Fright Night review

Once bitten, twice spry.

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No one needs another remake. No one needs another vampire film.

No one needs to see David Tennant scratching his bollocks dressed in spray-on leather trousers, but that doesn’t make it bad.

Like Doctor Who’s pants, Craig Gillespie’s update of Tom Holland’s 1985 horror comedy is tight, slick, a bit unnecessary, but amusing nonetheless.

Anton ‘Chekov’ Yelchin stars as ex-geek every-teen Charley Brewster, who happens to live next door to a vampire (Colin Farrell). Thing is, no one believes him. Not his ‘out of your league’ girlfriend (Imogen Poots), not his busy-body mum (Toni Collette), and certainly not the school jocks he’s trying to impress to escape the nerd-dom of his childhood best-bud Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).

Enter the trousers. Replacing Roddy McDowell’s cowardly horror host from the original is Tennant, as Criss Angel-esque show magician Peter Vincent, a mincing Russell Brand-alike vampire expert who’s Brewster’s last hope.

It’s a strong, likeable cast, and while Farrell can’t quite muster the menace to truly intimidate, the sharp, funny dialogue and well-spaced set-pieces keep boredom at bay.

This is a consciously contemporary update – and smarter for it; as such, Fright Night newbies may adopt this as their own in the same way ’80s teens did the original. For an unnecessary remake, it’s enjoyable stuff.

Still, it’s worth remembering Fright Night ’85 was never as hedonistically seductive as The Lost Boys. Equally, this multiplex crowd-pleaser doesn’t woo like Twilight or enchant à la Let The Right One In. Unlike leather pants, it doesn’t quite stick.

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Rosie is the former editor of Total Film, before she moved to be the Special Edition Editor for the magazine group at Future. After that she became the Movies Editor at Digital Spy, and now she's the UK Editor of Den of Geek. She's an experienced movie and TV journalist, with a particular passion for horror.