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Fright Night is a 2011 American 3D comedy horror film directed by Craig Gillespie. A remake of Tom Holland's 1985 film of the same name, the film was adapted by Marti Noxon. The film premiered at The O2 in London on August 14, 2011, was produced by DreamWorks Pictures, and widely released by Touchstone Pictures and Columbia Pictures on August 19 in Real D 3D.

Plot

Charley Brewster is a teenager living in a suburb of Las Vegas, Nevada, who discovers that a new neighbor has moved in next door to him. Charley's old best friend, Edward "Evil Ed" Lee, informs him that many fellow students have gone missing. When Charley goes home after school, his mother, Jane, introduces him to Jerry Dandrige, their new neighbor. Fed-up and angry with Ed after he claims that Jerry is a vampire, Charley tells him that he's crazy and that he doesn't want to be friends anymore.

While feeling deeply angry, hurt, and upset on his way home, Ed is confronted by Jerry. Jerry claims that he has been watching Ed and has been aware of Ed watching him. After a short fight and chase Jerry seriously considers making Ed a vampire. He then starts to gradually exploit and manipulate Ed's weakness of his emotional state with his former friend (a year earlier, Charley abandoned Ed to hang out with a more popular crowd at school) and his social status with his peers. Jerry convinces Ed into believing that his life would be much better if he was a vampire. Ed subsequently succumbs and willingly allows Jerry to bite him. The next day, Charley realizes that Ed is missing and decides to investigate, starting to believe Ed's claims when he discovers video recordings of objects moving on their own, with Ed's voiceover revealing that he is recording Jerry to prove that his reflection doesn't show up in recordings. As Jerry begins to attack more people throughout the neighborhood, Charley sneaks into Jerry's house and finds out that he keeps his victims in secret rooms. Charley goes to Las Vegas magician Peter Vincent, a supposed expert on vampires. Peter doesn't take him seriously, and kicks him out.

Jerry comes to Charley's house and sets fire to it. Charley, Jane, and his girlfriend, Amy Peterson, barely escape with their lives, fleeing through the desert in their minivan. Jerry catches up with them, but is wounded by Jane with a real estate sign stake. Jane is admitted to a hospital, where Charley is summoned by Peter. Upon arriving at Peter's penthouse Ed turns-up. By now Ed has fully been transformed into a vampire and he aids Jerry in attacking Charley, Amy, and Peter. As they fight, Ed lets all of anger out on his opponent and Charley reluctantly kills Ed. Meanwhile Amy injures Jerry with holy water. They then run into a club, where they get separated in the crowd. Amy is kissed, bitten, and possessed by Jerry, who proceeds to take her.

Peter refuses to help Charley and reveals that both of his parents were killed by a vampire (later revealed to be Jerry himself). He does, however, give Charley a stake blessed by Saint Michael that will kill Jerry and turn all of his victims back into humans. Charley goes to Jerry's house where Peter decides to join him after all.

They are led into Jerry's basement, where they are attacked by many of Jerry's victims, including Amy. Charley, having outfitted himself in a flame-retardant suit, lights himself on fire in order to burn and disorient Jerry while he tries to stake him. Peter assists him by shooting a hole in the floor above to allow sunlight in which burns Jerry, then tossing Charley the stake which Charley dropped. Charley quickly stabs Jerry in the heart, killing him and returning his victims to their human form. Afterwards, Charley's mother recovers from the hospital and goes to shop for a new house as Charley and Amy make love in Peter's penthouse.

Cast

  • Anton Yelchin as Charley Brewster
  • Colin Farrell as Jerry
  • Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Edward "Evil Ed" Lee
  • David Tennant as Peter Vincent
  • Imogen Poots as Amy Peterson
  • Toni Collette as Jane Brewster
  • Dave Franco as Mark
  • Reid Ewing as Ben
  • Will Denton as Adam
  • Sandra Vergara as Ginger
  • Lisa Loeb as Victoria Lee
  • Grace Phipps as Bee
  • Chris Sarandon as Jay Dee

