Fright Night 3D

Featured In Issue 162, December 2011

3D Picture4
WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Touchstone Home Entertainment
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Bloody horror violence, and language including some sexual reference
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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A, B & C
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Craig Gillespie
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 7.1
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Fright Night was inspired by the 1985 gothic horror cult classic—it is a Disney release from DreamWorks. All hell breaks loose when High School Senior Charley Brewster (Yelchin) discovers his charming new neighbor Jerry Dandridge (Farrell) is a Vampire preying on his neighborhood. Charlie senses that there's something odd about him, although no one''including his girlfriend Amy (Poots) and his mom Jane (Collette) seems to notice. But after too many of his classmates vanish under bizarre circumstances, Charley comes to the unmistakable conclusion. (Gary Reber)

Special features include two featurettes: Peter Vincent: Come Swim In My Mind (HD 02:09) and The Official How To Make A Funny Vampire Guide (HD 08:04), five deleted and extended scenes (HD 04:51), Squid Man: Extended and Uncut (HD 02:56), bloopers (HD 03:23), Kid Cudi's "No One Believes Me" music video (HD 05:21), up-front previews, and a digital copy.

The 1.78:1 1080p MVC 3-D picture is stylistically dark, really dark, with a vampire character skulking around in the dark as he hunts humans. As such, to optimize the viewing experience and see fully into the picture requires a darkened environment, preferably a black room and a display device capable of good native contrast and 3-D brightness boost. Fright Night was planned with 3D in mind and shot mostly in 3D, with a few segments converted from the 2-D elements in post-production by Sassoon Film Design. While 3D tends to work best in much brighter circumstances, it can also work in dark situations, as is the case here. Special stereoscopic rigs were used to achieve the special 3-D effects, wherein the 3-D space was optimized within the confines of the stylized darkness. Stereographer Max Penner said of their techniques, "I control how deep the 3-D space is and where it is placed in relation to the screen plane. This is achieved by using a 3-D beam splitter rig that is a combination of two cameras and/or two sensors and two matched sets of optics that work synchronous and view images from two different points, very much like human eyes." While mostly focused on the depth dimension behind the screen, as in positive parallax, appropriately, the filmmakers effectively use the negative parallax dimension to push blood, guts, and other body parts, and burning ashes, out through the screen to invite horrific excitement. Depth and dimension are nicely rendered to create an eerie feeling. Many segments exhibit perfectly natural and convincing depth and dimension, with some outright spectacular. Generally, object and human shapes exhibit natural volumes, which is nicely effective dimensionally. Virtually no crosstalk or ghosting is evident, for an artifact-free 3-D presentation. As with dimly lit movies, the color palette appears to be somewhat subdued, though, highlights are strongly saturated. Fleshtones appear naturally rendered. Black levels are deep and solid, and shadow delineation is revealing, with a good display device, operating in a darkened environment. Fright Night succeeds in its effort to utilize all aspects of 3-D technology, with the challenge of filming dimly lit scenes, for an engaging visual dimensional experience. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1-channel soundtrack is terrific, with a dynamic soundfield presence embellished with effective atmospherics and sound effects. Such a superb mix really keeps the listening space engaged. Spurious effects are delivered excellently around the room, adding to the intrigue and disquietude of the vampire's haunt. Deep bass is delivered nicely through each of the full-range channels as well as the .1 LFE channel, extending to sub-25 Hz frequencies. The atmospherics and sound effects are highly directionalized and panned throughout the soundfield. The orchestral music score is densely orchestrated with a wide and deep soundstage that extends forcefully into the surrounds. The added two channels really enhance the sense of acoustic space and soundfield dimensionality. Dialogue sounds nicely integrated spatially. This is a well-executed soundtrack that delivers a creepy holosonic® experience. (Gary Reber)