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Still shot from the movie: Fright Night.

Fright Night

Fright Night is an R-rated horror film about teens that discover a neighborhood vampire (Colin Farrell) is preying on local youths. When Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) sets out to stop his biting spree, the young man puts himself in mortal danger. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: D 0.5
Violence: D
Sexual Content: C+
Language: D-
Drugs/Alcohol: C+
Run Time: 120
Theater Release: 19 Aug 2011
Video Release: 13 Dec 2011
MPAA Rating: R
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Living in a far removed Las Vegas suburb, Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is an awkward adolescent doing all he can to move up the social ladder. His best boost is Amy (Imogen Poots), his sexy, blonde girlfriend. But holding him down is his geeky childhood friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Worried the association will undo the progress of his improving image (as well as attract local bullies), Charley attempts to distance himself from Ed. This seems particularly important because the nerdy teen is becoming involved in vampire hunting and is convinced the Brewster’s next-door neighbor is a blood-sucking monster.

Jerry (Colin Farrell), a muscle bound, t-shirted man, has been making overtures to Charley’s single mother Jane (Toni Collette), including helping her with some yard work on their common property line. At first Charley chalks up Jerry’s actions as mere middle-aged flirting. However, after Ed finally persuades him to come inspect the home of a buddy who has been missing for a few days, Charley finds a good enough reason to believe Ed’s outlandish accusation.

Now Charley is on a mission that is all too familiar to moviegoers—he must convince his mom and Amy that the buff bloke next door is truly dangerous, and somehow stop the un-killable menace. Turning the women against the handsome hunk proves relatively easy once Jerry starts attacking their home in earnest, including setting the place ablaze. Fleeing the scene, the trio hits the road—and Jerry—with their SUV, then heads to The Strip for help from a supposed vampire slayer who is doing a show there. Yet destroying these creatures of the dark isn’t as easy as one might think… especially in a movie where gory 3D effects overwhelm any hope of a creative plotline.

Despite the fact that this film features teenaged characters, and is being distributed by Touchstone Pictures (a division of Disney), the production contains unabashedly mature content. Rated R by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), don’t expect any toothy charmers with nice table manners in this comedy horror. As fangs dig into victim’s necks, the blood pours out and often squirts at the audience in 3D glory. Also depicted are decapitation and dismemberment as the immortal villains are hacked and shot in an attempt to slow them down. Profanities are just as plentiful, with scatological slang, anatomical terms, names of Christian deity and over 30 sexual expletives (a couple used within a sexual context). Topping it all off is some teen sensuality and adult use of alcohol.

This remake of the 1985 movie with the same title may have been revamped, but the 3D modifications add little to a production shot mostly at night where lack of luminance obscures the effect. Featuring cynical humor and a campy style that might draw young audiences, Fright Night is undoubtedly attempting to cash in on the lucrative vampire trend.

Fright Night is rated R: for bloody horror violence, and language including some sexual references.

Director: Craig Gillespie
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant
Studio: 2011 Touchstone / DreamWorks SKG
Website: Official site for Fright Night.

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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