Monday, August 22, 2011

Review: Fright Night (2011)

Last year, at some point in the early AM hours of Halloween, we cracked open the 1985 original version of Fright Night.  Only a few of the marathon partygoers remained awake and the costumes had largely been exchanged for sweats, but those who stayed the course were treated to the perfect sort of camp horror.  That Fright Night was the stuff slumber parties are made of; the ideal teen paranoia flick chock full of cheesy catchphrases, clubby dance scenes, and unsettling notions of just how bad it would be to find no believers when a murderous vampire  moves in next door.  Too often, cult horror classics are remade without regard to the original.  Friday the 13th and  Nightmare on Elm Street are two prime examples of films recently retooled in an effort to kill instead of playfully maim.  I worried, in the early trailers, that Fright Night would lose its light heart and become a clone like all the rest; heavy handed sturm, drang, an undercurrent of psychosis, and heaping doses of sexualized gore.  Happily, my worries were unfounded.  Fright Night is the rare remake that celebrates its origins instead of working to “fix” them.  In some ways, I’d argue, it’s a much more effective film that gets a hell of a lot right even as it works steadily within the conventions of its genre...

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