Movie Ticket Weekly: “Fright Night” & “Conan the Barbarian”

This past weekend was the weekend of remakes! How do they stand up compared to their originals? I wouldn’t have the faintest idea because I was one of the viewers that walked in blindly to both Fright Night and Conan the Barbarian.

First up we have Fright Night, a remake of the 1985 horror film by the same name. A suburban neighborhood falls prey to a vampire by the name of Jerry but who is going to believe a teenage boy who discovers this? After all, what vampire would go by the name of Jerry? But strange choice in naming aside, what started off as a half-way decent horror movie became a fairly campy vampire flick. The opening scene sells the fear element and sets the tone for the first half of the movie. This is one vampire that won’t try to use sparkling skin to try and strike fear. No, this one will simply go for the jugular, or better yet, blow up your house.

Both Colin Farrel (Jerry) and Anton Yelchin (Charley Brewster) act off one another very well. It was enjoyable to see them alternate between the roles of hunter and hunted that plays out throughout the film. One scene in particular I want to make mention of is when Charley tests out his theory of what Jerry really is when his neighbor comes over to borrow a six-pack of beer. It’s understandable that it would be difficult to play it cool when there is a blood-thirsty mythological creature hovering in your doorway trying to convince you to invite them inside your house, to which Anton performs very well.

However, the one that stole the movie for me was David Tennant. His character of Peter Vincent was the highlight of the film and every scene he was in did not disappoint. In fact, the only thing I regret was not seeing more of his character in it.

Fright Night was a fun film. Not the greatest but certainly not the worst. The campy moments earn a good laugh although I think there were moments that weren’t intended to be funny. I have plans on seeing it again but probably not until the DVD is out. If you have the chance, however, go see it in the theaters. It’s worth seeing at least once on the big screen. And don’t forget to pick up a pair of fangs before you do!

Going to the opposite end of the spectrum now, Canon the Barbarian wasn’t entirely as bad as I’ve seen people make it to be. This was one of those movies where I walked in not expecting much save for a lot of fight scenes and the obligatory forced romance. And that’s what I got. There was more blood than I had imagined though. Probably even more than there was in Fright Night—and that one is of the vampire genre!

The story starts off with the birth of Conan on a battlefield and proceeds with the non-stop violence and bloodshed throughout his childhood. Under the guidance of his father, Corin (Ron Perlman), he is taught the ways of their people and shows early signs of a potential psychopath. Seeing a young child showing up with four severed heads and looking hardly disturbed by this? Not a good sign, just saying.

But after a life changing event, we fast-forward to where Conan (Jason Momoa) is now a part of a new ‘family’ of warriors who take it upon themselves to bring down those who are in the wrong and profit from their rewards. Meanwhile, some ways away, a temple is under an attack that has been orchestrated by a man named Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang) and his daughter, Marique (Rose McGowan). They seek the last remaining girl of a royal bloodline that is capable of necromancy. With the use of her, the pair seeks out to resurrect their lost wife/mother respectively in hopes to… you guessed it: take over the world and make Khalar a god. What else can you expect from a fantasy film such as this?

There is nothing memorable about the movie. The acting is good, don’t get me wrong, but with such a weak story there really isn’t much one can expect out of it. If you’re looking for mindless violence, lots of yelling, and all around wanting to waste a couple of hours, then this is the movie for you. It may be in your better interest if you save your money for another movie and wait for this to come out on DVD though.

The Conan costumes are on their way to our shop so for anyone interested be sure to keep an eye out this Halloween!