Fright Night is not horror; it’s suspense with a dash of romantic (and bro-mantic) comedy under a layer of vampiric gore. It’s definitely not an original concept for the genre (see Buffy) or even for the plot itself (see the original 80’s Fright Night – this is a remake), but it does bring a freshness to the Bella-saturated genre.
It’s impossible to ignore Colin Ferrell’s importance in his role of Jerry, the vampire-next-door. Colin seems to be perfectly at ease playing a physical, sexual predator and alpha male.
The scene that defines this is framed in the door to Charley’s kitchen, when vampire Jerry asks innocently for a beer, and Charley – very suspicious that extending an offer to enter his house would mean his death – dances around in conversation with him. Not for long, though, as Jerry is no fool and sees through his feigned ignorance of the rules of the vampire. At that moment, still in the course of the “innocent” conversation, Jerry switches to thinly-veiled threats against his mom and, especially, his “ripe” young girlfriend. It’s a moment of threat and grudging respect between the two, and a challenge from Jerry to Charley as a man.
The quick payoff to that is a harrowing, silent invasion of Jerry’s home by Charley – to rescue the neighborhood tease from being a caged, living blood source. The tension is wonderfully built up as a successful rescue until the two final shots of the scene, one of Jerry cluing the audience in that he’s been playing with Charley, and the final devastating reveal.