Marti Noxon, screenwriter of the new science-fiction adventure movie I Am Number Four, spoke to Boxoffice this week about her work on the forthcoming remake of Tom Holland's cult 1980s horror comedy Fright Night. Check out her comments about the film, which she indicates will offer a decidedly more intense and scary depiction of bloodsucking vampires than audiences have seen in other film series such as Twilight.
What sort of challenge was it to update Fright Night? Were you thinking about recreating what was successful in the original, or was it just a matter of updating its good ideas?
In the case of this movie, there are people who have a total affection for the original, but there were things I the original that I really craved some more understanding of, and part of the reason why Dreamworks was interested in me for the job was that I really wanted to explore, for instance, Charlie and Ed's relationship a little bit more. There were a few things that made me think that there were ideas in this movie that weren't fully exploited, and it would be wonderful to explore now in this day and age, 20 years later. And also, the basic spine of that movie is just a great idea - you're doing rear window with a vampire (laughs). That's a great concept, but times have changed, and everything about the vampire lore is just almost exhausted, and we all agreed that we wanted to kind of not rebut but offer back a kind of vampire that is not romantic and not particularly soulful but really just a killer. He's not a moody, broody vampire, but a shark - the shark from Jaws. It was fun to come back and have the opportunity to just have him be bad (laughs).
Is there a challenge in creating a villain who is complicated but still formidable? There seems to be a tendency to soften bad guys in movies these days, to suggest they're just misunderstood or something.
In this case, the delicious fun was imagining a character, for me, who like any good predator has a bunch of charms and abilities to attract, but they're all just designed to get you in his mouth (laughs). Like a venus flytrap has somethings that make it beautiful to flies, and then next thing you know they're food. So that was the idea, that he has charms - he's beautiful and he's incredibly seductive - but all of that is part of a machine so that he can eat you. And then to make that as somebody who just gets off on being a predator, there was something delicious about just doing that. And the movie, one of the fun things about it is that it's pretty unrelenting; in the original there was kind of a little bit of sympathy for him - he had a romantic attachment to Amy and there was this portrait of a woman he loved - and ours I think is just from a certain point, it's obviously coming from Charlie's point of view, but it's really relentless. This is a character that just doesn't stop, so there's almost like a Terminator quality of it just doesn't stop, which I think is really scary when you realize there's no rational way out of this. And, nobody believes you.