Fright Night & The FP

March 20th, 2012 by | Tags: ,

Fright Night, screenplay by Marti Noxon, directed by Craig Gillepsie, 2011 (Amazon VOD): I never saw the original, but 2/3 of this movie basically sucks. There’s a stupid subplot about the lead guy having deserted his nerd friend (who gets killed) so that he could hang with the Kool Kids Klub, and it’s just as dumb as he sounds. Apparently his skin cleared up and he… actually they don’t ever say how he made the transition from unforgivable nerd to horrible jock, just that he started dating the cutest girl in school. Oh and also, she doesn’t even like the dudes she hangs around with, and she’s dating the main guy because he’s different, and also she liked him when he was a nerd anyway, so… cheer up, nerds! Because… uh… those girls who hang out with guys you hate are just waiting for your skin to clear up, and then it’s on? There’s a Dr. Who in here, too, and he’s wearing leather pants for some reason.

The 1/3 that doesn’t suck is any time colin Farrell is on the screen. You can tell when an actor has hit a point where he or she just doesn’t care about their original career trajectory and is content to just screw around and have fun. James Franco did it, and to great effect. Johnny Depp did it and immediately fell off. You could make a case for Walken, I bet, post-King of New York. Samuel L Jackson. These dudes show up in marginal or awful movies, deliver the best role of the film, and then move on. Now it’s Colin Farrell’s turn, and it’s great.

Fright Night is basically “Colin Farrell is a dick.” He’s every nerd’s worst nightmare. He’s hyper-masculine, ruggedly attractive, competent, walks around in tight shirts, and would probably have sex with your girlfriend and mother at the same time. He doesn’t even really have a plan beyond “Mock the dork faking the funk next door, hook up with his mom, suck blood.” He’s Alpha Male Plus. He’s a walking, talking, source of constant emasculation.

All of the light, all of the interesting bits in this movie, are Farrell’s. He slings a broken motorcycle well over a mile through the back window of somebody’s car. He smarms it up with the main guy’s mom. Everything he says to the main dude is great, full of really charming menace. At one point, someone threatens him with silver bullets and he just says “Werewolves” and grins. It’s too good. There’s a bit in the trailer where he digs a hole in someone’s lawn, grabs the gas line, and yanks. It’s even better in the movie, because he goes and gets a shovel, aaaaaa! I can’t even tell you how much I enjoyed that or why, beyond a hard injection of the mundane and awkward into the fantastic being something I greatly enjoy. Man, actually, that’s exactly why I liked it. Same thing for the bit at the end of Collateral where Tom Cruise tries to run after Jamie Foxx and trips over a chair. It’s such a nice thing to see in a movie, like a dash of imperfection in what is otherwise a well-oiled machine.

There’s this weird consistently fresh feel to most of the action scenes that makes it quite a movie to watch. A few of them wrap up in a cliche way, but the depiction is always good. It sorta reminds me of Max Payne that way, because that was another movie that was incredibly flawed, but had such a filthy approach to effects and action scenes that I watched it a couple times. The demon hallucinations and awkward first-person were great, but the money shot is that bit at the end where the snow falls on the gun. It’s not a new idea (I think it’s even been done with swords), but dang, they really sold it in Max Payne. Fright Night takes a few of classic vampire movie gimmicks and turns them on their head in the same way.

The FP, directed and written by Brandon Trost & Jason Trost: I thought this movie was skin-crawlingly terrible. I saw it at SF Indiefest in a theater full of people who seemed like they loved it, though, which made it even worse, in a way. I sorta realized I wasn’t gonna like it when they started in on nigga this and nigga that really early on in the movie. (I don’t remember seeing any black people with speaking roles in the flick.) There’s a conversation to be had about that sort of… ironic re-appropriation of the word nigger by white people, and obviously anything can be done well, but the wooden delivery and awful writing kept this movie from being anything I’d call “done well.” I mean… son is wearing Confederacy gear and he’s called Sugga Nigga. Really though?

It satirizes a bunch of different movies, subcultures, and character types, but it does it in the most asinine possible way. It’s just… thoughtless. I assume that all of the actors are so wooden as a style thing, but that really only works to make the movie a slog to get through. It disintegrates whatever emotional content the lines had, which was not much to begin with, and bad acting plus cliché writing generally results in a bad movie.

I liked a couple things. Dude that plays L Dubba E, Lee Valmassy, and Art Hsu, who plays KCDC, swagger their way through their roles and are funny sometimes. I wouldn’t mind seeing them in better movies. Past that, though… nah. No thanks.

edit: I saw this with three other friends, so we had the middle of a row on lock. That’s always nice, going to movies with a posse. BUT! The guy sitting directly behind me kept repeating fractions of the jokes of names of characters on the screen and laughing, like he was on some type of tape-delay laugh track that also read all the jokes aloud two seconds after they said them. He ain’t help my mood any.

Similar Posts:

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

10 comments to “Fright Night & The FP”

  1. I think most of your criticism of Fright Night is spot-on, but I don’t remember Imogen Poots’ character, Amy, hanging out with the obnoxious jocks? They barely even speak. I think they have maybe one scene together. It seems more like that they’re all popular and classmates, but not actually friends.

    Anyway, great stuff from Farrell and Poots and Yeltchin are both pretty likable actors.

  2. @Christian Otholm: I got the feeling that they were part of a whole clique, which would help explain why Yeltchin had to jettison his old friends to fit in. You may well be right, though.

    And yeah, the cast was pretty good. I thought the mom was a lot of fun, too.

  3. He’s every nerd’s worst nightmare. Every boy-nerd’s maybe. You specify later’n all but what with the boobsboobsboobs banner..

    Liking the “mundane and awkward into the fantastic” observation.

  4. Farrell was so great as the douche nightmare stepdad. I think that dropping off the A-list was the best thing that ever happened to his career.

  5. They actually made a whole “The FP” movie? Man, I thought it was just a joke trailer which was mildly amusing in its depiction of selling a terrible movie…

  6. The FP?

    What I don’t even….

    P.S. 2:11 in the video, nice pair.

  7. @Wafflebot: “Nice pair?” C’mon, man, don’t be that guy. Or at least don’t be that guy on my site.

  8. “Johnny Depp did it and immediately fell off.” Ha! Never thought of it like that, but: 100% accurate.

  9. Agree completely on the Fright Night review. I saw it in 3D and it easily had the most memorable and fun uses of 3D that I’ve seen. It went the old-school horror route of having things pop out at you and that really added to the action scenes (my favourite being, when vampires were dusted the ash and flames swirled out very effectively)

  10. I thought “The FP” was “Konami the movie.” It had DDR, MG, Contra, headbands and horrible badly written(translated) dialog.