Monday, August 22, 2011

Fright Night 3D Review (Some Spoilers)

Tim here. First let me start by saying that it’s been years since I saw the original Fright Night from the 1980’s. That being said I was greatly pleased that the filmmaker’s accomplished a lot in their remake, and kept the humor, suspense, and fun of the 1985 version. It was a greatly enjoyable movie with smart writing and good performances all around from Anton Yelchin, David Tennant, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Colin Farrell was an interesting choice and I think that he packed his charm into the performance well, and the sinister nature of his being shown through at the right moments. David Tennant was fantastic (but I’m a Doctor Who fan so that might help). However he was able to steal the show whenever he was on screen.

The directing and pacing was fantastic in this version, and with the stereo cinematography done by Max Penner of Paradise FX this movie was an improvement upon the original. There were some issues with the movie taking place at night most of the movie as at times you lost stereo depth in continually mute blue tones, but I think they managed to light it well enough for the shooting that the depth was still there, just toned down enough to work. And there were some fantastic shots in 3D throughout the movie. This is why I’m a strong believer in shooting natively because it looks better. My favorite shot made me wish Children of Men was shot in stereo because the shot was very similar to that long shot inside the car. The difference is that this time the characters are being pursued on the desert road at night by a vampire. Here’s where I’d like to point out that despite the night-time setting, and the constant blue tones in the lighting, that the depth actually worked well. The car’s tight environment, added with the camera’s constant movement to show the action inside and outside of the vehicle, worked fantastically in stereo. Plus the shot was a long shot, which works so well in stereo. That’s why it was my favorite shot.

There were many other great shots that utilized the 3D aspect of the movie really well: when vampires burst into flames in the sunlight, during the actions scenes when characters threw objects or shot arrows at someone, and when Farrell’s character sets fire to the protagonist’s house. Then there were the more intimate shots, which looked fantastic, and the establishing shots. There was a helicopter shot in the beginning where we’re looking down on the town birds-eye-view that was great to see in stereo. The decision to keep the camera moving for motion parallax was a great choice on the filmmakers part because they managed to make us want to look around the foreground objects at the subjects in the mid-ground. Fright Night had great editing for 3D because they held shots longer. They knew what they were doing when it came to pacing the shots to utilize the stereo space the best. As well the cutting was pivotal to our suspense, which was held throughout the final act of the movie.

In all I enjoyed the movie, found the 3D to fit the movie perfectly, and would recommend it to a friend. Due to the genre I can understand why it’s going to need word of mouth to get people into the theaters. It doesn’t help that it opened against 2 other 3D movies and 2 3D holdovers. Final Destination 5 still has the IMAX 3D screens where I went to see the movie. Also, since it’s not Twilight the numbers can’t be anywhere near the same, but when adjusted for ticket inflation the 1985 version made more money in its opening weekend. Let’s hope audiences find the movie and a lot more people see it.

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