Fright Night

I visited the set of the new Fright Night movie last September and wrote (perhaps a bit too honestly) about the experience here. That post covers my thoughts on the whole process, but it’s not all I have to report. No siree, while I was there several members of the cast and crew took time out of their clearly busy schedule to chat with the press. Unheard of you say? It’s true! And here are some words to prove it from the likes of special effects guru Howard Berger and producer Alison Rosenzweig. [These are excerpts from group interviews conducted during the set visit.] Be sure to check out all of our Fright Night coverage here.

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It’s September of last year and I’m standing in a hallway at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico, cursing at the door to my room. It’s one of those ubiquitous card key locks, and I’m in no mood for a third trek down the long hall, down the glass elevator, and back to the front desk to admit once again that I’m apparently an idiot who can’t open a door. It’s a brilliant start to my Fright Night press visit that I’m only a part of due to a scheduling conflict elsewhere on the FSR team, and when combined with my already cynical view of the whole set visit concept it hardly bodes well for the next few days. I just don’t see the appeal of it all for anyone aside from the studio and the writer. The studio gets some relatively cheap marketing, the writer gets a free trip, free hotel, and a chance to hobnob with the talent, and the readers get… what? Interview quotes that will be repeated on a dozen different web sites? A puff piece about how awesome the final movie is going to be? Clearly, I’m the wrong person for this particular assignment.

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Ah, marketing. It’s a funny, fickle thing. Case in point – today’s new international trailer for Craig Gillespie’s Fright Night remake. This look at the film doesn’t serve so much as a tease for the film, hinting at the blood and fire and really bad driving in the film, but as a full-on greatest hits reel. If 3D ticket prices are getting too high for you, you can skip the film altogether and just watch this trailer on a loop for an hour and a half with your sunglasses on. But if you’re even slightly interested in Gillespie’s take on Tom Holland’s 1985 horror flick, maybe resist. Gillespie, who you doll fetishists out there surely know as the director of Lars and the Real Girl, stars Anton Yelchin as regular kid Charley Brewster, who soon learns that his new next door neighbor (Colin Farrell) is guilty of much more than just hideous, Ed Hardy-heavy fashion choices. He may be a vampire, and not one of those romantic, sparkly ones, an actual vampire who likes to kill. I’ve seen the film, and it’s a fairly good time. Fans of the original will notice a multitude of similar beats within its structure, and Gillespie and screenwriter Marti Noxon are clearly gracious to Holland’s story. But it’s worth the price of admission for David Tennant’s performance as Peter Vincent alone, reshaped to imagine the vampire hunter as a Criss Angel-style magician with no powers, no talents, and a serious aversion to any alcohol […]

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Boiling Point

Listen, 3D is a contentious issue. Lots of people hate 3D and let it be known almost daily. I guess I get it. I mean, sometimes 3D is done poorly. Sometimes it’s annoying. It’s kind of a gimmick. Then again, there has been some good 3D, too. Transformers: Dark of the Moon looked amazing, Thor and Captain America were both well done, and plenty of movies from My Bloody Valentine 3D to the Final Destination films (recent ones) have been fun in 3D. We’re also moving into a new age of 3D, one where some of the most respected directors in the world are making 3D films. Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Ridley Scott, all the major players are going to play with 3D and many of them love it – like Ridley Scott who said, perhaps exaggeratedly, that he’d never make a film without 3D again. So, for now, 3D is here to stay and while it can be imperfect, often it’s fun. There is one instance, however, when the 3D kind of sucks no matter what.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news compendium that, with the release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, will now move on to being completely obsessed with The Dark Knight Rises. It will still carry plenty of Doctor Who news, check in regularly with Michael Bay, fill space with Monty Python clips and deliver the best editorial finds around. But for the most part, it’s all TDKR from here, so strap in. With the production of The Dark Knight Rises well under way and the release of a first photo of Tom Hardy’s Bane already on the web, the next logical step is to have fans obsess over what Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman will look like. Will she be a bondage babe like Michelle Pfiefer, or turbo-swimsuit edition Halle Berry Catwoman? Neither looks like the answer. According to a tipster for Hollywood Life, the costume will look more like the original comic version made famous by the comics of artist Darwyn Cooke and Ed Brubaker. This goggled, 21st century Catwoman could fit the more practical world in which Christopher Nolan conducts his Batman stories. Anne Hathaway will also still look pretty hot, I imagine.

