The only thing that has saved the remake of the 1985 horror/comedy cult-classic Fright Night from feeling completely unnecessary is the intriguing and unexpected cast the filmmakers have managed to assemble.
Following the same basic premise as the original, Fright Night centers on Charley (Anton Yelchin) who believes his new neighbor (Colin Farrell) is a vampire, and enlists the help of Peter Vincent (David Tennant) to take him down. I think that all three of those actors are inspired choices and with Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Toni Collette, Dave Franco, and Imogen Poots rounding out the cast, this remake might actually be better than it has any right to be.
Of course there are a few notable departures from the 1985 version – the setting has switched from the placid streets of suburbia to the neon labyrinth of Las Vegas, and the characterization of Peter Vincent has been dramatically re-imagined.
In the original, Vincent was an actor in the twilight of his career who hosted the late-night television show Fright Night. Roddy McDowall’s performance infused the character with a distinguished sense of authority and an entertainingly dry sense of humor. In the remake, Vincent is a Criss Angel-esque magician whose stage show incorporates horror movie imagery.
Thanks to Shock Till You Drop, we now have our first look at David Tennant as the new Peter Vincent:
Doctor Who’s That?! It looks like the bi-product of a love affair between Criss Angel and Jack Sparrow. Before fans of the original Fright Night declare this to be blasphemy, I want to point out two things:
- I’m almost positive that this is just the character’s stage persona and that he’ll spend the majority of the film sans wig and out of costume.
- This is meant to be ridiculous and over-the-top. They’re clearly mocking Criss Angel’s persona and shtick, not complimenting it.
Tennant is an extremely charismatic performer and soon a much larger audience is going to discover what us Doctor Who fans have known for years – this guy’s meant for bigger and better things. I actually prefer that they went in a completely different direction with the Vincent character and I can’t wait to see what Tennant brings to the role.
I’m also a fan of director Craig Gillespie’s previous film, Lars and the Real Girl and I’ve heard good things about Marti Noxon’s script. So while I’d prefer that Hollywood stop mining my childhood for movie ideas, I have to admit that at this point it’s impossible for me to be totally dismissive of the Fright Night remake.
Source: Shock Till You Drop.