SDCC 2011: DreamWorks: Fright Night

It is funny how two Hall H panels in a row featured films that have vampires in the lead roles, during a sunny Friday afternoon at San Diego Comic Con.  Following the Screen Gems panel that featured Attack the Block and Underworld Awakening, next up was DreamWorks presentation of Fright Night, a remake of the 1985 horror/comedy/cult classic.  For an hour long panel that was not about to bring people to ecstatic levels like the Tintin panel earlier in the day, a commendable job was done thanks to the presence of the cast/crew (namely Colin Farrell), multiple clips from the film, and a cool and appropriate choice for the panel moderator.

Here is the information that Comic Con provided about this panel beforehand:

DreamWorks: Fright Night— Colin Farrell (In Bruges), Anton Yelchin (Star Trek), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), Imogen Poots (Jane Eyre), director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl), and screenwriter Marti Noxon (I Am Number Four) take the stage to give fans a taste of the horrific fun to come in DreamWorks Pictures’ 3D reimagining of the classic horror film. Hall H.

The appropriate way to handle a reboot of a film such as this would be by noting the respect that the cast and crew had for the original film and how they tried to distance themselves from it, while still keeping some core concepts intact.  Due to this, I found it fitting that the star of original Fright Night, Chris Sarandon, was the moderator for the panel.  While also making note that he does have a small cameo in the remake, Sarandon did seem quite pleased with this modern update and the people involved with its production.  All of the panel participants arrived on stage, following an introduction by the film’s director, Craig Guilespie.  It was notable that Colin Farrell seemed to be having quite a bit of fun and was being fairly candid about his issues with remakes and where his career has taken him thus far.

It was notable that star (and former Dr. Who) David Tennant was not present at the panel, but he did make an appearance via pre-recorded video, with a special message about a screening that would take place later in the evening, were you to text a phrase to a special number.  It helped that Tennant was quite charming in a British sort of way, especially as they later played a clip featuring his character in the film, which looks to be a lot of fun.  Given that he has been featured very little in the ads for the movies, this was a good way to keep him in the loop.

The panel was broken up by Sarandon, who would ask questions and then introduce clips of the film.  The most notable clip was an extended action sequence involving Farrell’s vampire character destroying the house lived in by Anton Yelchin’s character, followed by a lengthy driving sequence, featuring Yelchin, Toni Collette, and Imogen Poots racing away from Farrell.  This sequence was noteworthy due to the use of 3D, which the film is shot in and looked good enough, but also because of the lengthy one-shot driving sequence, which lasted for several minutes, before cutting.  Being from the director of Lars and the Real Girl, I was not expecting such stylistic flourishes, but this looks to at least be a well crafted thriller in terms of filmmaking.

As the panel came to a close, I came away anticipating this film a little more thanks to the clips that were shown.  I am a fan of the original, but the trailer did not do much to promise me something that had a familiar tone, which is a combination of horror and comedy.  After seeing the clips, I am looking forward to seeing the flick, as I think it has a solid cast, a talented filmmaker behind the camera, and a chance to appropriately update what is already a very fun story.  Fright Night opens on August 19 and trailers and clips from the film have been posted below.


Fright Night’s official film trailer:

Fright Night clip featuring David Tennant as Peter Vincent:

Fright Night “Neighborly Chat” clip:


3 Responses to “SDCC 2011: DreamWorks: Fright Night”

  1. Gerard Iribe

    Looking forward to this!

  2. Matt Goodman

    Me too! I was in Hall H all day sunday, patiently waiting for Kevin Smith. It was awful waiting! I had to sit through Dorthy of Oz, an animated film that looks terrible! The only good part about that panel was singing happy birthday to Sir Patrick Stewart.

  3. Mary

    I can’t wait to see this! I tried to win tickets from Comic Con!