Sunday, February 03, 2013
Indeed, a movie that could easily have turned out to be cheesy was actually quite fun. Well, I should say also quite fun, because it is still cheesy in parts. The CG-distorted vampire faces are a little too far over the top, more cartoonish than scary. And there are also about four or five conspicuous 3D gags forced in, as though that justified the upsell from an otherwise thoroughly 2D movie.
But aside from those shortcomings, the movie is quite enjoyable. Anton Yelchin is indeed a young hero easy to root for, who makes only some of the "stupid hero decisions" common to these kinds of movies. Colin Farrell seems to be loving his role as evil vampire Jerry, almost breaking down the fourth wall with his glee. And David Tennant is fantastic as a Russell Brand-ish kind of character that chews the scenery with relish.
Toni Collette is also in the cast, almost adding a degree of legitimacy to the proceedings. She plays the hero's mother, and as I normally associate her with more dramatic roles with some heft, her presence here almost elevates the film. Christopher Mintz-Plasse -- best known for Superbad and Kick-Ass -- plays the close friend of the hero, first to suspect the vampiric menace. He's well-used in the film, in a way that makes me look even more forward to the now-filming Kick-Ass 2. There's also a fun cameo appearance by Chris Sarandon; even though I never saw the original film, I appreciated the nod to it. (And who doesn't enjoy seeing Prince Humperdinck?)
As horror movies go, I'd call this one of the better ones. That said, there's nothing vastly different here that's going to make someone who doesn't like the genre appreciate this. I give it a B+, and a recommendation if you enjoy a fun horror movie.