Lately, it seems that original ideas are either in short supply or considered "unbankable" in Tinseltown where remakes, reboots or sequels seem to be the order of the day.
However, some are not only worthy of your attention, but, (and whisper it) they are as good as, or equal to, their original counterparts.
With his previous work not an indication that an 80's horror comedy remake would be up his street, director Gillespie takes the quirky, smirky humour from his Lars And The Real Girl and applies that to the enjoyable B-movie premise of having a vampire move in next door and making moves on both your Mum and your girlfriend.
If you are unfamiliar with the 1985 flick best known for it's well-loved star - Roddy McDowell - you may find that you'll be putting this is as your fave horror flick of the year. With a sometimes hard-to-find balance of laughs and scares plaguing nearly all of the genre's recent entries, to the point where it seems that only "horror gore" films are released nowadays, this re-vamped (sorry!) Fright Night perfectly delivers tension-relief humour to only then crank up the creepiness again!
To achieve this, characters are firmly assigned which camp they should be in. Farrell, as Jerry the vampire (great running gag throughout) gets to sink his teeth (sorry) into the fixed-staring, head-twitching, scent-sniffing, charm-offensive that is a modern take on the originals excellent Chris Sarandon (watch out for his cameo appearance) as the predatory vamp neighbour. Oppositely, delivering the laughs rests squarely on the more-than-adequate shoulders of Tennant. For all the world like his Doctor Who persona except with a drinking problem, a high sex-drive and a leaning towards theatrical leather wearing, he gets to pretty much steal the show every time he appears on screen.
The battle of good vs. evil doesn't just rest between The Doctor and Ballykissangel. Star Trek's Yelchin as teen-turned-reluctant-protector, Charlie, shows Shia LaBeouf that it's not all whining and shouting for Optimus whilst in mortal peril. The right side of geeky and heroic, he and Poots as his "ripe" girlfriend never stray into "teen OTT terror" which helps you root for them when the going gets tough.
Now, for those who have seen the original, guess what? You'll love it. With enough nods and respect for the '85 classic, it still brings variations and twists to keep you on your toes throughout. Enjoyable for all the right reasons - scares, laughs, tension, characters - this is a riot from start to finish. I stake (sorry) my reputation on it.
UK release date: 02.09.11