Fright Night is the first movie in a long time to get it right in the blend of humor and horror. The last time I was as happy with a "scary" movie was Shia Lebouf's Disturbia. That movie had audiences laughing and cringing at the same time and so does Fright Night.
Anton Yelchin has the lead role in the movie as Charley Brewster. He looks and acts like a typical high school student. As such he does not want to appear less than cool by hanging out with the nerdy Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), his used to be best friend. Ed is convinced there are vampires in their suburb of Las Vegas. Charley at first is a skeptic but later finds out it is true. The man who moved in next door to Charley and his mother Jane (Toni Collette) is indeed a vampire and he has his eyes on Charley and Jane.
Jerry (Colin Farrell) works on the strip at night and sleeps during the day which is a perfect cover for his vampire habits. But Charley has seen him luring people to his home and getting their blood, so he is convinced Jerry is one bad blood drinking vampire. In desperation he turns to Peter Vincent (David Tennant) a Vegas headliner who is supposed to be an authority on vampires.
In the meantime Charley, Jane and Charley's girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) become Jerry's targets. Then the question of the movie becomes can Charley save his own life as well as the other's and can he kill the vampire next door. Learning the answers to these questions makes the movie a whole lot of fun.
Yelchin is thoroughly believable as Charley, the unlikely hero. He has a natural likeability and an everyman quality that endears him to the audience. Collette and Poots have less showy roles but add to the fun of the film. Still it is Farrell who makes the whole thing work. This is his best role in ages and he makes the most of it. He is handsomely evil and relentlessly dangerous. He makes this vampire one with a sense of humor and a sense of style.
The film is rated R for violence and profanity.
Horror movies are a dime a dozen these days but "Fright Night" gets its balances right. It has the same comic/horror flair that was present in the original "Fright Night" back in 1985. Chris Sarandon played Jerry in that version and he makes a cameo in this version as an unlucky traveler on the highway who comes across Jerry in full vampire mode.
"Fright Night" is the best horror movie of the year in my book. It made me laugh and made me cringe but it didn't make me want to hide my eyes from seeing what was happening on screen. For me that makes it worth watching.