From movies to television and computer games, vampires are back in vogue, often as sympathetic characters. But a remake of a 1985 hit film, "Fright Night," gives us the traditional blood-sucking monster.
Charlie is a teenager who lives with his single mom in a Las Vegas suburb, on a quiet street far from the bright lights and decadence of the popular gambling resort.
That changes when a handsome but reclusive neighbor moves into the house next door and some of Charlie's classmates begin to disappear. His best friend Ed is convinced there's a connection and that Jerry, the new neighbor, is a vampire.
As outrageous as it seems, events soon prove Ed's theory to be true, and Charlie sets out to stop the demon before it is too late.
Anton Yelchin, who stars as the reluctant teenage hero, says he needed to find reality amid the fantasy in order play Charlie.
"I didn't go 'Aw, this is a vampire movie. How do I relate to a guy in a vampire movie?' I just said 'How do you relate to a guy who, in the face of total destruction and everything he cares about being threatened by this destructive force. How does he feel?'"
The script takes several swipes at the current crop of romantic vampires, like the ones in the popular "Twilight" novels and films. In "Fright Night," as played by Irish-born Colin Farrell, the vampire Jerry is as evil as they come.
"I was playing a vampire that didn't have any fear at all and had no desire to locate his romantic counterpart," Farrell says. "There was none of that stuff. It was just really an exercise in malevolence and brutality. And it was fun."
"Fright Night" is based on a 1985 film seen by many as a horror classic. Farrell admits he had some misgivings about taking the new role.
"I loved the original so I was very dubious when I heard they were remaking it," he says. "You can have all these ideals about how possibly uncool it is to do a remake, especially of something that's held so sacrosanct by so many people as "Fright Night" is. Then, at the end of the day, as a working actor you read something and you either connect to it for whatever reason or you don't and I loved it."
It also gets a thumbs-up from Chris Sarandon who played the vampire in the 1985 original and took a cameo in this version to show his support.
"I thought the first one was a perfect little movie," says Sarandon. "At the same time, if somebody can come up with an idea for doing the same thing in a different, contemporary way - a way that works for the zeitgeist of today - then why not?"
"Fright Night" is the follow-up to director Craig Gillespie's first film, the critically acclaimed dark comedy "Lars And the Real Girl." The screenplay is by Marti Noxon, who has plenty of experience with creatures of the night as writer and producer of the popular TV series "Buffy The Vampire Slayer."