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As it turns out, the upcoming Fright Night remake may indeed be awesome. The trailer was impressive and didn’t show anything in particular to be worried about, except for the serious lack of David Tennant. An excuse could be made that they wanted to set up a tone Tennant doesn’t fit, so it makes sense not to include a more comedic character like that. Regardless, a recent clip (via MTV) was just put out on the web, and it’s good. The scene features a nice little moment of Farrell not-so-subtlety warning Yelchin, and it works incredibly well. But one of the few reasons why Fright Night may actually be good is due to some of the solid buzz coming out of the screening MTV just held. I’ve heard from more than a few people that it works pretty well as cool vampire film, and that it’s much better than one might think a Fright Night remake would be. I do hope the film surpasses being more than just another fun horror movie, though.

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Why anticipate a remake of an 80s horror flick? For one, it’s that rare breed of remake where the original has a lot of great material to work with but can still clearly be improved upon. Or at least updated. Still, it was unclear what tone the new Fright Night was going to nail down. Would it have that tinge of comedy that made the original so perfect? Would it get disgusting? Would it be overly influenced by the new string of teen horror that’s hollow and dull? This trailer seems to provide an answer alongside the motorcycle it throws into your car window.

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What is Movie News After Dark? First of all, POP POP! And now a few words about this column: it’s about movie news, but sometimes it serves as its author’s treasure trove of addictions. Such as his addiction to hanging on the words of Dan Harmon, or his need to regale you with his ability to find the best content on other websites. It’s a unique talent, he’s told. And now, something completely different… This week saw the season finale of Community. I will miss it until it comes back. For now, I would urge you to read this fantastic interview with creator Dan Harmon published by Vulture. There’s a reason the show is so delightfully nerdy, and it might just be the man in charge.

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Jaws didn’t mean to do it, but Summer has become the biggest business in movie-making. This summer, we’re getting a new batch of movies that the studios are hoping to be gigantic, but thankfully for us, they fit into 6 handy categories. Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius have worked tirelessly (except for five or ten naps) in order to break these movies down and present them to you. What will you be watching this summer? What excites you the most? What do you have the highest hopes for? These films all have the potential to bust blocks, but will it be your block they’re busting? Here they are, the six types of films coming out in the following months.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Only the most high-octane dose of movie news you could possibly have in the middle of the night. Everything in here is worth reading, friends. Except for my commentary. You could probably take or leave that, depending on your mood. The image above marks the first official image from Fright Night, the Craig Gillespie remake 3D remake of the 80s horror film of the same name. In this shot, Colin Farrell plays the vampire next door, and he appears to be looking to start a diet comprised completely of Anton Yelchin. Over at Cinematical (which I feel dirty linking to…) they have shots of Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Imogen Poots, who has one of the more adorable names ever.

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“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” was a strange idea for a book. Author Seth Grahame-Smith took a Jane Austen classic about social repression, marriage, estates, and all of that 19th century England stuff that Austen liked to write about, and he infused it with subtle elements of a zombie story. The military encampment outside of town is explained as being there to combat the zombies, character’s already existing actions are explained as being motivated due to zombie bite, etc… When he talked to FSR about the book, he said that it was about 85% original Austen text and 15% his own crazy additions. Needless to say, an idea so radical drew a lot of attention and Grahame-Smith’s book sold a lot of copies. In order to cash in on the craze, he went on to write “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter”, a similar book that tells the story of Lincoln’s life, but subtly inserts fights with blood sucking fiends at every turn. Both of Grahame-Smith’s books eventually got optioned to become feature films, but Pride and Prejudice and Zombies hit so many snags in pre-production that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has all but lapped it, getting a script and a director and a cast before any real motion could be made on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. But it looks like that is about to change.

