suburbs

“The thing about Nicolas Cage movies is… unless you’re a total cynical dick, you have to embrace the fact that Nicolas Cage is a pretty good actor. He’s done a lot of weird, dumb movies, but that was supposed to be the point of the episode — that Nicolas Cage is a metaphor for God, or for society, or for the self, or something. It’s like — what is Nicolas Cage? What is he? Is he an idiot? Or a genius?

First, there was Scream. Kevin Williamson’s brand of self-aware, pop culture savvy teens quickly found itself replicated or intimidated to varying effect. Suddenly posters featuring brooding, pursed-mouthed pretty people stared at passers-by while a splash graphic of an obscured slasher figure filled the background. It’s the sort of trend that got tiresome within a few years as it became apparent the resurgence of slasher films couldn’t hold a candle to Scream’s fun and complexity.

Colin Farrell likes his ladies in a box in "Fright Night"

As the camera swoops over suburban Las Vegas, a crescendoing score announces "Fright Night's" opening credits. Harkening to vampire films of old by blending a traditional summer movie sound with a timeless organ riff, the juxtaposition manages to call forth cinematic vampires from Bela Lugosi to Christopher Lee to Gary Oldman while also signaling a more modern setting. It's a deft touch that sets the stage for a vampire film -- indeed a remake -- that feels fresh and vibrant, a tough task in this post-"Twilight", post-Sookie Stackhouse world.