Thursday, 15 October 2015
Comparing Fight Night's
So for the first time I've watched a remake right after watching the original, namely 1985 and 2011's Fight Night's, I gotta say while I prefer the original I really enjoyed the remake (despite Colin Farrell's goofy CGI vampire face).
The basic story is the same, Charley Brewster finds out that his next door neighbour, Jerry Dandrige, is a vampire, and he seeks the aid of a celebrity who claims to know all about vampires, Peter Vincent, to help him kill the vampire. While Vincent is reluctant at first and too fearful he eventually comes to Brewster's aid and they face the vampire down together. Outside of that the films are pretty different, sure the occasional line or scene that similar but even these are few and far between.
In the original Charley (William Ragsdale) becomes suspicious when he notices strange goings on with his neighbour, beginning when he see's a coffin been carried into the house, been a horror film enthusiast he immediately has his suspicions. His girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse) and friend 'Evil' Ed (Stephen Geoffreys) don't believe him eventually coming to the conclusion he is mad and they try to convince him that Jerry isn't a vampire.
Some thing the sequel did different was that it was Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who first suspected and found out that Jerry was a Vampire after a number of people in the neighbourhood have gon missing. He goes to Charley (Anton Yelchin) for help who initially doesn’t believe him, and it's only once Ed himself goes missing that Charley begins to investigate on his own. In fact Charley and Ed's relationship is very different here, unlike in the original where they were friends but Charley still made fun of Ed (calling him 'Evil' Ed despite his dislike of the nickname), here they used to be friends, both nerds until Charley got in with the cool kids and starts to ignore Ed, where in the original it was said Ed was bullied we see it much more in this version. Other things they did different was that Charley's mother had a bigger role, been central in a chase scene about midway through the film and getting in on some of the action, in the original she never found out Jerry was a vampire, true she isn't part of the climax of wither film but she's still more proactive in the remake, a change I really do like.
But possibly the biggest change in the character of Peter Vincent, my favourite character in both versions. While in the original he is a down on his luck actor, once famous for playing 'Peter Vincent Vampire Killer' in a series of Hammer style horror film he's now a late night horror host, Peter Vincent now been his stage name as well. He's a very fearful character and is ashamed of it, though he is also very brave, in the heat of the moment he won't hesitate for a moment to do the right thing, such as a scene where after realising Jerry is a Vampire and locking himself in his apartment Ed knocks on the door saying the vampire is after him, Vincent doesn’t hesitate for a second to open the door and pull the boy inside.
The remakes Peter Vincent, this time played by David Tennant has been re-imaged into a Chris Angel style Vagus stage magician, pretty successful too, and while the original didn't believe in vampires but pretended he did for his fans, this version does and in fact collects artefacts and weapons that can be used against them (and other supernatural creatures), though this doesn’t stop him initially believing Charley is mad when he comes to him taking about the vampire next door. He has other elements from the original character such as how fearful he is, such as a scene where he lock himself in a panic room, he sees a friend dead on the CCTV and there is this brief look where you can see how ashamed he is of himself, but like the origional he shows how brave he is when he over comes his fear and helps Charley.
I liked this change, while I do prefer the original I simply can't see anyone but McDowall playing that role, but reinventing the character so he's still recognisable as Peter Vincent but enough has been changed so that it's a unique and different take, personally I wish more remakes would take this kind of approach to character, rather than been cookie cutter copies.
Of course you can't talk about Fright Night without taking the vampire himself, Jerry Dandrige. In the original Chris Sarandon plays the character as the perfect gentleman, cool and sophisticated, while Colin Farrell's is a more tough down to earth guy. Again both work really well and it's great that they didn't just flat out copy the original, both actors are great and really sell these characters as both menacing and charming. Guess it's down to each viewer to decide which they think is sexier. Oh, but keep an eye out in the remake for Chris Saradon's cameo.
The other cast and characters were good as well, most feeling like natural modern version of the original.
Though there are some thing I didn't like in the remake, mostly the CGI, some of it work and does look pretty good other times it's just goofy, especially when they add the oversized cartoony mouth onto Colin Farrell's mouth, it's such as shame as I know how well the same affect could be done with practicals, in fact the original did the same effect on Amanda Bears and it still looks great today. Also the less said about CGI blood the better. But the practicals they do use in the film are very effective and offer some great scares.
I really like both of these film's, while I may prefer the original I say both are worth a watch, they are scary, funny and a ton of fun, check them both out.
A small change is that while in the original Jerry was often seen eating fruit, particularly red apples, in the remake he eats green apples, I'm not sure why this change would be here other than perhaps Colin Farrell may prefer green apples.