Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Fright Night (2011)

In 1985, year of such wonderful movies (according to me in alphabetical order) as Back To The Future, Better Off Dead, The Breakfast Club, Clue, Day Of The Dead (well, meh), Enemy Mine, The Goonies, Just One Of The Guys (I love Clayton Rohner), Kiss Of The Spider Woman (I'm throwing that in there to sound sophisticated - I really didn't watch it), Ladyhawke (I love Rutger Hauer), Re-Animator (I love Jeffrey Combs), Real Genius (With the REAL Val Kilmer), Silver Bullet, Silverado (I love Jeff Fahey), St. Elmo's Fire (I love... none of these guys), Weird Science (I liked Oingo Boingo, you'd know him better as Danny Elfman), Witness, Young Sherlock Holmes...

What was my point? Oh yeah, in this year of a freaking TON of movies that I've only listed a few of, there was one that was a fave even though I didn't crush on any of the actors in it. Fright Night. Starring Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowall as well as a few others I'd never seen before, it was freaking sweet. It was silly, it was scary (in a not-give-you-nightmares kind of way), it was slick - I've seen it so often it's one of the movies I repeat the words to (which drives my hubby crazy) when I watch it every couple of months or so. The phrase 'You're sooo cool Brewster' was almost an 80's version of a meme. It. Was. Cool.

So hearing in 2011 they were remaking it I was not pleased. Finding out it was going to star Colin Farrell made me ill. Hearing it was going to be a DISNEY project induced projectile vomiting.

Note: It's 5/9/14 and I've been revamping (sorry) my blog and just now noticed that the 'new' Charlie Brewster is the same guy (Anton Yelchin) who plays Odd Thomas (reviewed 3/24/14). Yikes. 

So with heavy heart I start watching. The first thing I see is they have made late night hack actor Peter Vincent (McDowall) into a character like Criss Angel. I stopped the movie, got out some whiskey and Tums (can't have one without the other unless I want to see the new year with a gut on fire and my head swollen to three times its size), took a deep breath and tried again.

Gaaaaak. Had to come up for air. Really? They're really doing this? Evil Ed (here played by the guy from Kick-Ass), one of the funniest characters from the first movie, the psycho weirdo who everybody thinks is a total spaz is now the BRAIN? He's the one figuring everything out? Ugh. And he said it. In practically a deadpan voice, 'You're so cool Brewster'. SACRILEGE!!!! If this gets any worse I'm gonna be typing in Captain Kirk mode and. every. word. will. have. a. period. Seriously. I was almost relieved when he bites it (sorry) twenty minutes in.

What do I have against Colin Farrell? Um, hard to explain - he's in a category of MEN I WOULD NEVER LET TOUCH ME THAT OTHER WOMEN SEEM TO FAINT OVER. There's lots of them and they all seem to be pretty popular: Ryan Reynolds, Owen Wilson, Chris Hemsworth (well okay he was pretty good in The Cabin In The Woods but given a choice between him and Loki...), Channing Tatum, Robert Pattinson, Henry Cavill, Christian Bale... hmm, maybe I should stop, I'm running low on Tums.

Huh? Oh yeah, the movie. Well it had some interesting bits - the scene where Charlie breaks into Jerry's house, rescues one of his victims, spends about an hour (not really but it felt like it) sneaking her out of the house (good tension and suspense, just went a little long) just to have her explode into CGI'd gore when they reached a sunny spot (Note to makers of CGI effects: It's NOT REALISTIC if the gore DOES NOT HIT THE GROUND OR THE PERSON STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO THE GORE, OK?) was not so bad. Charlie is left to slink home while Jerry, knowing full well he was there just grins and drinks his beer and eats his apples (That was a thing in the 1985 version too - what was it about the apples?).

So Charlie is a believer, his mother is not, his girlfriend isn't talking to him so his next step: Contact Criss Ang... umm I mean Peter Vincent (David Tennant, a face I was actually glad to see - he was one of my favorite Doctors on Doctor Who). He of course turns out to be a foul mouthed faker who kicks Charlie out without hesitation. Nice digs though.

Charlie begs his mom and girlfriend to believe him when Jerry shows up at the door asking to be let in. This changes the movie up a bit. We're 56 minutes in and Charlie's mother begins to see what her son was worried about when Jerry, told to go away, instead begins to dig up her back lawn. And their gas pipe. The special effects for this part were pretty good. Got to give them kudos for the best part: Jerry, riding Charlie's dirtbike, launches it into the air, crashing it into the back of their van and almost killing Amy. That was... not bad at all.

