was not a movie I was planning to see a few weeks ago. But then I started hearing such great things from critics and others that I had to give it a whirl. Plus, each year around this time there seems to be a supernatural-type film that makes no money at the box office but becomes a personal favorite (last year it was the brilliant Let Me In
, still one of my favorite movies of the past few years, and before that it was Jennifer's Body
). I was hoping this would follow suit, even though I knew nothing about the original. I was going into this one cold. Honestly, that's kind of how I left the theater, too.
The main frustration I had with the film is that it kept reeling me in only to let me down. It was like the peaks on a roller coaster. One moment I'd be all excited, the next I'd be slouched back in my seat, daydreaming. To compare similar movies, in 2007 Disturbia
managed to keep me hooked throughout. It's a hard thing to do. The problem with this one is that tension isn't allowed to build because the big reveal/mystery is pretty much spoiled in scene one. We know the creepy neighbor's a vampire, so what follows is basically your standard teen suspense film.
However, the action sequences are frequently inspired, particularly an encounter on a dark Vegas highway and a scene in the middle of the film that, without giving too much away, subverts audience expectations and ends with a wonderfully sick surprise (and I'm not easily surprised). Colin Farrell makes an incredibly unnerving villain, and when he--and others--vamp up, they look pretty damn awesome. These aren't your friendly, sparkly vamps. There's a constant danger surrounding the film. The supporting cast, filled with familiar faces, is pretty strong too.
I was less impressed with the casting of the lead. I've liked Anton Yelchin in Star Trek
, Charlie Bartlett
and Terminator: Salvation
, but for me he was totally miscast in this role. I don't feel like he carried the film the way that he needed to, and I felt no connection to his character. It's crazy, because I really like this actor. Something just didn't click. David Tennant (of Doctor Who
fame) is much more effective.
Still, for the action sequences and a few clever little plot points, I'm going to give this a very mild "go." A good one to rent around Halloween, maybe. C+
QUICK VERDICT: (mild) Go
Labels: Fright Night, movies, reviews