Fright Night 3-D (2011/Touchstone Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD w/Digital Copy) + Fright Night (1985/Limited Edition/Twilight
Fright Night 3-D
Fright Night (1985)
right ways and wrongs ways to remake a film; but classics should never be
touched. In my opinion the original 1985
Fright Night is a horror classic
that stands the test of time. It was
simple and restrained in concept that poked fun at many classic horror tales in
a tongue in cheek manner. With the
slasher films of 1980’s taking over Fright
Night was a sleeper hit that made all the right moves in ironically stating
the condition that the ‘horror industry’ was in at the time. Partly serious, partly humorous Fright Night managed to construct a
solid story without falling victim to the pitfalls that many other horror films
did at that time. It was smart and
self-aware; making for a memorable cinematic experience and elevating it to cult
Fright Night (1985) was a homage to past horror
films. It was filled with suspense and
character; not surrendering to cheap, shocking moments of blood and gore. The film was beaming with magnetism as the
actors were believable in their roles with writer/director Tom Holland taking a
page from the classics to make the film come to life. Fright
Night was restrained as audiences only got quick glimpses of the horrors at
hand (neck?) and saved the best, most graphic moments for the end. This was something the classic horror films
continually embodies; in part because of the conservative times, but also
because it built suspense and gave a film substance.
there is the 2011 Fright Night 3-D with
Collin Farrell and Anton Yelchin that apparently didn’t even bother to read the
cliff notes as to why the original was so great. Fright
Night 3-D is still not your classic vampire film, but what it does do is
destroy what stars like Chris Sarandon (Charley) and Roddy McDowall (Jerry) achieved
in the original. The original was not a
slasher/action film, but Fright Night
3-D has made it essentially that.
The storyline is weak (having changed around the original) as it is
transformed into a hyperactive, action flick with little substance and
character development; cashing that in for explosions and car chases.
say outside of the ‘vampire next door’ angle, Fright Night 3-D has little to do with the original; having gutted
out the original film concept and merely prances around in its skin. Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) discovers
that his neighbor Jerry (Collin Farrell) is a vampire after the disappearance
of many kids from school. Charley makes
this discovery with his friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and soon find
themselves enlisting the help of Vampire Hunter/ Stripper Peter Vincent (David
Tennant) to help them destroy the evil, suave, cunning, handsome, charming
Jerry that seems to have everyone in Las
Vegas in his grips.
is far from fantastic, but with that said it is a solid popcorn flick….and that
is all. Full of fun and action, it holds
the audiences’ attention but failed to recapture the charisma of the
original. The star of the film is definitely
Collin Farrell who seems to steal the show in most of his films, as he has the
ability to transform into whatever the writers/director gives him. Sadly his performance does not save the film
and audiences will be left wanting.
Fright Night (1985)
Limited Edition Blu-ray is amazingly well done and I was wholly surprised. Whereas most films from this era are poorly
preserved and given little thought, restoration prior to placing on Blu-ray;
Twilight Time has most definitely put the time and effort into this release.
The picture is a 1080p/AVC Encoded MPEG-4/ High Definition/2.35 X 1 Widescreen
that looks amazing here on Blu-ray. The
dark gloomy film comes to life as the crystal clear image jumps off the
screen. The colors are fantastic and
shine through the darkness with ease.
little too no light/dark issues as the film is solidly balanced. There is the occasional bit of grain here and
there, but overall this is only a minor gripe.
The great restoration job and transfer to Blu-ray is no surprise,
especially with Grover Crisp overseeing the work. Crisp is the same talented person who oversaw
the Taxi Driver restoration, which
is also out of this world. From the
colors to the astonishing level of depth and detail throughout this transfer to
Blu-ray is frighteningly good. The sound
is not as wonderful as the picture, but does slide by as passable. The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio was not
as fully engrossing as I would have hoped.
I would blame this mainly on the fact that the original release of the
film was a simpler Stereo release and the restorers did not want to deviate too
far from that track; as it may become too artificial and distorted. I never felt truly surrounded by the Surround
Sound and instead found myself noticing the sound coming mostly from the
front. There are some atmospheric
elements and musical elements from the surrounds, but overall weaker than it
should have been.
extras on this Blu-ray release of the 1985 classic are nearly absent as only an
Isolated Score Track and Original Theatrical trailer are available for
viewing. Whereas I was overly impressed
with the film restoration, the extras left me wanting.
Fright Night 3D (2011)
I am sad
to say that in terms of 3D this was not a very well done film; which is even
odder when considering that it was filmed in native 3D (no junky conversion
here). If anything I can fairly call the
picture quality ‘unbalanced.’ Both the
standard Blu-ray and the 3D release during the daytime scenes is out of this
world (demo quality even), but as we dip into the night sequences the waters
get muddied. The standard Blu-ray is
better than the 3D in its 1080p 1.78 X 1 High Definition Widescreen, as I could
clearly make out all figures and shadows.
The 3D however drops the ball with a somewhat blurry, hard to discern
image quality. This became especially
noticeable in the faster paced sequences; of which this film had many.
as I compliment the film’s day sequences for having brilliant colors, textures
and so on; this is Fright NIGHT 3D
so it is no stretch of the imagination to realize most of the sequences are at
night and in turn fall victim to the aforementioned issues. This is NOT to say there are not some amazing
3D sequences, but I would stick with the standard Blu-ray on this one. The audio is ‘blah’ at best and I was clearly
expecting more from a 2011 3D film.
Sadly, most of the audio experience is a blur as it is either heavily
coming from the front or thundering from the surrounds with little
directionality, panning effects, or any form of a balanced experience. This goes for the standard release and the
3D. The DVD release in terms of picture
and sound is dismissible as we have grown beyond this like that of Beta-Max;
just because this is based on a 1985 does not mean we have to be stuck
there. The DVD is dark and murky in
picture quality with poor textures and the audio is worse than the gripes I had
extras on Fright Night 3D are weak
at best including:
Vincent: Come Swim in My Mind
Official “How to Make a Funny Vampire movie” Guide
Cudi “No One Believes Me” Music Video (Uncensored)
Man: Extended & Uncut
more there than the 1985 Blu-ray version discussed above, but still just as
disappointing as quality is NOT there; in fact I believe all those extras only
account for about 20 minutes or less of footage.
here on Blu-ray, stick with the original.
order the original Fright Night
while supplies last exclusively at this link:
- Michael P. Dougherty II