The multiplexes have cut costs at every opportunity, reducing projectionists to nothing more than IT button pushers, button pushing multiple screens simultaneously with no technical ability necessary, nor ability to alter the computer programme they have started.
That was my experience of new release Fright Night at the West India Quay Cineworld. It might have been nicely shot and a technical triumph, maybe, but how can you really judge when the film’s being projected out of focus? From the moment the title card presented a ‘Sky Movies Screening’ advertisement, it was slightly blurry. But did anyone do anything about it? You would imagine with an old fashioned projector someone would be watching to offer a little tweak of a wheel to sort out the problem, but with these automated digital projection it’s like a computer programme, locked in. There I was, wearing my spectacles AND my 3D glasses and it still didn’t look right. So I had to endure the uncomfortable and ridiculous experience of wearing two pairs of glasses and I still couldn’t see properly? You’re having a laugh. Which brings me on to my second point.
Why oh why are studios so naive to be insisting on crappy, 3D post conversions. It does seem to be a dying fad, what with big budget and successful blockbusters like Super 8 and Rise of the Planet of the Apes only coming out in 2D and HP7b finding more success in two dimensions. People are voting with their feet. But this film was the WORST use of tacky 3D I have ever had the unfortunate experience of viewing. Obviously not helped by being out of focus, the 3D was ghastly. 30% colour loss inflicted by the ‘3D experience’ and the dark glasses that come with it do not do a film set almost exclusively at night any favours.
You cannot see a thing!
Dark, muddy, gloomy – whatever you want to call it. You don’t turn out the lights when you want to read a book, so why is it presumed movie goers would rather dim their screens to a minimum? Any attempt at cinematography is lost. In 3D, the film suffocates itself.
So, what did I think of the film? Well, if by any miracle Cineworld do the honorable thing and issue a replacement ticket – it is unlikely I will bother to try and endure Fright Night again. It seemed moderately fun but no more than that. David Tennant was playing a bit of a caricature of…something. Vampires are starting to feel a bit passé but the story was vaguely enjoyable. It’s impossible to comment on the directing because I don’t feel like I saw it as it was supposed to be shown.
If you have to see it, needless to say find a 2D screening for the love of God. These are dark times. And blurry times. And I’m rather cross.
Fright Night is out on 2nd September in the UK and out now in the US. Running time: 106 mins. Certificate 15 (UK).
Rant by David Rank
UPDATE: Cineworld have responded to my complaints and offered a complimentary ticket. They have also promised to improve the quality of their projection. Let’s hope so.