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FRIGHT NIGHT

2011's FRIGHT NIGHT ($40) is a rarity among modern horror remakes- a film that lives up to the potential of the original. Of course, the 2011 version offers more than its share of twist and turns on the original, making it a worthy horror offering in its own right. Where 1985’s FRIGHT NIGHT was a clever mixture of horror and comedy, 2011’s plays its horror on the straight side, with only the occasional laugh thrown in to relieve tension. This FRIGHT NIGHT retains the framework of Tom Holland’s original screenplay, but adds a lot of modern embellishments that make the characters and their situations timelier.

Teenage Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) lives in Las Vegas and has most of the usual problems of a typical high-schooler, namely girls and trying to shed his nerdy friends for the cool kids. Living with his divorcee mother Jane (Toni Collette), in one of those isolated subdivisions favored by a transient Las Vegas population, neighbors come and go quickly. The new next-door neighbor is Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell), who seems doing a lot of renovations on his relatively new house. Meeting up with his nerdy old friend Ed Lee (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Charley is informed that many of their fellow students (and their families) have gone missing… then Ed reveals that he suspects that good old Jerry next door is the cause, and a vampire to boot.

Charley writes off his former friend as crazy, but when Ed goes missing, and Charley begins to notice some peculiarities about his neighbor Jerry, our protagonist begins to believe his friend might not have been crazy after all. Since no one is going to believe that a vampire is stalking a Las Vegas neighborhood, Charley take his suspicions to Peter Vincent (David Tennant), a Las Vegas magician, who also professes to be a vampire expert. However, after meeting with the magician, who throws the teen out… our hero comes to suspect that Peter Vincent’s vampire expertise is little more than the show business trappings designed to increase the magician’s boxoffice appeal. This unfortunately, leaves Charley as the sole protector of his mother and girlfriend Amy Peterson (Imogen Poots). The cast of FRIGHT NIGHT also includes Dave Franco, Reid Ewing, Will Denton, Sandra Vergara, Emily Montague, Grace Phipps, Chelsea Tavares and Lisa Loeb. Look for original FRIGHT NIGHT star Chris Sarandon in a cameo.

Touchstone Home Entertainment has made FRIGHT NIGHT available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. FRIGHT NIGHT features a decidedly excellent 1080p presentation, which is certain to please fans. The image is incredibly crisp and clean, with fine details, such as textures on objects and fabrics, as well as the lines, pores and imperfections in the actors’ skin being readily apparent. Even the CGI work looks incredible, and has been beautifully integrated into the image. Colors usually appear warm and very vibrant in sunlit scenes, while darker scenes show a cooler pallet. Flesh tones for the living characters are highly attractive. Blacks are usually quite deep, while the whites appear clean. The image also demonstrates exemplary contrast and shadow detail. The elements from which FRIGHT NIGHT has been mastered show no noticeable imperfections. There is just enough grain in the image to make the presentation seem organic.

FRIGHT NIGHT is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. With many talky passages, FRIGHT NIGHT isn’t quite a demo experience, but the sound design is quite capable. There are plenty of enveloping atmospherics, plus the soundtrack is nicely directional when the story allows for action elements. At appropriate moments, the sound design heightens the creepiness factor with the placement of odd noises and some zingers. Thanks, to the lossless encode, the music has a full-bodied quality, while the sound effects have weight thanks to a percussive bass component. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as is an English descriptive track. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the extras. Featurettes and other programs include: The Official "How To Make A Funny Vampire Movie" Guide (eight minutes), Squid Man: Extended & Uncut (three minutes) and Peter Vincent: Come Swim In My Mind (two minutes). The Kid Cudi Music Video for No One Believes Me and some Bloopers close out the standard extras. Disc two offers a DVD copy of the movie for those who are on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray.

FRIGHT NIGHT is a modern horror remake that does well by the original. The Blu-ray presentation is aces. Recommended.

 
FRIGHT NIGHT (2011) 


Fright Night (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (2011)

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DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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