Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Dr. Who to Star in Fright Night

It appears that David Tennant will be staring as the clueless "horror-jockey" Peter Vincent in the upcoming remake of the gen-X cult favorite 1980s "Dracula Next Door" film Fright Night. There is little doubt that Tennant will be able to capture a bumbling, tired, worn down, and sympathetic late-night weekend horror movie host -- a role that was captured perfectly by Roddy McDowell in the original.

What remains to be seen is if modern audiences, whose Saturday evenings are tragically free of Bob Wilkinsesque entertainment, will fully appreciate the character. Where the late night weekend television of gen-X and earlier featured wonderful horror host fare like "Creature Features," Count Gore, Joe Bob Briggs, the modern television schedule tends to lack colorful characters like these. I say tends to, because there are still some local channels that feature horror hosts, but characters like these were once ubiquitous.

Roddy McDowell's Peter Vincent was the strongest component of the original Fright Night, McDowell's brilliant combination of Peter Cushing and Peter Sellers in the portrayal of the part is remembered long after the particulars of the movie's narrative. The scene where Peter Vincent learns that faith matters and that things that go bump in the night aren't best combated by jaded performers, is one of the classic scenes in horror.

I am looking forward to this remake, but I do wonder how the film will resonate with younger audiences.
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