Let me preface this review by stating that even though I’m a HUGE fan of the original 1985 Tom Holland five-star horror outing, I’m well aware that even that film lifted ideas from others. ("Rear Window" anyone?!) But as the effective D.J. Caruso remake of sorts called "Disturbia" so defiantly showed, a rehash of ideas can sometimes turn out to be a good thing. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the sub-par outing "Fright Night 3D," a terrible excuse to revisit Holland’s work that tries desperately to be daring and different, but ultimately succumbs to copying the original - badly.
High School kid Charley Brewster is a popular senior with good grades, a hot girlfriend and friends in high places. He no longer has time for previous lower-status chums, especially childhood friend Ed Thompson, who continually warns Charley that his neighbor Jerry Dandrige may in fact be a vampire. Ignoring the stories as paranoid delusions, Charley begins to take notice when Ed suddenly disappears and the scared kid eventually enlists the help of Vegas Vampire Magician Peter Vincent to help settle the score.
The first half of "Fright Night 3D" (not worth the extra three dollar glasses fee when the only memorable thing that comes out at the audience in this vamp flick is…a car?!) at least gets an effort for trying to jumble the original story plot. But with the sole interesting character of Ed (played by "Superbad" alum Christopher Mintz-Plasse and the only reason this flick gets a half star) going MIA almost immediately and Colin Farrell’s toothed bad guy Dandrige coming off more like a creepy serial killer (he slays victims out in the open!) than a vampire (he even has hidden rooms where he takes his 'victims' – very Ed Gein!), it hardly makes the effort seem worth it. No to mention that David Tennant’s Criss Angel-like Peter Vincent comes off like a dim Russell Brand wannabe – hardly a winner in making us forget Roddy McDowall’s work. What’s worse is after working so hard to come off as dissimilar, Director Craig Gillespie then takes a u-turn for the last quarter of his flick and goes back into the story line from the original film – and he’s no Holland.
But amidst the changes, bad CGI effects and characters we just don't care about (Anton Yelchin’s Charly is forgettable!), bottom line is the fun of "Fright Night" is just gone. Replaced with crappy car chases, a bloodsucker with no charisma and a vampire killer that acts like an ass, "Fright Night 3D" is the reason why remakes get a bad name. Mission accomplished Gillespie and company - the result is truly a frightening sight to see.
Title: "Fright Night 3D"
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant
Director: Craig Gillespie
Running Time: 120 minutes
Release Company: Dreamworks