When teenager Charley Brewster can’t get anyone to listen to him-not even his mom or his girlfriend-he takes it upon himself to get rid of the menace that is terrorizing his peaceful, suburban neighborhood in DreamWorks Pictures’ horror-filled, fun ride “Fright Night,” screaming into theaters this September.
Charley (Anton Yelchin) is a high school senior who’s on top of the world-he’s running with the popular crowd and dating Amy (Imogen Poots), the most coveted girl in school. In fact, he’s so cool he’s even dissing his best friend, Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). But trouble arrives when Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves in next door. He seems like a nice guy–at first. But there’s something not quite right, and no one else, including Charley’s mom (Toni Collette) seems to notice!
After observing some very strange activity, Charley comes to an unmistakable conclusion: Jerry is a vampire preying on the neighborhood. Unable to convince anyone of this, Charley looks to popular Las Vegas illusionist and self-proclaimed vampire expert Peter Vincent (David Tennant) for help and advice before taking matters into his own hands to get rid of the monster.
Given our current cultural fascination with vampires, the timing was perfect for a reimagining of “Fright Night,” the beloved 1985 horror-film classic. As Producer Alison Rosenzweig and Executive Producer Michael Gaeta, who are big fans of genre films, vampire movies, and this one in particular, said, “We had been tracking the rights to the property for a couple of years, and when we realized that they were going to become available, we pounced.”
An aspect of the story that also appealed to the producing team is that “Fright Night” is a tale of a young man’s coming-of-age. “There’s a life-cycle issue here that everyone can universally identify with,” Gaeta says. “Charley’s journey from adolescence to becoming a full man and a hero is something that resonates with people because I think everyone has been through that process. It’s an examination of watching a boy not only turn into a man but discovering who he is and who he wants to be.”
“Charley is a former geek who’s in denial that he ever was a geek,” Rosenzweig concurs. “He’s shunning his old friends and trying to incorporate himself into the hip crowd. He becomes a man when he confronts the vampire and has to try to defeat him.”
Adolescence is a crossroads for everyone. It is a time when one begins to define who they are. “Charley is in turmoil about the choices he’s making about his friends and his relationship with his mother, and he’s trying to figure it all out,” Director Craig Gillespie says. “Oddly enough, the vampire helps focus Charley and makes him aware of what’s important in life.”
The filmmakers knew from the start that they wanted to maintain the basic story and the delicate balance of comedy and horror of the original film. That was one of the important aspects of the project that Gillespie loved about the screenplay. “There are really horrific moments that are very scary, and also very human moments,” Gillespie says. “It wasn’t just a straight genre film. The script managed to balance thriller, humor and horror.”
But humor and emotional moments aside, the horror-thriller element in “Fright Night” is certainly not to be denied. This vampire is not a lovesick, conflicted being-he is an insatiable, unstoppable predator, like the shark in “Jaws.”
Concludes star Colin Farrell, “There are none of those romantic leanings. This vampire is just a killer. He’s over four hundred years old. He’s probably a little bit bored when we find him, but he feeds. He just feeds to exist!”
Opening soon across the Philippines, “Fright Night is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.