluidwhentheoriginalwasreleased)。

Andthere’sevenaFranco!

(DaveFranco,James’sbrother,playingthemanscapedcool-kid。

)

Andofcourse,there’sColinFarrell,lopingacrossthescreeninwifebeatersandcirculation-cuttingjeans,desecratingeveryonewithhisunholy,unpasteurizedsexualenergy。

He’stheperfectmonster?

—?

whoisn’talittleafraidofColinFarrell?

Hisslightlymanicpuppydogeyes,hisabsurdgoodlooks,hissudden,uncomfortablevulnerability,therumorsofhismassive,er,shoesize。

He’sallidandego:awalkingerectcock。

Gillespieplaysupthe“fearofthepredatorybachelor”perfectlywithFarrell’sdirt-cakedappearanceandsparselyfurnishedhouse(theonlypieceofseriousfurnitureisa50”flatscreen)。

Farrellknowswhentoplayit“clichévampire”andwhentogooffthegrid,andheevendoeshumor:Thescariestsceneinthemovieismadehilariousbyhiswatching“RealHousewivesofNew?

Jersey。



Whowouldn’twanttoseetheblue-eyed,marble-chiseledYelchintakeonthismanimal?

Thecontrastbetweenthetwo?

—?

theemotionallyvulnerableandslightlyweakkid,versustheall-power,all-destructionpillarofvirility?

—?

isplayedtomaximumeffectinoneexchange。

Thesceneisblood-free,butbyfarthecreepiestinthefilm。

Init,JerrytheVampireinformsCharleythatthewomeninhislifeare“ripeforplucking,”andtherearea“lotofbadpeopleintheworld”who’dbehappytodoit。

Afterthatthrowdown,well,it’son,andyoucan’thelpbutbepsychedwhenCharleymetamorphosesfromsullenjellyfishtoself-sacrificingbadass。

(OK,maybeyoucanhelpit。

NowstoplookingatColinFarrell’sass。

)

Asforthewhole3Dbusiness,whenIaskedthepublicistwhy3Dwasnecessaryinavampireflick,shegavemeanincredulouslookandsaid,“Whywouldyouwatchsomethingin2Dwhenyoucanwatchitin3D!

”TowhichIreplied,“Whywouldyouwatchsomethingin3Dwhenyoucouldstabyourselfinthecheekwithaballpoint?

”(Allright,Ididn’treallysaythat。

Herattitudeexemplifiesthecurrentindustrysentiment,andIpickmybattles。

)Still,this3Ddoesn’thavetheschlockyawfulnessof,say,FinalDestination4and5。

It’susedwithdiscretionanditevenheightenssomeofthebestgorymoments,likewhenaVegasshowgirlexplodesintoacloudofbloodoramotorcyclecomescrashingthroughavanwindow…yougetthe?

drift。

Oh,andthere’smercilessmockeryofTwilight,too?

Win!

Soyes,‘FrightNight’gets4bloodychainsaws(outoffive)。

Ifyoudon’tlikeitthenyouhate?