Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Don't Like Stuff that sucks: Fright Night

I mentioned that I didn't enjoy the 2011 remake of Fright Night. Going in, I was anticipating it being pretty decent. The trailers I had seen made it look good and it had David Tennant, who is always entertaining.

Unfortunately, and not to put too fine a point on it, it's a piece of shit. Marti Noxon wrote the screenplay. You may know her as the person who oversaw the collapse of Buffy the Vampire Slayer during its fifth and sixth season. I don't know why anyone would let her have anything to do with vampires, but if you want someone to destroy a previously beloved vampire property, Marti Noxon is your woman. We wind up with a movie that's a disjointed collection of set pieces that might be interesting given a more competent cast and directors, but which are flat, artificial and lifeless when presented by the ones we have.

Let's start with the brief montage that plays on the menu screen. It's not bad in itself. It has the one scene I like from the movie, where Colin Farrell grabs the cross from the kid, then blows out the flames when it flares up.

This is the last positive thing I'm going to say about the movie

Unfortunately it shows a vamped out McLovin, spoiling the tiny bit of suspense for any incredibly dumb people in the audience. Since the incredibly dumb represent a sizable portion of those who would otherwise enjoy this movie, I imagine they were outraged.

Anton Yelchin is an utter cipher, combining Michael Cera's versatility with Tobey Maguire's smoldering charisma.

Anton Yelchin, human chameleon.

Imogen Poots, who has an awesome name, plays his improbably hot girlfriend

but is completely incapable of sustaining an American accent for more than three lines in a row. Fuck, I mean Kevin Costner was more consistent with his accent in Robin Hood. The film had a thirty million dollar budget, and she had about thirty lines. Far be it for me to suggest how the director of Lars and the Real Girl should direct his movies but maybe it would have been worth it to reshoot a scene when she forgot how we pronounce our r's, so we didn't wind up comparing her performance unfavorably to Christopher Lambert's in Highlander?

While we're on the subject of attractive women,  I thought, "Wow, Toni Collete looks like someone's hot mom!" and then I looked her up and saw that she's only two years older than I am! I was too reminded of my own mortality to be able to enjoy ogling her.

We had a throwaway character who looked like he could be James Franco's brother. Oh, he was.

David Tennant...was actually pretty good. He did the best with what Craig Gillespie gave him and he was the only entertaining part of the movie.

Colin Farrell might be an asshole in really life, but he's certainly is a good looking guy (my friend Kate loved him) and occasionally a decent actor but not here.There were several scenes where he ate apples, but I have no idea where they were going with that.

Vampires have to get their fiber somewhere
Farrell's character's cover story is that he works night construction. It's a picayune complaint, and I only happen to know this because I used to research the US Construction market, but commercial construction in Las Vegas is the lowest it has ever been.  There were thirteen commercial construction permits issued in Clark County in December 2011. Thirteen. Yes, it's a seasonal business, but the fact remains that the industry is in the toilet. I would assume that the script was written a couple years ago in the middle of the housing boom when construction was soaring and a newly arrived night construction worker would be believable. In fact, there is nothing to suggest that the movie is set in 2011 rather than 2007, but I'm not inclined to be generous, because, fuck this movie.


  1. Grain of salt time, folks: Josh was looking at his smartphone for approximately 50% of the film's running time. Not saying his review is wrong, but it must be noted. ;)

  2. Hey, now, don't put the cart before the horse. I was playing with my phone because the movie was such a piece of crap. It's not like I missed some expression of sublime brilliance *because* I was playing with my phone.

  3. What about that huge apple-eating moment?? Breathtaking.