Remember when vampires were brutal creatures of the dark, and didn’t fall in love with moody teenage humans, and when exposed to sunlight they burst into flames rather than sparkle like precious gods? Remember when horror movies were equal parts scary and funny – and weren’t all presented to us as if shot on handheld cameras. Well, director, Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, United States of Tara), does and Fright Night is better for it. His remake of the 1985 cult favorite is an exercise genre, reveling in the gore, sexiness, and humor all too absent from horror these days. Like the original, Gillespie’s Fright Night isn’t afraid of either the camp or the cheese, and yet doesn’t fall close to trite; the movie makes for a perfect late night flick or drive-in feature, with plenty of devilishly good thrills and badass kills replete with geyser-esque spurts of blood.

Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is a run-of-the-mill teenager. He’s got a beautiful girlfriend (Imogen Poots), popular friends, nice shoes, even a motorcycle. Things are pretty good for Charlie, until his nerdy friend, Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse a.k.a. McLovin), brings him on a secret: Charlie’s hunky neighbor (Colin Farrell) is actually a bloodsucking monster. At first, Charlie, a recovering nerd himself, writes Ed off as being childish and uncool. But after Ed goes missing, Charlie begins to suspect the worst. Now it’s up to him – with a little help from Vegas magician and “vampire hunter,” Peter Vincent (David Tennant) – to keep his mother (Toni Collette) and girlfriend safe.

The real attraction of Fright Night is Colin Farrell’s performance as the vampire, harmlessly named Jerry. Farrell exudes a machismo that is as deadly as it is desirable; the lean and hungry swagger of a predator, a literal lady-killer. At one point Ed says: “He’s not brooding, or lovesick, he’s the f—king shark from Jaws,” and that about sums it up. Farrell’s Jerry brings the bite back into the vampire mythos. While so many vamps these days have been hamstrung and neutered by their human halves, Jerry is a pitiless killing machine. He's not human at all and incapable of empathy – but not without a sense of humor. Farrell also proves proficient as a comedic actor, one who can take on a myriad of hilarious situations. In last years Horrible Bosses, Farrell was an over-the-top sleaze ball. In Fright Night, his timing is subtle, sophisticated even, and clever.

Fright Night provides an entertaining, blood-soaked romp. The storyline is predictable but also reliable, an homage to the tried and true horror formula: one part teenager, one part force of evil, two parts sex appeal, dowsed in gore. Here the recipe is followed well enough, sentimentality foregone, the production value crisp – Fright Night looks as sleek and dangerous as Farrell pitch black eyes. If you go for the scares, the blood, the sexy, and the laughs, then Fright Night delivers.

The 1080p blu-ray transfer of Fright Night is a perfect match for the movie’s already seamless detailing. The fit and finish of the movie is one of its strongest suits, the visual panache so attractively lurid, that Fright Night pops off the screen – which is quite a feat since most of the movie takes place at night. Nonetheless, the blu-ray release takes good advantage of this and makes for a near perfect viewing experience.

Blu-ray Special Features:

Extras include the standard deleted and extended scenes, bloopers, a music video -“No One Believes Me” by Kid Cudi – as well as three featurettes: “Peter Vincent: Come Swim in My Mind” in which the magician discusses his show – assuming it is real; “Squidman: Extended and Uncut”; and an obligatory look behind the scenes of Fright Night, “The Official ‘How to Make a Funny Vampire Movie’ Guide.”

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