24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Fright Night

What’s the most underappreciated movie of 2011? (Part 1)

December 29, 2011 |  9:36 am


Jessica Chastain in "The Debt"

Last year it was “Never Let Me Go” and “Let Me In.” This year we’re asking the question again — what movie just didn’t get the proper respect, from audiences or critics, over the past 12 months?

We took an informal poll around the office and among some contacts to get a fix on what people felt were some of the least recognized gems of the past year. The list they returned was an eclectic one:

Among the titles that came up: “The Debt,” the long-delayed Nazi-hunting thriller starring Jessica Chastain and Sam Worthington that finally came out this summer; “Rio,”  the Brazil-set animated film that didn’t get the same buzz as some of its CG counterparts; “Fright Night,” Craig Gillespie’s remake of the 1985 horror-comedy that might have gotten buried a little upon its late-summer release; "Win Win," Tom McCarthy's dramedy about a high-school wrestler; and “Warrior,” the Nick Nolte drama about the world of mixed-martial arts.

A pair of Sundance acquisitions also made the list: “Margin Call,” the drama about the financial crisis that unfolds over one nerve-racking night; and “Like Crazy,” the emo love story that was mostly improvised by Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin.

Please vote in our poll below, and use Twitter, Facebook and otherwise comment on any movie we didn’t suggest ("A Better Life"?). We’ll let you know the results in the next few days.




What's the most under-appreciated movie of 2010 (Part 1)

What's the most under-appreciated movie of 2010? (Part 2)

— Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Jessica Chastain in "The Debt." Credit: Focus Features

Lars and the Real Spook: Craig Gillespie likely to direct 'Fright Night' remake

March 6, 2010 |  3:43 pm

EXCLUSIVE: "Fright Night" has been a high-priority horror remake both for fans and studio DreamWorks since the studio began developing the project. Now DreamWorks appears to have found its man to direct it.

Fri A sweepstakes that included at least three directors appears to be coming to a close, with Craig Gillespie the man who will likely sit behind the camera.  Sources say that after the studio met with and contemplated a number of directors, the parties on Friday began entering negotiations for Gillespie to take the reins.

The director is most famous for the 2007 off-kilter romantic comedy "Lars and the Real Girl (which was eerie in a whole different way). He also directed the wacky dysfunctional-family/romantic comedy "Mr. Woodcock" starring Billy Bob Thornton. Gillespie also has a relationship with DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg via "The United States of Tara," the Showtime series that DreamWorks Television produced and on which Gillespie has served as director and producer.

Marti Noxon, a veteran of shows like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," has been writing the screenplay for "Fright Night," and producing powerhouse Michael De Luca is among the producers on the new film, along with Alison Rosenzweig. (Incidentally, Tom Holland, a journeyman horror writer and director, directed the first movie, which starred Chris Sarandon and Amanda Bearse.)

For the uninitiated, "Fright Night" was a sleeper hit back in 1985, employing comedy and a kind of meta-horror aspect (lead character is a fan of horror films, then gets caught up in one himself) that predated the "Scream" phenomenon by a full decade.  The reboot from DreamWorks fits in with other horror remakes, like last year's "Friday the 13th" and the upcoming "Nightmare on Elm Street."

The central premise also rests on another idea currently in vogue at practically every studio around town: The main character discovers his neighbors are vampires. "Twilight," your influence is wide and deep.

-- Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Fright Night. Credit: Columbia Pictures.


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