Tuesday, 30 August 2011

A Tale of Two Remakes

It's hard to imagine but somehow the remake of Conan makes the Milius/Arnie version seem Oscar worthy. Sure the remake has more and better staged swordplay, bloodletting and Ron Perlman in it's favour but it just can't match the atmosphere of the original and it all plays out like a fey EA video game. As you'd expect the plot doesn't amount to much; Conan is orphaned & wanders the planet until picking up the scent of his nemesis and his freaky witch daughter while they hunt for some pure blood maiden. Maybe with a lead actor who didn't look empty & lost and a bit more conviction to string things out for more than it's 100mins this might have been worth a look. As it stands I wouldn't waste your time.

However Fright Night, another 80's remake, shows how it's done and manages to surpass the original with gusto. Funnier, bloodier and better acted than the McDowell version this shows what can be done with a little common sense. Former nerd Charley and his girlfriend end up in some bother when the new neighbour turns out to be cleaning the town of pesky kids with liberal fang use and they enlist the help of a jaded, faux vampire hunter. With Toni Collette, David Tenant and Colin Farrell all turning in excellent performances and the script rattling along with plenty of laughs this hokey 80's number has been regurgitated as a funny, richly dark, highly enjoyable addition to the canon of vampire flicks.

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