It’s funny, though I do a lot of bitching and whining about movie remakes/franchise revivals on this blog; in most cases I tend to sensationalize my reactions to increase their entertainment value.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m always honest with my opinions, whatever they may be; but pretty much every post I make here has some degree of exaggeration to it.
Truth of the matter is, while I let on that all sorts of shit is sacred to me and what not, deep down I’m rarely ever more than miffed by the antics of the Hollywood bullshit factory.
Well, unless you drag Transformers into it.
That being said, I really don’t know what to think when it comes to the upcoming Fright Night remake coming out this Friday.
I want to throw a hissy hit over it, but for the life I just can’t figure out how I feel about it.
I really liked the original Fright Night.
I saw it when I was about 13, (nearly the perfect age for “that” kind of movie) and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since.
In my mind, Fright Night stands as perhaps the quintessential teen horror flick of the mid-80’s.
The “Rear Window with a Vampire” premise was solid.
The cast was impeccable.
The soundtrack was memorable and almost sinfully hum-able.
Most of all though, the makeup and effects work were surprisingly over-the-top and incredibly effective.
Fright Night was a great example of the familiar horror trope of a dumb story, told exceptionally well.
Despite it’s cast of name actors, and high-quality effects, Fright Night was, at it’s core; a stupid date night horror movie.
Fright Night thrived on this, reveling in every opportunity to play up the shlocky-ness of it’s premise, while at the same time wow-ing the audience with it’s undeniable special effects charms.
As mentioned earlier, Fright Night is a film that means a lot to me.
I rarely get attached to films to the point in which I would openly defend their integrity, however in all honesty; I’m pretty sure I’d go to bat for Fright Night should the situation ever arise.
That being said, my greatest hope is that the upcoming remake does it’s predecessor proud.
Based on the (rather excessive) ad campaign for the new Fright Night, I think it’ll be okay, though probably not on par with the original.
The new one has a pretty impressive cast going for it, as well as the benefit (or “curse” if you’re a practical effects nut like myself) of modern special effects, however I think the one big strike against it is one that it really can’t help.
I hate to say it, as I myself am not quite of the original Fright Night generation; but it feels like times have changed a bit too much for a straight Fright Night remake to succeed.
The mid-80’s were a breeding ground for “fun” blockbuster horror flicks designed to entertain audiences and get teenage boys laid.
The soundtracks were dance-pop fun.
The scripts included words like “radical” and “tubular.”
The special effects budgets were bloated to the point in which rookie directors and actors were commonplace on most projects.
It was a different time, and the youth culture was in a very different place.
Thanks to Twilight, and other such dreadfully over-the-top horror teen drama fests, popcorn horror movies seem to be caught in tough spot wherein they must either be totally serious, or totally tongue-in-cheek stupid.
The original Fright Night, like An American Werewolf in London, towed this line with exceptional grace.
While I’m on the topic, if you want an horror franchise revival being ruined by the culture of it’s time, take a look at An American Werewolf in Paris.
The movie tried to take the humor and inventiveness of the original and transpose it into 90’s youth culture, resulting in sub-par, and poorly conceived film with inferior special effects work despite the 20 year gap between the 2 movies.
Maybe it’s the ad campaign’s fault, but something about the trailers for the new Fright Night makes it seem a little “dark” for my tastes, both visually and thematically.
Then again, given that the man that shall forever be known as McLovin is in the film, it’s hard for me to picture it being totally serious.
Oddly enough he’s cast as Evil Ed, which, if they follow the original (don’t bet on it) will mean we’ll get to see him die on-screen!
Arrrgh! I’m rambling now, and it’s all because I honestly don’t know how to feel about this movie!
Oh well, maybe I’ll just have to go see it and finally sort this shit out…