Fright Night opens Friday throughout the Triangle (see times below)

Our rating:

Some of us are starting to enjoy Colin Farrell now that he’s no longer a heavily touted matinee idol-in-training. Lately, he’s doing roles that have him acting like a scenery-chewing loon, and if you’re in the market for these, allow me to direct you to his gleefully ham-fisted turn in the new Fright Night remake.

He’s Jerry, the unfortunately named vampire who’s moved into a cozy suburban neighborhood near Las Vegas. Those who’ve seen the 1985 original may remember how the vampire in the flick (played by Chris Sarandon, who does an obligatory wink-wink cameo here) tried to hide his true identity from his neighborsthat is, until some pesky teenagers kept meddling in his affairs and trying to blow his cover.

But right from the jump, Farrell plays Jerry as a visibly shifty psychopath. He does everything short of yelling “I’m a vampire!” as he goes on a rampage, racking up victims and trying to wipe out the next-door teenager (Anton Yelchin) who has gotten hip to his plans. The movie’s almost as ridiculously entertaining as Farrell’s performance, which, by the way, has him pulling off such nutty moves as hissing at beams of sunlight in mid-sentence and casually telling prospective victims “Catch ya later!” as they run away.

The producers had the right idea hiring former Buffy the Vampire Slayer scribe Marti Noxon to write the screenplay. Unfortunately, they also hired director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, Mr. Woodcock), who once again shows why he shouldn’t be allowed around film equipment. In an effort to be all dark and shadowy, he shoots scenes in drab, murky colors, so the look is as dour as all those gotdamn Twilight movies. (Since this movie was shot in 3-D, it also makes the usual coming-at-ya effects look more depressing than impressive.)

But Fright Night thankfully has Farrell raising all kinds of bloodsucking hell and not being romantic, brooding or shiny. Thanks to this and his fearlessly funny turn as a balding douchebag superior in Horrible Bosses, I’m actually looking forward to seeing what that wacky Irishman is gonna do next.