Is Colin Farrell finally hitting his stride?
A perennial “next big thing” who eventually – having never anchored a blockbuster – faded into smaller films and supporting parts, Farrell has revealed a delightful comic streak over the past few years. It began in 2007 with Cassandra’s Dream and was followed in 2008 with In Bruges. This year, Farrell’s funny side has been the best thing about both Horrible Bosses and now Fright Night, the latter a remake of the 1985 gorror comedy.
In Fright Night he plays Jerry, the new neighbor of an upwardly mobile teen named Charley (Anton Yelchin). Charley has recently dumped his geeky childhood friend (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) for a lively girlfriend (Imogen Poots) and some dude buddies, though when he begins to suspect Jerry of being a vampire it’s the old friend who proves to be the more valuable companion.
Fright Night gives its teens just enough shading to rise above the level of your standard slasher flick, but it’s the playfulness with which it handles the horror and gore that truly distinguishes the movie. And that light, yet dangerous tone is due, mainly, to Farrell. Sniffing the air, hissing at shafts of daylight and insinuating, from the first time he meets him, that Charley is in over his head with his girlfriend, Farrell makes Fright Night a horror comedy that also carries a heavy dose of sexual hysteria. After years of sputtering, he’s finally becoming a legitimate reason to see a film.