Just because it's more than 25 years old doesn't mean a movie needs to be remade.

The 1985 movie "Fright Night" is still enjoyable and quite entertaining. And now, here's an above-average remake that adds a few changes to the overall story line, along with 3-D. It's better than average, but unnecessary. And doggone it, do I ever miss Roddy McDowall.

The outline of the story is pretty much the same. Charley (Anton Yelchin) is a teenager who lives in Las Vegas with his mom (Toni Collette). Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), the guy who used to be Charley's best friend, has news for Charley: Ed thinks Charley's new neighbor, Jerry (Colin Farrell), is a real vampire.

Ed insists that Charley go with him to investigate what's going on nearby. And when Ed proves to be correct, it's Charley who's left alone to carry on the investigation and try to find a way to dispense with the danger that's lurking at hand.

Charley is understandably terrified of Jerry, who realizes that Charley knows the truth about him and does everything he can to scare Charley into keeping quiet. There's a great scene in which Jerry comes over to Charley's house for a few beers. Farrell is delightfully evil as he indirectly threatens Charley as well as Charley's mother and girlfriend.

In the previous movie, McDowall played a television horror-movie host who had to do battle with a real supernatural threat. Here, Las Vegas magician Peter Vincent (David Tennant, who played "Doctor Who" on British television) is the guy Charley turns to in desperation.

This is not the stuff of "Twilight" movies (which are mocked here, incidentally). It's old-school vampirism, with creatures that go pppfhhht! in the daylight. Farrell obviously had a great time playing Jerry, which he does with menace and ferocity. (Fans of the original show should look for Chris Sarandon, who played Jerry in the first movie, in a cameo role).

The 3-D does add to the appeal: Two different images that contain airborne embers are especially effective, and of course you expect to become "splattered" with blood.

Horror fans will enjoy this movie, particularly if they enjoyed the original, which is arguably a cult classic. This just pales in comparison with its predecessor.

 

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