And then the nausea returned to me full force. Driving down the highway after first crushing Jerry into his own truck (didn't work of course) then slamming on the brakes 'cause he's clinging to the undercarriage of the van and punching his way through, they're rear ended by a car going at full speed. The driver stumbles out... and it's Chris Sarandon (the original Jerry Dandrige). I had to stop watching for a while. That was dirty pool.

Fortunately (for Chris) he's killed in about two minutes. Unfortunately Colin was not. Fighting with Charlie over a cross proves worthless but he doesn't appreciate mom slamming a Century 21 sign (nice product placement guys) through his chest. Does she hit his heart? Pffft...

As Charlie and his girl watch over his mom in the hospital, Peter Vincent in movie-style timing happens to pick up a picture Charlie had left there and low and behold, it means something to him. He calls Charlie (And he got Charlie's number how?) and they have the break-the-tension-by-using-backstory time while Peter tells them what he knows. Precious little. Mostly that Jerry is of a particularly nasty breed of vampires (There are breeds? New one on me.). And here comes Ed - now of the long-toothed breed. But still not funny.

He and Charlie fight, leaving Amy to deal with Jerry. I like that she had more on the ball than in the original - they had portrayed her as a whiny, neglected girlfriend and then victim but in the remake she stands on her own and fights. That was something anyway. She finds holy water (duh) and throws it in Jerry's face, then helps Charlie kill Ed (again). In the original Ed got to shapeshift into a wolf and go out with a bang - here he just falls to a heap of ash on the floor. Meh. And where's Criss... dammit I mean Peter Vincent through this whole thing (And wouldn't a Vegas showman pick a fancier name?)? Locked safely away in his 'panic room' watching the show. Bad bad boy Dr. Who - shame on you.

Since Jerry is so nasty, the holy water is just a temporary inconvenience and besides, we have 30 minutes of film to go. The two survivors run into a club and the unce unce unce music is horrid - how do kids dance to that for hours? They don't. Ever watch a club scene? They hop up and down - that's about it. Anywho, the two get separated in the crush of the crowd. Jerry catches Amy and bites her. Okay that's dumb. In public? Must be something about the 'nasty breed' Peter was talking about. Amy is his now.

Charlie goes back for Peter. Instead of refusing to help him 'cause he's only an actor (and a coward) as in the original, they make it more stupid - not only were Peter's parents killed by a vampire, they were killed by Jerry. Okay we've slid from almost good back to massive duh country. But also in movie duh style because his parents were killed he's been collecting religious artifacts all his life - one being a 'blessed stake'. Here come the Tums again, I better find that second bottle.

Charlie gets supplies from an army surplus store and here we go. Waiting for sunlight he storms the house. As in the original movie, Peter Vincent decides to help him at the last minute, 'Let's kill something.' Sure, just do it a little faster, please. Down in the basement Charlie is locked in a room with Amy as Jerry prepares to kill Peter. Ah geez - Colin Farrell says the other best line in almost a monotone, 'Welcome to Fright Night - for real.' Dammit Chris Sarandon had a whole lot more style than that sucka.

Okay the next part was - pretty cool. Jerry hits Peter in the head with a pebble, drawing a bead of blood. As soon as it hits the ground, here comes Jerry's, uh, pack I guess you'd call 'em. And the world of CGI pumps it up some more as Jerry's previous victims literally come out of the walls. They descend on Peter and start snacking while Charlie gets knocked around a while by his girlfriend then runs to take on Jerry. And here it gets stupid again. Was this the basement of the house or not? I mean they're in a sort of reinforced cave, they climbed down the stairs in his house to get there - yet when shots are fired at the ceiling there's the light of day coming through?

Sigh. Let's just finish this, okay? Peter had told Charlie that since Jerry's kind of vampire is a super duper hard to kill kind he would have to be stabbed in the heart while on fire. Uh huh. That was just a setup for the last bit of CGI nonsense. At the surplus store (because they have tons of them just lying around) Charlie had bought a fire suit and puts on cap and goggles while Peter lights him up. He then jumps on Jerry and we get several minutes of CGI'd flying around as Jerry tries to get away from the fire. Peter manages to shoot a hole directly above Jerry's head so he's getting it from two sources. With his chest on fire his heart is revealed and Charlie shoves the sacred stake through it.

We get another CGI'd scene of a vampire blowing up, blood going everywhere - except on Charlie, the floor, the other people in the room... sigh. With the permanent death of Jerry, all the victims who came out of the walls, Amy, and the much-bitten Peter who had started to turn himself all become human again. In the end, Peter Vincent lets them use his penthouse for Amy's deflowering. Aaaaaand scene.

Ick, okay I did it. It was stomach turning but I did it. What? There's gonna be a Fright Night 2 remake? Excuse me, I need to take a trip to the liquor store...

And that does it for me for the year - everyone keep safe and keep sane.