Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Film Review - Fright Night 3D

tl;dr Death to 3D! Also, whilst the film perks up a bit towards the end, it's not worth sitting through.

Note to filmmakers: 3D has it's problems. Not only does it make films darker, but also the darkness appears kind of smudged and spiderwebby at times - admittedly this may just have been the film print. Things in the background are too out-of-focus and smuged and often I had to shut one eye to figure out of the settings. And things popping out of the screen are not, and I repeat ARE NOT, fun or cool or anything like that. They are obnoxious and annoying and even if this had been a decent film I would have come out of it frustrated. The sooner 3D dies, the better.

As for the film? Well, a remake of a cult classic, tuned into the wavelength of a vampire obsessed public? Not a good start, but I went into this film with some modicum of hope. I'm a fan of Tennant, Colin Farrell is a good actor and the whole thing is gonna be loads of campy self-knowing horror action. I was hoping for something that would be an entertaining way to spend a night. And towards the end of the movie this ambitious target is more or less realised; too little, too late.

But meet our protragonist Charley, a beleagured teenager who has a new neighbour, Jerry the vampire. He's not the most rounded character to begin with, as we see: he's become a kind of pseudo-jock and rejected his best friend for being geeky. This is putting down a very simple thematic premise: this is a story about emotional immaturity and growing up, and finding your identity as you do. Naturally, it's a poor riff on the theme, and, weirdly, the best thematic moment of the film involves Peter Vincent, who is kinda shoe horned into the movie in a rather contrived way.

Later on, the movie's style and silly set pieces do turn it into an enjoyable affair, but for it to have been a really good fun movie all the way through. Fright Night spends a lot more time trying to make us like the characters and wastes a lot of time building up where the build up need not be so extensive to the point that it actually hurting the movie. Tense scene after tense scene, but there's this strange veneer of genuine horror going on here that just does not work.

And the humour. Well, what humour? The wit in this film is limp wristed, but admittedly critiquing humour is really difficult, because more than anything else it's down to personal taste. But I'd be surprised if there are that many people who can tell me this was a funny film.

I liked David Tennant near the end and the directions events took, but there's little here that I can really praise. Between a vapid script, stylish but cliche direction and obnoxious, shallow characters, I'm finding very little worthy about the film. One to avoid.

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