High school student Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) begins to discover several mysterious disappearances in the area, with all clues leading back to his mother's new neighbour Jerry (Colin Farrell). Hooking up with sceptical girlfriend (rising Brit star Imogen Poots) and dubious Vegas vampire hunter Peter Vincent (David Tennant), Charley finds himself up against a formidable foe. Lars and the Real Girl director Craig Gillespie wittily reworks the 1985 horror classic for a new generation.
Nowadays, you're more likely to find Hollywood's vampires combing the sparkles out of their hair (thanks Twilight) or bouncing around the scenery with unbelievable, monstrously OTT CGI abandon (I Am Legend) than splattering plasma about by the bucket.
So the return and reboot of 1985's beloved comedy horror Fright Night is in a precarious position - stuck between the inevitable comparison to its old school predecessor whilst struggling to meet the demands of a modern audience (t)weened on namby-pamby vampires who are more likely to nuzzle your neck than gnaw at it.
Craig Gillespie - who's making a rather tangential break from his last movie, the offbeat romance Lars and The Real Girl - delivers a fun, fangtastic romp that, while unlikely to go down in the pantheon of horror history or surpass its inspiration, straddles the line between terrifying and titillating with comfortable ease.
The noughties reimagining sticks fairly closely to the original, focusing on American suburbanite high schooler Charley Brewster (Star Trek's Yelchin), who slowly begins to connect his small town's rapidly escalating missing persons epidemic with the arrival of his charming but unsettling next door neighbour, Jerry.
Once Jerry realises Charley's fully aware of his vampirism, he swiftly morphs from charming smooth-talker into your unfriendly neighbourhood throat-ripper.
As Charley struggles to make sense of the situation and defend his pouty girlfriend (Poots) and walking target of a mother (Toni Collette), he attempts to enlist the help of Las Vegas magician and professional showman Peter Vincent.
The casting is near spot on. Farrell encapsulates the terrifying, unsettling and permanently coiled ferocity of a predator permanently on the hunt and, while Collette, Yelchin and Poots all run around and/or look terrified to entertaining effect, it's David Tennant who steals the show as the all mouth and no (leather) trousers celebrity magician, staying just the right side of hammy to ensure he's as three dimensional as he is laughable.
The 3D is once again all but redundant, and the desire to stay true to its roots ensures that there's relatively little to surprise or boldly challenge genre conventions. But with a host of competent performances, some tension-filled set pieces, a script as barbed as Jerry's canines, and a pace that chugs along nicely, it's a fun and welcome return to the vampire flick that aims to scare as readily as it entertains.