Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fright Night 2 (2013): What Did You Think?

The way to confuse your audience is to taken lovable characters with which the audience is familiar, reassign new, unlikable attributes to them and then provide plot holes so large and far fetched that you could drive Optimus Prime through them. That's how you take a fan boy and make him a troll. We're talking about Fright Night 2: New Blood. You know how I normally don't attack releases? Well, I'm attacking this one. It will most likely read just like my review of The Howling Reborn. It may contain spoilers, but the movie spoils itself, so fuck it.

Synopsis from Fox:

By day Gerri Dandridge is a sexy professor, but by night she transforms into a real-life vampire with an unquenchable thirst for human blood. So when a group of high school students travel abroad to study in Romania, they find themselves ensnared in Gerri’s chilling web of lust and terror. Charley and “Evil” Ed must stop Gerri from drinking and bathing in the blood of a “new moon virgin,” which just so happens to be Charley’s ex-girlfriend, Amy. They enlist help from Peter Vincent, the vampire hunting host of a reality show called "Fright Night," to drive a stake through Gerri’s plan and save Amy from a fate far worse than death.


Fright Night 2 watches like Hostel meets Vampires. It starts off with an emphasis on sexy and works its way back to completely off base reinvention of the story started in the first movie/remake. Why has Evil Ed become an asshole horn ball instead of a loveable dork? When you want to see a character you formally adored who has a very special place vamp history remade (though not badly) and then sequelled into the Hell Mouth played by an asshole... well... you'll want him to die, and it won't happen soon enough. Brewster ain't the smart kid he used to be. Take away his innocence and add a hint of know-it-all and then remove any experiential knowledge he might have gained from his first vamp encounter and you end up with a snot who deserves to die and most likely won't (if you're watching the movie I'm not going to tell you whether he lives or dies... if you're not watching them movie figure it out). The front nine is lodged with sexy imagery meant to turn you on and make you forget that you're watching a completely sandbagged sequel to an okay remake. I enjoyed the original remake of Fright Night. I also enjoyed the sequel to the original movie.

Tell tale sign that this movie isn't going to be all that great should have been the credits. The opening of the movie looks a whole lot like a bad cop drama. I don't mean how the opening was shot. I mean the actual credit roll. The writer... his resume will give away the quality of the movie as well being responsible for White Noise 2 and Mirrors 2 and the upcoming Leprechaun: Origins in post at the moment. Bad (not funny bad) dialogue layered with lazy storytelling. You'll wonder whether this fella saw the original movie at all. Why did we take them to Europe? I mean... I get it. Vampires in goddamn Romania. Brilliant. Why not take them to Louisianna and cannibalize some Anne Rice shit? This is the resume of a bad sequel writer. The director (Eduardo Rodriguez)... let's just say his reputation will not precede him and after this you may need not pay attention to him again.

This movie wants to reinvent the mythology of vampires. I'm very tired of this idea. We do not need reinvented mythology for a movie based on traditional mythology. We need a well thought out sequel with the same actors playing the roles from the original remake and we need to like the characters. Care about them. In the absence of novelty that how a horror movies does good by the audience. The remake endeared me with good performances, lighthearted approach and willingness to take a few risks with the story that worked. It was also funny. If you take out the shit 3-D and all computer graphics, you'd have had a stronger movie. This rolled that formula under the earth.

Now I hate being a meanie. I really do, but when you know in your heart that a movie is a cash grab without redeeming value and tries to play on a successful name with barely a tie to the original picture or original remake, you get mad.  You don't have to take my word for it. Maybe I'm being harsh on it. Maybe I feel bad for defending it. I'm one of those folks who say, "see it before you criticize it". The filmmakers who made this, they got me. Tricked me.  I need to know if I'm off base, so if you've seen this please let me know.

One last note as respects the release of Fright Night 2. While I may not have been a fan of this movie, I am a fan of the way it is being marketed. Example? These fun post cards offered by Fox. Check 'em out and share them around.

If you want to check out Fright Night 2: New Blood you can pick it up HERE.


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