It’s finally happened. Hollywood has run out of new ways to stick its fangs into our wallets and suck out whatever petty cash we might have had earmarked for the undead. Yes, the “vamps out of water” category has become completely saturated, with only a few remaining concepts (vampire crossing guards, vampire lunch ladies, vampire pawn shop owners) remaining unexplored. With the knowledge that the end of the current wave of interest in those of a certain washed-out pallor is at hand, studio heads have turned to what they know best: dragging out the corpses of decades old franchises and reanimating that shit for the least amount of money possible.
This is exactly why we have been treated to this summer’s “Fright Night.” You might remember this film from 1985, when it was called “Fright Night.” Yes, the powers that be are now scraping the bottom of the remake barrel, casting their net as wide as possible to snag titles that people vaguely remember from their childhoods in order to lure them into theatres before bludgeoning their senses to death with explosions, blood and maybe some PG-13 T&A. I can’t hardly wait for “I Can’t Hardly Wait – Again,” or “Jaws IV Redux,” do-overs that are undoubtedly crouched in the wings, ready to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public. (I hear in the new version, the shark is a migrant farm worker just trying to provide for his family. At least according to TMZ).
But back to “Fright Night.” The entire premise revolves around a vampire moving in next door in a suburban housing tract somewhere in some state no one cares about because it’s full of fucking vampires, I guess. Some kids try to kill it (and by “it” I mean “Colin Farrell”), and of course they fail because children are incapable of accomplishing anything, up to and including fulfilling their dreams. However, when you “fail” in the vicinity of a vampire, you either end up eaten or a vampire yourself, so you can easily see where the plot of “Fright Night” is headed well before the first grope session between the pimply-face protagonist and his achingly willing girlfriend.
This being a connect-the-dots horror remake, there are of course gaping holes in the story that are large enough to stuff a legion of charismatic vampires and their collection of soggy panties. No one reports a housing blowing up in a sleepy neighborhood where even skateboarding is a crime, for example. Not only that, but nary a police officer finds it odd that a blood-soaked “accident victim” driving a stolen car needs to be housed in a hospital room full of crosses, or that the unaccompanied minors who dropped her off at said medical facility are themselves bleeding from about a dozen wounds curiously shaped like the hickies on Jessica Biel’s neck.
Oh, and I personally was surprised that Criss Angel didn’t sue the movie’s producers for about a billion dollars after they directly lifted his entire personality to use as the basis for the only other adult in the movie who isn’t a ghoul. I guess he just haunts their dreams instead. I know he haunts mine.
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