Making the Grades
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.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Fright Night.
One character says, “Twilight? That’s fiction. This is real.” How does this reference to popular culture within a fictional setting work to create a sense of reality? How does this movie differ from Twilight? Why do you think vampires themes are so popular? How long do you think this phenomenon will continue? What are other themes have come and gone?