Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 12:22PM
I wish Fright Night held up better. For about 15 years, the 1985 cult classic did skate by on the strength of its story and its complete eightiesness. That's not a word, and yet you know what it means. But as technology, horror movies, and horror fans have advanced in the past decade, moving from slick 1990s pop slasher flicks to darker tales from all around the world, Fright Night is one of those that just looks a little out of place now.
I'm hopeful that Marti Noxon, a Mad Men writer-director, can breath new life into the film now that DreamWorks has hired her to write the remake. If the Mad Men connection doesn't do it for you, know this: Noxon was also a writer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. At least one of those had something to do with making bloodsuckers hip again.
It's doubtful the remake will stray much from the original story - why would you? But we can expect some more modern effects and crackling dialogue. It looks like a late spring-early summer production date, and a director (and the cast, for that matter) have yet to be named.
Where remakes like this often get in trouble is by looking too much at the current collection of horror remakes instead of the originals they're cashing in on. Everything you need to make a worthwhile update of Fright Night is pretty much in Fright Night already, so don't give this a Halloween overhaul and we'll be fine.