Fright Night DVD REVIEW

Trite bite, more like

Colin Farrell plays vampire Jerrry.

Suppurating boils really turned Colin on.


Release Date: 20 February 2012
2011 | 15 | 106 minutes | £13.99 (DVD)/£29.99 (Blu-ray)/£29.99 (3D Blu-ray)
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Director: Craig Gillespie
Cast: Colin Farrell, David Tennant, Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots

You have to wonder whether everybody involved in this remake went in with the mission statement to make the most average vampire movie ever. If so, they did a sterling job. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it, but there’s nothing particularly notable about it either.

The plot is pretty much identical to the 1985 original: vampire Jerry moves into a quiet neighbourhood and starts chowing down on the locals and only teenage neighbour Charley and his nerdy friend Ed realise what’s going on. Only some of the details have changed (Tennant’s gothy Vegas magician replacing Roddy McDowall’s TV horror host as the vampire expert, for example). To be honest, it’s not much of a plot to start off with, and this version doesn’t bring much to the table other than some clodhopping product placement for a brand of trainers.

For a horror comedy, it’s worryingly low on both laughs and scares. There are a couple of good gags, but fewer than you get in any action blockbuster these days. Most of the humour feels like a watered-down version of The Lost Boys, with countless lines invoking the spirit of, “My own brother is a goddamned vampire!” Even Tennant seems underused and subdued, hampered with F-word punctuated dialogue that doesn’t let him let rip as we know he can. The scares are efficient, but far from memorable. The action sequences are workmanlike. Colin Farrell does his best – and has a great vampire glower – but Jerry is little more than a vampire greatest hits package.

All in all, it’s an okay late-night TV schedule filler, but you’d need to be a serious Tennant fan to need to own it. Then again, he does get his shirt off, so it might be value for money if you are…

Extras:

“Peter Vincent: Come Swim In My Mind”, a two-minute faux-interview with Tennant’s character: mildly amusing. “The Official How To Make A Funny Vampire Movie Guide”, a six-minute attempt to make a standard Making Of featurette more interesting by adding captions: mildly amusing. “Squid Man Extended And Uncut”, three minutes of those YouTube superhero antics from the movie: excruciatingly unfunny. Five deleted and extended scenes: all a bit dull. Three minutes of bloopers: possibly funnier than the film. A music video: boring.

Dave Golder

Read the results of our Top 50 Vampires poll.

For an alternate perspective on Fright Night, read our review of the theatrical release.

Read more of our DVD reviews.