The casting of Fright Night, Craig Gillespie’s mostly faithful 3-D take on the 1985 cult favorite starring Chris Sarandon and the late Roddy McDowall, is so spot-on that it’s almost enough to justify the movie’s existence. Yet once again we find ourselves frustrated by the shortcomings of second-hand goods, in the too-familiar form of a remake that never needed to be made.
Why, among the millions of children and adults who grew up idolizing superheroes, has nobody ever tried to become one? That’s the question troubling Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a nerdy teenager determined to take a bite out of crime in the Big Apple.
Dave doesn’t seem suicidal, though his mission certainly does. Armed only with a green-and-yellow jumpsuit and a modicum of protective gear – intimidating he isn’t – he sets out to live the fantasy and gets a knife in his gut for his troubles. But thanks to a viral video, captured via cell phone and rebroadcast, YouTube-style, to a world of tickled witnesses, his alter ego, Kick-Ass, is an instant Web sensation.
Take that, Spider-Man.