Saturday, March 13, 2010

Archive: 'Prom Night'

Movie Review
Prom Night (2008)

No, this isn't a 1980 Jamie Lee Curtis running from a crazed killer on her prom night. It's worse: the remake. It's even insulting to call this 2008 version of "Prom Night" a remake. It's not. It has literally no plot, and the entire ordeal is stripped away of anything remotely related to terror. The basic setup for a movie of this caliber isn't even all that difficult. You need the sympathetic victim, the frightening killer, a suspenseful atmosphere, and most importantly, enough gore to keep things interesting. This stale piece of moviemaking misses on all four counts, and there's really nothing to it at all. It can hardly be considered a movie. It's an embarrassment.

Rather than Lee Curtis' shrieks of death, we're given Brittany Snow's muffled whimpers as Donna, the sole survivor of a stalker who killed her family three years ago. And here she is now living with her aunt and uncle preparing for the best night of her life. Oh, my gosh, it's the prom. The boyfriend arrives. Oh, my gosh, he's here. Should she take her anxiety medicine? No, she says. She doesn't want to be numb from all the excitement of the night. All that bloody killing. Minus the blood. And the excitement. She comes down the steps, and his eyes light up. They get into the limousine with their group of friends and drive to the extravagant hotel. Like, oh, my gosh, it's time.

Meanwhile, Donna's crazy teacher stalker busted out of the maximum security prison, and here's there. At prom. Looking plain and not intimidating. Oh, my gosh. The cop is right on his tail, though, doing everything that gives movie cops a bad name. He's where he needs to be keeping an eye out, he's got his gun ready, and yet he can't even stop a guy who's slaughtering teens all over the place without even a gun. As for Donna and her friends, it's as if they purposely spend more time in their suite than at the actual prom just so they can get killed off faster. Does the best friend survive? What about the boyfriend? Am I spoiling it for you? Oh, she's reapplying makeup in the suite all alone. I wonder if she's a goner.

Nothing is done with the killings, the killer, or even the extravagant prom itself. You would think a night with a madman on the loose would have a little more kick to it. And a good portion of the movie happens once the prom is all done with and evacuated. Where's the night to remember? It's a shockingly flaccid affair that's like watching "The O.C." with a body count. We know who needs to be picked off, so it becomes a snore watching it all unfold in such a dull fashion. It's boring. There are more scares in the elimination episode of any reality show on TV than there is here.

We're constantly kept at a safe PG-13 rating distance away from the slaughterings, which is a tease. I understand that with the PG-13 rating the tween crowd is captured and box office numbers immediately go up, but I mean, seriously, give me some juicy stuff. There can at least be that if there aren't going to be any frights. Try a couple participating in their prom night deflowering when, gasp, here's the killer. Or, let me slip out of this dress, and oops, there’s my boob. Or, at least some gore, please. Without it, the killings are confusing and irritating to watch because all the killer does is leer and lunge. The most excitement came from when each time somebody opened up one of the hotel room closets, the wire hangers clanged ominously together. Boo!

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