Review: ‘Fright Night 3D’ Blu-ray – Horror remake sparkles in 3D, and fortunately the vampires don’t

in Disney, Entertainment, Movies, Reviews

In today’s world of sparkling, brooding, and all too emotional vampires, “Fright Night 3D” stands out by bringing the creepy creatures back to the horror genre, complete with plenty of blood, gore, and violence, all paired with quite a few laughs. The remake of the 1985 cult classic “Fright Night” doesn’t follow directly in the original’s footsteps, but instead uses it as a basis for a fun tale of the vampire next door who’s ready to feast on anyone in sight. Now, just in time for the Christmas season, “Fright Night 3D” is available on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD, bringing the theatrical thrills home for the holidays.

Produced by DreamWorks Pictures and distributed by Disney’s Touchstone Pictures, “Fright Night 3D” offers horror fans a chance for one last scare before the end of 2011, particularly when watched in 3D. I reviewed the film itself when it hit theaters in August, and now I’ve enjoyed it again at home with the Blu-ray 3D presentation, which far exceeds the 2D version. It’s clear this movie was made for 3D, not only with shots imagined for the extra dimension and depth, but also for the sheer enjoyable gimmicks scattered throughout, from 3D blood splatter to a few in-your-face fiery explosions. If there was ever a genre in which 3D cinema is welcome, it’s horror, drawing the viewer deeper into suspense. While the 2D version is still enjoyable, the “Fright Night 3D,” as the title suggests, was definitely meant to be seen in 3D and has transferred to Blu-ray 3D beautifully.

Filmmakers had a bit of fun with the numerous extras included on the 2D Blu-ray disc. They’re not in 3D, unfortunately, but are still entirely entertaining, none taken too seriously. Behind-the-scenes featurettes are disguised as mini documentaries of sorts, one inviting viewers to “come swim” in the mind of Criss Angel-style character Peter Vincent, in a mock interview that offers brief real looks at the filming of his scenes. Interviews with some of the film’s cast and crew are woven into a “How To Make A Funny Vampire Movie” extra, offering 10 “rules” on how “Fright Night 3D” is definitely not part of the “Twilight” series. Included bloopers on the disc are short but amusing and deleted/extended scenes are obvious in why they were cut from the film. A music video from Kid Cudi is only enjoyable for those who are fans of his music. (I’m not.) Most amusing is a full home movie-style short featuring Squid Man, Kid Comeback, and Gladiator Man, an extended version of the short clip shown in the movie used to illustrate the main character’s nerdy past.

While the bonus features are enjoyable, they all suffer from too much compression and video noise as well as poor audio quality, often even sounding distorted. Fortunately, the same is not true for the movie itself, neither in 2D nor 3D, as quality remains high for the main feature. It seems the bonus features were crammed onto whatever space was remaining on the Blu-ray disc, compressed as needed to fit.

My only other complain with this release is common to many home releases of movies: the menu spoilers. Someone who has not yet seen “Fright Night 3D” will instantly find themselves witnessing some of the film’s best vampire moments simply by popping in the disc, as they’re played as highlights next to the menu system. Fortunately the first few don’t spoil anything, so it’s advised for newcomers to the film to press play on the movie quickly to avoid ruining any bits.

While “Fright Night 3D” may be completely out of its element to be released around Christmas time, I personally can enjoy a good horror film year-round and this one most definitely not only entertains but also serves as a great demo of the potential of 3D filmmaking, when used properly.

“Fright Night 3D” is available now on Amazon as a three-disc combo pack including Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, and a digital copy.

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