An Omen And A Movie Review!

So after getting home from a weekend trip to visit family, I plopped down on the couch with an Abita Amber and turned on the TV. I was flipping through the channels when something caught my attention from the corner of my eye...

I looked up and something was flying around the living room. It swooped back at me and that is when I got a good look at it. It was a bat. A freaking bat. Flying around inside my house. It was at this point that I just about soiled myself in horror. The damn thing had a wingspan of about 7 or 8 inches. It was huge!! Somehow I managed to keep my cool to the point that I was able to first grab my beer and then run like hell. I screamed up to Mrs. Highbury, who was upstairs, that there was a bat in the house as I made a mad dash to the basement. Every chicken for himself!!

I heard some muffled yelling from upstairs and then quiet. And then I heard blood-curling screaming, followed by the stomping of a full-out sprint. Mrs. Highbury raced down the steps to join me in the basement. 

And wouldn't you know that the damn thing followed her downstairs. Two of us running around the cluttered basement with a bat flying around. When it flew into the far corner of the basement, we darted back upstairs. I slammed the door to the kitchen behind me. I then went out through the back door and came to the side door that led to the basement. I propped it open and ran (really fast) back into the house. We were able to get a great vantage point of the side door from our kitchen window. We could see that damn thing flying around and around, finally finding its way up the stairs and out the open door, back into the wilderness.

After getting our heart rates down hours later, we actually had a bit of a laugh. The tables had been turned on "the Halloween House." This time it was us who got to experience a scare. It was at this point that I realized the potential of true fear in a haunt. It's something that I'm going to stop and think about this year as I plan this year's layout. Try to maximize that moment of true fear to make a lasting impression on the trick-or-treaters. This is something I will have to think about and get back to everybody on...

* not actual representation home-invading bat

During our weekend trip, we also made it out to see a movie on Saturday night. Mrs. Highbury, my Mummy-in-law and I went out to see the new Fright Night. And while I have yet to see a remake that didn't leave me feeling like I just completely wasted two hours and a few bucks, I had the increasingly rare opportunity to see this film at a drive-in. I can't even remember the last time I got to see a movie at a drive-in. I think all of the old classics around my area have long since closed down.

Now before I dive in, I must admit that I had seen and read other bloggers' reviews before seeing this and each one said that the film was not a total remake, in that they changed some of the characters and storyline, but in general, everyone liked it. Which is fine with me, except that I, like many horror fans, am a big fan of the original. So of course I'm going to compare it to the original. It's a remake with the same title. Duh.

So, okay, to be brutally honest, it wasn't THAT bad. Especially for a remake. I actually liked Colin Farrell as the vampire Jerry (he's no Chris Sarandon, though), and I also really liked David Tennant as the snotty Brit, Peter Vincent. His dialogue exchanges with girlfriend Ginger were hilarious. Even main character Charley Breswer (played by Anton Yelchin) was tolerable.

The storyline actually didn't stray too far from the original, only moving the location to Las Vegas. And I'm glad they didn't play up Las Vegas too much because they could have easily ruined it all. The action kept up at a good pace, too, so there weren't any "dry spots" in the film. 

And I'm especially glad they didn't make vampire Jerry a modern-times "wienie vamp" like the other movie wienie vamps that are only out to suck dollars from your wallet (with an emphasis on "suck"). Thank you, Craig Gillespie (Director) and Marti Noxon and Tom Holland (writers) for not selling Jerry out to be a glittery poster boy for prepubescent tweens (and their mommies).

But of course, this film wasn't all rainbows and candycanes. There were a few points that stood out to me that brought it back down to earth.

First, I thought the beginning of the story was rushed. You were placed at the start of the film (after a scene of a small boy hiding under a bed while his parents were slaughtered by a creature of some sort - oh, later we realize it was a certain vampire) and Evil Ed's first real dialogue was that he thought Charley's neighbor was a vampire. What? There was no buildup to get us to that point. It just kind of came out of nowhere. It didn't go into enough detail of how he had drawn the connection between the local disappearances and neighbor Jerry. Everything just kind of fell haphazardly into the start of the story.

Furthermore, I found Evil Ed to be the biggest disappointment of the movie. They turned the original, loveable horror geek into just a total geek. McLovin is a perfect LARPer, but his character fell well short of the original (I know, I'm comparing again). And his return as Vampire McLovin left me saying, "meh." There was no depth or connection to his character at all.

And I won't even speak about their friend Ben, the stoned emo kid. He couldn't have been wiped out soon enough. I really don't need to see whiny, rich high school kids in every movie I watch.

Also, I was really disappointed that the new Peter Vincent was a Las Vegas Criss Angel magician. Roddy McDowall's local public access horror host really lent a great, campy feel to the original - something that this version was definitely missing.

So there you have it, my sloppy rundown of another remake nowhere as good as the original. But I must admit that this came a lot closer than a lot of the garbage remakes that have been churning out of Tinseltown lately. So all in all, I guess I will have to give it two out of five drunken jackos. Which is pretty good, because most remakes get zero. And I'm looking at you, Mr. Krueger...

And for the few astute readers who thought to themselves, "Hey, Highbury usually just sums up a movie in one short, unbelievably witty and hilarious sentence!", I haven't forgotten about you:



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