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Marti Noxon speaks with the sort of joyous enthusiasm you can’t fake. After the Smallville creators (and at least one uncredited script doctor) took a stab at the I Am Number Four script, Noxon sat down to add her geek-property prowess (with episodes of Buffy, Mad Men, and the script to the remake of Fright Night under her belt) to the project about an alien discovering his powers and hiding out from other aliens that want him dead. Noxon was nice enough to take some time out of her day to talk to us about the science fiction flick, how a ghost named Bertha acted as a catalyst for her writing , and to respond to one critic’s fear that Fright Night won’t be gory enough.

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Coroner

After a pretty dismal 2010 in terms of horror films, I decided to look into my crystal ball and peer into the future. By the future I mean 2011. While gazing deep into my crystal ball laptop monitor, I feel fairly confidant that 2011 will be approximately 78% better in terms of horror than the previous year. Why do I feel more confident in this year’s horror slate? Because in trying to find just 11 titles to bring attention to, I had to whittle it down from sixteen. Why not give you all sixteen? Because it’s 20-eleven, not 20-sixteen, duh. Anyway, here are the 11 horror films to keep on your radar this year.

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Hope springs eternal. As we round the bases of another year, it’s important to let the average and outright crappy slough off and realize that we’re all standing on the precipice of another year of movies. The future stretches out before us full of possibilities. That cheesy trailer you saw last week could end up producing your favorite film of the year. That epic blockbuster you’ve been waiting for could be bigger than you ever imagined. There’s hope for everything, but there’s also expectation, which is why Rob Hunter, Neil Miller and Cole Abaius painstakingly put together our list of the 30 Most Anticipated Films of 2011. It’s the stuff we’re most looking forward to this year, put together when our hope and optimism is at its peak.

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The Week That Was

With this week, Summer 2010 has officially gone. We are into September and here in Austin at Reject HQ, the temperature is back down into the 90s and we’re looking forward to seeing all of our genre-loving friends at the end of the month for Fantastic Fest. As you’ll begin to notice, we will soon become very preoccupied with what’s happening in the war room over at the Alamo Drafthouse, where the final slate for Fantastic Fest 2010 seems to be coming together quickly. But for now, there are still films in theaters and news from around the globe that have caught our interest. That interest was quickly turned into articles filled with biting commentary. Those articles are assembled here, in a weekly column we like to call The Week That Was…

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The Fright Night remake is still over a year away from release, but the first image of character design from the film has already been glimpsed. David Tennant (Dr. Who) stars as a popular Las Vegas magician called upon by some uppity teens to face off against pure evil in the form of Jerry the vampire (Colin Farrell). The role is an updated version of the TV horror host played by Roddy McDowell in the original film. Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse play the aforementioned uppity youngsters. The image below is of a three-story banner hanging in the lobby of a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino where the Fright Night magic show takes the stage. Behold the mystical stylings of Peter Vincent, Mindfreak!

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Christopher Mintz-Plasse and David Tennant

The original Fright Night is about a teen named Charlie Brewster and the vampire who moves in next door. So is the remake.

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The retread is both retro for being from the 80s and hip for being about vampires, and it just got a strong lead actor.

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Anton Yelchin

Our second piece of remake news today concerns my least favorite movie monster… vampires. But it’s also about one of my favorite vampire movies, Fright Night. Which means that I should probably be pretty upset, right?

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frightnight-header

Ever since it was resurrected by Dreamworks in May, the remake of Fright Night, the 1985 horror comedy from director Tom Holland, has been striking fear into the hearts of fans across the web. And now, we’re interested to see the reaction.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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