Fright Night 

A re-boot of the 1985 vampire flick proves fresh and entertaining

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Normally I'm the first one groaning at remakes, but Craig Gillespie's take on the 1985 vampire-next-door horror comedy proves the exception. Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) sets the film in Las Vegas, where it makes great use of the city's 24-hour clock, its transient population further decimated by the housing crisis and the cheesy entertainment spectacles along The Strip. The plot is basic: A high school kid (Anton Yelchin) discovers his neighbor (Colin Farrell) is a blood-sucker (improbably named Jerry), and enlists the help of Peter Vincent (Daniel Tennant), a boozy blowhard of a stage magician with an expertise in creatures of the night. Yelchin doesn't have much to do except look freaked out while Farrell and Tennant run entertaining rings around him. Farrell finds some sweet spot between threatening and charming, and the scene where Jerry borrows a six-pack is a sublimely funny nail-biter. Toss in Toni Collette as the mom, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad) as the angry nerd, and you've got a surprisingly good package: not too scary, not too gory and not too snarky -- just a great fit for a hot August night. In 3-D (with lots of flying blood) at select theaters. Starts Fri., Aug. 19.


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