In a small gated community outside the rim of the Las Vegas strip a family is being gruesomely killed within the walls of their own home as their dog darts for safety through the doggie door. On the television a Vegas act about vampires is being promoted starring Peter Vincent (David Tennant), the vampire slayer. The next morning Jane Brewster (Toni Collette) is out in her driveway complaining about her neighbor Jerry Dandrige’s (Colin Farrell) mess in his front yard to her son Charley (Anton Yelchin) who just got done admiring his go-go dancer neighbor, Doris (Emily Montague). Jane, a relator for Century 21 just got done loading signs attached to wooden stakes in the back of her SUV. You think they’ll come in use later? But of course they will!
At school Charley meets up with his friends Mark (Dave Franco) the school stud, Ben (Reid Ewing) the cool air-head with messy hair and his girlfriend Amy Peterson (Imogen Poots). Charley is approached by his somewhat forgotten for not being cool nerd friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), not so McLovin in this film, about their friend Adam, he wonders where he and some other students have disappeared to since they have not shown up in school. After school they decide to visit Adam’s house to look for clues, finding nothing, but Jerry, yes the vampire, a Mediterranean species, a strong tribal killer breed , no secret in the film, is keeping a close eye and nose on them both. Eventually turning Ed into one bad tooth delivery boy out to find his inner cool since he’s never been accepted by the other students at school and within his neighborhood.
When Ed goes missing Charley soon looks further into his theories eventually coming face to face with Jerry. Not invited into Charley’s home, Jerry precedes to tell Charley about his upcoming date for the night, a date that happens to be with Doris. A scream later, Charley tries desperately to help her escape the evil claws of Jerry’s hands. Truth is known but Charley hesitates to tell anyone since who would believe his story anyway. Although when Amy comes to visit and Jane discovers all the weird garlic hanging in the house accompanied by crosses on the windows she begins to quiz her son. Knock knock, Charley knows who’s there and when the shovel hits the dirt Mom knows now that she is dealing with a psycho for a neighbor but it’s not until after they escape to the desert highway that Amy and Mom fall prey to Jerry, finally believing that her son was telling the truth that Jerry was actually a vampire.
Jane in the hospital and Amy and Charley on the run it soon becomes a battle for their lives. Charley knows of only one place to learn how to kill a vampire and races to Peter Vincent for help even though he would not help him before. Charley and Amy meet with Peter but when a delivery appears at their door once again the chase is on but this time with an old friend and it’s not Jerry. Not yet anyway! All good things eventually come to an end and sometimes even friends but the situation becomes even worse when Jerry appears out for blood. Soon making Amy his own with a bite to the neck, Charley with the help of Peter is out for revenge with hopes of bringing Amy home safely. This time for Peter’s sake hopefully with no fighting, only surviving. As both men try to bring Jerry to his death it appears that he and Peter have met many years earlier when he was a young boy since Jerry states he has his mother’s eyes and when Peter tries to shoot him, his father’s aim. Wild animals can sense fear and of course smell blood, a pebble to the head later and the walls come alive as Peter fights for his life. Meanwhile Charley is in the middle of his own war with Amy, a war of love and survival for them both. In the end all goes up in flames as Charley burns like a roman candle making Peter’s advice the final plan to save the day and the heart of the one he loves.
I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this film even more so than the original in the 1980’s. Of course nice direction, a wonderful script that is not only intense and intriguing but at times humorous as well giving the audience a chuckle soon followed by gasps. Once again not a huge fan of 3D since I don’t think it’s necessary in many films it surely did work in this one especially when a vampire meets its fate in the sun. Ashes to ashes their remains really seem to hit you in the face while experiencing this perfectly scored adventure into the world of a crazy vampire out for blood.
No real complaints about the cast since they all seemed to do a superb job in making this horror film worth the price to see in 3D on the big screen. Farrell surely takes the stake in a good way; his performance was spot on like a stain of blood you can’t get out of your clothes. Good looking to grotesque he really is perfect in this story and the best asset to the vampire adventure. Yelchin also does a wonderful job leading us on this path into the underworld of darkness. Collette was not a major role but was likeable but at times seemed a bit off compared to the other actors. Poots plays the damsel in distress with a tough edge very well and Mintz-Plasse once again makes nerdy seem like the new norm even with fangs. As for Tennant he seemed a bit over-done but still adds a hint of humor to this otherwise dark encounter with the uglier side of Twilight. Better than McDowell, Tennant was a breath of fresh air to an otherwise more serious story that actually was quite a surprising pleasure for a vamped up remake. Written and thoroughly enjoyed with three paws by Jon Patch, especially since the dog lived. Who’s the smarter species now!