Skeptical Chris Sarandon calls rebooted Fright Night 'brilliant'

If you're a cinematic vampire connoisseur, then San Diego Comic-Con offered a rare opportunity for fans to see the proverbial changing of the Fright Night bloodsucking guard as actors Chris Sarandon (The Princess Bride) and Colin Farrell (Minority Report) came together to support the new remake of Fright Night opening in August.

In a press conference promoting the film, Sarandon shared that he "saw [the new film] last week, and I think it's just brilliant. I think it's wonderful."

Both Sarandon and Farrell have now played the role of seductive vampire Jerry Dandridge, whose M.O. is to move into suburban enclaves to prey on vulnerable girls and their lonely moms until he's had his bloody fill. The 1985 original has since earned its place as a cult classic due to its inspired mix of comedy, potent vampy seduction, camp and gory horror. The latest take on the story, directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) and written by Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer series), contemporizes the story but retains the human threat that many recent vampire projects like Twilight have shed.

Asked his initial response to the remake, Sarandon said honestly that "there was a certain amount of skepticism, but when they sent me the script, I thought, 'They got it.' They figured out how to make it contemporary and at the same time make it enough of an homage so that the fans of the original move would appreciate it, and at the same time take them on a different kind of ride. I think that's what this movie does."

When asked to compare his take on Jerry versus Chris' version, Farrell said, "They both need blood to survive. The old Jerry Dandridge, as I remember him the first I experienced him when I was 12, he was incredibly debonair, had a certain dignity to him, felt like an intellectual, felt incredibly cultured, suave. My guy's kind of none of those things. I kind of felt more like a social parasite, somebody who really did enjoy the threat that he posed to those around him, if indeed he allowed or he exposed himself and let those around him know who he was.

"My guy would be nothing but the fear, the fear he would instill in people. He felt like somebody who treats humans like a cat treats a ball of wool, as playthings, not just as a source of sustenance, but as playthings. It was kind of brutal. I got a chance to play a brutal vampire who wasn't concerned with anything—with love—had no fear and no human virtues that would be recognizable at all. He's just somebody who traveled the world for 400 years and then possibly got tired of his own company, but he's violent and brutal and very much a kind of serial killer."

Fright Night opens on Aug. 19, 2011.

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