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Fright Night (3D/2D) (2011) Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
ImageSo, if you are like me, you probably can tell how this film is going to turn out just based on the title, “Fright Night 3D.”  Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised, well somewhat.

This film’s biggest problem is that it is a straight rip off of a number of films but most notably three.  “Fright Night” is nothing more than “Disturbia” meets “Twilight” meets “Cirque du Freak.”  The former two explain the premise of this film better than I ever could.  Essentially, suburban community, new neighbor, suspicious activity, murders, vampire neighbor, showdown.  That’s it.

A boy faces the challenge of killing his vampire neighbor before he turns everyone in the community into a vampire.  Of course, no one believes him because, it’s a vampire he’s talking about.  A fake Las Vegas magician becomes his ally and informant.  His girlfriend plays the strong woman figure who turns out to be a woman in distress who needs rescuing.

The film would have had potential should certain movies not already existed and the script had some more of its wrinkles ironed out.  Ultimately though, there are too many coincidences and events that take place just to move the plot along to the next event. The only pleasant surprise that his film offered was the entertaining third act.  It takes a while to get there, but the final events are quite interesting.  It just doesn’t justify the story and early events.

3D/2D Video:

This is a natively shot 3D film.  Unfortunately you will hardly get to see any of it.  Given the premise of the film it is safe for you to assume that much of the film takes place in the dark.  Of course, the dark is 3D’s arch nemesis.  If you want to actually see the film then you are going to have to watch the 2D version.  That isn’t to say that the 2D version is without problems.  Even in the 2D version you will be hard pressed to see many of the sequences.  The black levels present themselves as spots and shadow delineation is absent throughout.  And when I say absent, I do mean gone.   The colors are the most pleasing part of the transfer.  In the daytime sequences the colors are striking, though perhaps a bit on the over saturated side.  The details of the 2D release are so-so.  Details and textures provide only minimal object delineation.

The 3D version is like watching a black screen with the exception of a couple moments.  I’m serious here.  Everything no the screen is a gray/black blob moving around.  It is difficult at any point to discern the location and interaction of the characters.  That being said, there are a few moments in which there is some great 3D extension.  When the vampires burst into ash watch how the embers float around the room.  When the blood spurts from the necks of bodies watch as it flies into your face.  Now, I must point out that I am watching this on a Panasonic PT-AE7000U 3D projector and 9-foot screen.  Therefore the effects of 3D are much more pleasing in comparison to when I watched this film in 3D on a 50-inch Panasonic plasma.  The screens for typical living 3D TVs are far too small to enjoy 3D effects.  As expected the 3D release results in far fewer details and textures.


If there is any reason to get this Blu-ray release, whether it be 2D or 3D, it is for the lossless DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio track.  This is one of the best audio tracks delivered by Disney in their stream of 7.1 native audio tracks.  The directionality of the effects is pinpoint accurate.  When this audio track is coupled with the 3D video presentation the result is spectacular, well for those sequences in which you can actually see the action correspond to the audio effects.  Dialogue is clean and sharp.  The balance of the mix is nicely preserved.  Dynamics are not the best I have heard but they are certainly passable.  The music cue stings are expected.  The LFE channel delivers a powerful punch for the battle sequences and some of the music.  There are instances in which the LFE channel seems to be missing or underwhelming, but overall it is quite the supplement.  If only the 3D imagery were easier to see, this release would be the one that would make it worthwhile to pick up a 3D system capable of 7.1 lossless audio in conjunction with the 3D video.  (That means either a 3D receiver or a Blu-ray player with Dual HDMI outputs.)

Special Features:

All special features are presented on the 2D Blu-ray disc.  None of the special features offer any real significance.  “The Official ‘How To Make A Funny Vampire Movie’ Guide” discusses the story elements.  “Peter Vincent: Come Swim In My Mind” covers the Las Vegas show in the film.  “Squid Man: Extended & Uncut” is the short film featured in the film.  Lastly, there are some deleted/extended scenes, bloopers, a music video, along with a DVD Copy and a separate Digital Copy.

“Fright Night 3D” is not the greatest film by any means and the 3D imagery is just way too dark.  The audio quality provides a nice experience though.  I recommend this only for those that interested in disappointment or can find the humor in such a mess.

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