Comparisons to the original

Characters

  • The names of Evil Ed and Charley's mother have changed slightly. Ed's surname is changed from Thompson to Lee while Charley's mother went from Judy to Jane.
  • In the original film, Charley and Ed are still good friends, though Ed had a tendency to get on Charley's nerves. In the remake, the two are former friends with Charley realizing that pushing Ed away resulted in him turning into a vampire. In the original, it is only implied that Ed was pushed away. Ed also disliked being called "Evil" while in the remake, it was his childhood nickname.
  • Charley remains relatively the same in both versions. However, in the original he openly enjoyed cheesy horror and pop culture while in the remake he attempts to repress these hobbies.
  • Amy in the original is slightly more conservative than in the remake. The remake version of Amy is much cooler and more level headed than in the original who would get cross with Charley easily.
  • Judy Brewster's job is never specified in the original film. Jane Brewster in the remake is shown to be a real estate agent. Additionally, Jane becomes aware of Jerry's vampirism while Judy remained blissfully unaware.
  • Both versions of Jerry are charming, yet intimidating. However, the original Jerry tended to be more direct and manipulative while the remake would produce a calmer and subtle façade before using the full measure of his abilities to get what he wants.
  • Peter Vincent in the original was a horror show host in the vein of Svengoolie or Elvira while in the remake he is a Las Vegas performer in the vein of Criss Angel.
  • In the original film, Jerry is accompanied by Billy Cole, his daylight servant and protector who may be a zombie or a ghoul. In the remake, Jerry works alone, but slowly transforms his neighbors into his personal vampire horde. Among them is a character named Mark who is one of Charley's friends and a bully.

Plot points

  • The most obvious change is the setting from Rancho Corvalis, Iowa in 1985 to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2011. The latter takes advantage of the setting to give the film an isolated feeling.
  • Charley discovered that Jerry was a vampire in the original film and had to convince Ed that he was correct. Ed sarcastically gives him a cross to aid him. In the remake, it is the other way around. Ed discovers Jerry is a vampire before the film even begins and has to convince Charley who quickly believes after Ed goes missing.
  • Ed's placement of his vampire transformation is changed. In the original film, he is turned during the last third of the film while in the remake he is turned very early on.
  • Much of the original film featured Charley desperately trying to convince everyone that vampires exist by declaring it to everyone. In the remake, Charley does not openly come out and say it and instead slyly warns people of Jerry without actually saying he is a vampire.
  • In the original film, Charley reaches out to Peter Vincent, convinced that he is an actual vampire hunter, to help him take down Jerry. Peter does so out of greed when Amy and Ed offer to pay him. He is soon convinced of the real threat when he notices that Jerry has no reflection. In the remake, Peter is very much aware that vampires exist, Jerry having been the same vampire that killed his parents, and he simply convinced himself that it was all fake to hide the pain. Charley comes to him asking for advice and turns him away out of annoyance. Upon noticing the similarities to his vampire, he offers him advice.
  • In both versions, Charley and Amy try hiding in a club to get away from Jerry and both versions have him capturing Amy. However, in the original, Jerry attacks a bouncer, causing everyone to flee the club in fear while in the remake, Charley is simply kicked out by the bouncer who ignores Jerry and Amy.
  • Ed is killed by Peter Vincent in the original when he attacks him in wolf form, but lands on a stair pole that Peter pulled out. In the remake, he is sympathetically killed by Charley who whispers to him "It's okay Charley, it's okay", implying that he has forgiven him. However, in the original, it is hinted that Ed somehow managed to survive as his eyes are seen glowing at the end and he declares "You're so cool, Brewster!". This line is used sarcastically in the remake.
  • When killing Jerry in the original, all Charley had to do was open the windows to let the sunlight come in and kill him, freeing Amy from his control. In the remake, it is more complex. Charley has to use a specific stake that is made to turn a vampire's victims back to normal. Not only that, but he also sets himself on fire and ties himself to Jerry so while also knocking down the windows so as to make his death slightly quicker.

Trivia

  • As a nod to the original, Chris Sarandon, who played Jerry Dandrige in the original film, cameos as a passing motorist who unfortunately becomes one of Jerry's victims. He is credited as "Jay Dee", which sounds like J.D. which are the initials of the character.
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