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Film more funny than 'Fright'

"Fright Night" (R): Horror fans 17 and older will cackle at this wickedly funny remake of the 1985 film (rated R) of the same name.

This "Fright Night" is a pretty mild R -- more due to language than violence. The deliciously deadpan-humor in the writing and the terrific cast are what make it work. The gore is secondary and more stylized than graphic, though fear not, there's still plenty of blood and impalement.

Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is trying to be a cool kid in high school, and win the heart of Amy (Imogen Poots). So at first he doesn't listen when his one-time pal Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), whom Charley has been avoiding so he won't become a geek by association, tells him that Charley and his mom's (Toni Collette) next door neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell) happens to be a vampire. People are disappearing, warns Ed, and Jerry is the reason. It's not long before Jerry confirms Ed's suspicions in hilariously unsubtle ways. So Charley realizes he has to be a hero to save himself, his mom and Amy. They live in Las Vegas, so he consults a nightclub magician (David Tennant), whose act revolves around vampire lore but who turns out to be fueled more by booze than blood. It's all quite a riot.

The strongest R element is the language, which includes frequent use of the F-word. The actual vampire attacks and fights with humans, while bloody, are more stylized with special effects than really graphic. But it is a vampire flick. People are bitten and their blood consumed. Vampires are impaled, shot, stabbed and run over. The film contains relatively mild sexual innuendo, and the two teen characters, Charley and Amy, keep trying to have their first sexual encounter, but are always interrupted.


"Conan the Barbarian" (R): A new muscle man with a blank face and a monotone, Jason Momoa (TV's "Game of Thrones"), takes up the sword in this bone-crushing, head-separating remake of the 1982 film (also an R) that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. The level of violence makes "Conan the Barbarian" a very hard R. It's likely to draw in action-loving teens, but it's really a soul-destroying kind of mayhem to watch. This newest adventure unfolds in made-up places between the end of the classical age and the start of the Dark Ages -- or not. As a preadolescent barbarian, young Conan (Leo Howard) is trained by his father (Ron Perlman) to fight all invaders in their snowy woodland. A vicious warrior named Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang) destroys their village and tortures Conan's father to death. Zym is in search of a bone shard that will complete an ancient face mask which, he believes, will make him all-powerful. Young Conan escapes. As an adult (now played by Momoa) Conan is a marauder who never stops searching for the man who killed his father. Best line of dialogue: "I live. I love. I slay. And I am content."

The throat-cuttings, beheadings, slashings -- and the sounds of bones breaking and warriors howling with blood lust -- seem never-ending in this violent, yet cartoonish film. Conan has a sexual encounter that implies nudity and is fairly explicit. Female slaves are seen topless and characters drink.

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