(Welcome to DTV Descent, a series that explores the weird and wild world of direct-to-video sequels to theatrically released movies. This week, we head to Romania with the Countess of Bathory.)
Vampires are a common threat in horror movies, some would say far too common (and yes that someone is me). So it should come as no surprise that they’re also a frequent antagonist in DTV horror sequels. This column has already covered the sequel to 30 Days of Night (2007), and there are more on the horizon. Vampires are a cheap effect as all you typically need are fangs and maybe some digitally enhanced eyes, and you’re off to the bloody races.
Tom Holland’s (Child’s Play, 1988) other horror classic, Fright Night (1985), got a proper sequel three years later that, despite its current unavailability, is actually pretty solid, but the 2011 big screen remake didn’t fare as well. It’s unfortunate, but it’s also the reason we’re here today.
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This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam compare the classic Straw Dogs to Rod Lurie’s new remake, try to get excited about a new Blade Runner film, and wonder whether or not story still matters in modern movies. Special guest Jordan Raup joins us from The Film Stage.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Tune in on Sunday night (8/28) at Slashfilm’s live page at 10 PM EST / 7 PM PST as we review Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.
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Fright Night, a remake of Tom Holland’s 1985 film, hits theaters today, promising a few laughs, some solid scares, and a fantastic villainous performance by Colin Farrell, as the unthreatening-sounding Jerry the Vampire. I’ve been a fan of director Craig Gillespie’s work (his Lars and the Real Girl was a touching story on family bonds, and I’ve heard great things about United States of Tara), so I was curious to see if he could pull of a genre remake successfully. Moreover, would screenwriter Marti Noxon be able to bounce back from her work on the execrable I Am Number Four?
The original Fright Night is beloved by many. So what do you guys think? Does the new film satisfy fans of the original? Does Anton Yelchin continue to prove he has what it takes to be a leading man? Is the film a successful blend of action and horror, or does it feel clunky and overstuffed? Was the 3D any good? Has anyone ever seen David Tennant and Russell Brand in the same place at once? Leave your thoughts in the comments and assume SPOILERS lie after the jump.
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The new Fright Night, which remakes and updates Tom Holland’s enduring and entertaining 1985 film about a high school kid who finds that a vampire has moved into the house next door, is about vampires and feelings, but not vampires with feelings. That’s something that’s clear right off in conversations with the cast and crew of the film on location in New Mexico. Or, in other words, this isn’t Twilight.
We’re in the local Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, which doubles for the chain’s larger Vegas location. In the film, that’s the domain of stage magician and presumed vampire expert Peter Vincent (David Tennant). Tennant isn’t in the house, but most of the film’s major players are: Anton Yelchin, playing the hero Charley Brewster; Colin Farrell as Jerry Dandridge, the vampire next door; Imogen Poots as Charley’s new girlfriend Amy; and director Craig Gillespie, screenwriter Marti Noxon and effects guru Howard Berger. We only got to see a small bit of the film being shot, so after the break I’ll let the cast and crew give you the lowdown on this new version of Fright Night, in their own words. Read More »
For a certain segment of the filmgoing population, the prime appeal of Craig Gillespie‘s new take on the 1985 Todd Holland horror/comedy Fright Night is the presence of David Tennant. He plays Peter Vincent, the stage magician with a deep interest in the occult that high school student Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) attempts to recruit in the fight against a vampire (Colin Farrell) who moves in next door.
We only recently saw the first footage of the new Peter Vincent in the film’s second trailer, and now with four new UK character posters we get a good look at the Doctor-turned-Magician in full battle gear. Read More »
The first trailer for Craig Gillespie‘s remake of Fright Night did a pretty good job of getting across the basics: Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin), his mom (Toni Collette) and his new girlfriend (Imogen Poots) have to deal with a little problem when a vampire (Colin Farrell) moves in next door.
But there was a lot the trailer didn’t touch on, with one character in particular being almost totally MIA. That was Peter Vincent, which Roddy McDowell played perfectly as an aging horror TV host in the original, and here has been reimagined as a Vegas stage magician played by David Tennant. A new trailer arrived last night via the MTV Movie Awards, and it gives a good look at the new Peter Vincent. It gives away one tiny little character reveal, so if you don’t want to know any more than you already do about the film, be warned. Read More »
It’s bound to be a slow week as everyone gets back to work from the Memorial Day weekend, so lets start things off with a clip. This is the first semi-extended look at Colin Farrell playing the vampire in Craig Gillespie‘s remake of Fright Night. The character was played in the original by Chris Sarandon — played to great effect, too — and so Colin Farrell has big shoes to fill as far as fans are concerned. This clip will show some of the ways that he and Gillespie have made the vampire a bit different in this version of the film. Check it out after the break, along with the film’s MPAA R rating bulletin. No PG-13 for this one! Read More »
Remaking Fright Night, Todd Holland‘s still-entertaining 1985 teen vampire horror/comedy, seemed like a dire prospect. But then Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) came on to direct a script by Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) with Colin Farrell starring as the vampire who moves in next door to Charley Brewster, a high school student played by Anton Yelchin. OK, so far so good. The script is pretty solid, and adds enough things to differentiate it from the original that this isn’t at all a 100% straight remake.
Now the first trailer is out, and you’ll see how different some aspects of this version really are. While Chris Sarandon was perfect for the vampire role in the original, I’m happy to see that Colin Farrell’s version might be just as intense as intended in the script. I’ve moved past all the reservations I had about remaking Fright Night (because there’s nothing I can do about it) and while I’m not feeling mad excitement at the prospect of this version, I like the cast enough that I’m willing to give it a chance. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Yesterday we saw the first three official stills from Craig Gillespie‘s 3D Fright Night remake, which stars Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Toni Collette, and David Tennant. The shots were pretty low-quality, though. Now we’ve got high-res versions of those images, complete with three more high-res images, and two magazine scans.
None of these show enough vampiric action for my liking — and none have David Tennant; get an early look at him here — but they might be worth a look, anyway, especially on a slow Friday. Read More »
We’ve seen one image from the Craig Gillespie-directed 3D remake of the ’80s horror classic Fright Night, but the three images below are the first real look we’ve had at the upcoming film. The movie tells the story of a suburban kid (Anton Yelchin) who, amid dealing with a new girlfriend (Imogen Poots) and estrangement from his old best friend (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) discovers that his neighborhood is now home to a vampire (Colin Farrell). Check out the stills below. Read More »