Fright Night is my favorite horror/Halloween movie, so I was surprised when I read about a remake slated for August 2011. I saw the 3D version last week, and was impressed with a few scenes, but the lure was of this vampire flick was not strong enough for me to add it to my annual Halloween movie lineup.

Most characters do not surpass the original actors in the 1985 cast. Much has changed in 26 years, including advances in technology, but a lot of that leaves me with an empty feeling. The fight scene between Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) was laughably Matrix-like and nothing like a version of the original in which Evil Ed visits Peter Vincent “Vampire Killer” at his home.

A burning cross pressed to the forehead, by Roddy McDowall as Vincent, opens the attack sequence. Evil Ed (Stephen Geoffreys) transforms into a ferocious wolf creature who tries to attack him before Vincent drives a stake into his heart and returns him to human form. This struggle is forever burned in my memory and is just as heart-pounding today as it was when I first watched the film more than 10 years ago.

And the relationship between Charley Brewster, the prying next-door-neighbor to vampire Jerry Dandrige, is not as nuanced as the original between William Ragsdale and Chris Sarandon. In an interview with Rue Morgue magazine, Sarandon talks about how he contributed input to the story by original writer/director Tom Holland.

He shared ideas like having Jerry eat an apple (most bats are not vampiric but eat fruit, so he thought it would be interesting for Jerry to have this in his genetic code) and adding a back story to his entanglement with Amy Peterson (Amanda Bearse). She looked exactly like a young woman he had known from his past. Part of his delight in pursuing her is to annoy Charley, who has already incurred his wrath by watching him bite victims from his second-story window. But his seductive dance with Amy at a club looks like the two have a real connection. I can still hear the song playing, “I don’t need a book to show me how” as her preppy hair turns into a voluminous ’80s pouf midway through her dangerous dance with Jerry.

Sarandon has a cameo in this film, but don’t look for him to be the one sinking his teeth into a victim’s neck.

The one character who does surpass the original is Toni Collette as Jane Brewster, Charley’s mother. She is involved in her son’s life and is much more supportive against their vampire neighbor as in the first movie, where Dandridge ingratiated himself to her and they became allies of sorts in their opinion that Charlie was simply imagining things.

This updated version of Dandrige is Colin Farrell. He gives an aggressive and solid performance, but the seduction factor is not meant to be there in this adaption. He is described as a killing machine, keeping his victims locked in back rooms to snack on and torment.

He is not the smooth and sexy “GQ vampire” but a rugged guy-next-door with dark good looks and a black Dodge Ram pickup truck. He huffs and puffs and even blows the house up when not invited in the traditional “you-must-be invited” rule to all vampires hoping to occupy a house.

He doesn’t have quite the intensity with Amy (Imogen Poots) as in the original, but he does turn her into a beast with a jaw-dropping bite.

The character you love to hate but most enjoy watching is a leather pants wearing, Las Vegas magician version of Peter Vincent played by David Tennant. Unlike the whimpering but eventually fearless vampire killer, he abuses his staff and pretends that vampirism is just another show on the strip — but he knows better.

My favorite scene in the movie is when he is hit in the head while battling Dandrige in his basement. He says “is that all, a pebble?” But this single blood drop triggers a vicious attack by humans who have been “turned” by Dandrige.

Soundtracks are important to me when watching any type of film, and I absolutely loved the original soundtrack. I remember the songs playing in the club and when Jerry unties Amy’s white halter dress at the neck. The songs were perfectly suited to each scene. My top picks are¬†Fright Night, written by Joe Lamont and performed by J. Geils Band, Good Man in a Bad Time written by Marc Tanner and Jon Reede and performed by Ian Hunter, Give it Up by Dennis Matkosky and Bobby Caldwell and performed by Evelyn “Champagne” King and Come to Me written by James McMillan, Arnie Roman and Matthew Pateman and performed¬†by Brad Fiedel.

Unfortunately, the soundtrack isn’t available, but you can hear some clips on YouTube.

Fright Night 2011 doesn’t strive to replicate the original. A few of the same classic lines are spoken by Jerry Dandrige: “You have to have faith for this to work,” referring to Charley holding up a cross to fend him off, and “Welcome to Fright Night … for real.”

Maybe it’s because I love the first film so much that nothing could surpass it, but I don’t believe most remakes ever eclipse the original. I think the best thing about remakes is the attention they create that allows some new generations of movie goers to learn about the film that may be gathering dust on video rental shelves, and hopefully, watch the original.

I thoroughly enjoyed Rue Morgue editor Dave Alendander’s Note from the Underground in the magazine’s August issue. He described his memory of renting the movie in its VHS form, and I have that same nostalgia of feeling the weight of the case and admiring the outstanding artwork that attracted me to pick it up in the first place.

A swirling blue cloud of ghouls, and in the center, a vampire that is getting ready to take a bite out of suburbia. An unforgettable cover to a classic movie that is brought to the forefront again. I hope it receives all the attention it deserves.