J.s Cardone

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Prom Night Review


Unbearable
Many prom nights are filled with over-the-top spectacle, excitement and an air of anxious mystery. Director Nelson McCormick's Prom Night is not. Its story of teens being stalked by a crazy ex-teacher is a miscolored paint-by-numbers movie that lacks suspense, thrills or any semblance of horror. How could you botch the classic setup of a crazy man obsessed with a young woman, predictably the only girl left alive in the end (the Final Girl for the horror buffs)? It's easy, just don't care.

Even if McCormick would have done a verbatim, shot-for-shot remake of the sub-par 1980 film of the same name (cough, Haneke), this Prom Night remake would have a stood more of a chance. Instead, McCormick tries to drum up scares through loud noises associated with mirrors, plastic tarps, and lamp shades, making inanimate objects more terrifying than the killer. The movie is driven by these red herring scares and any gore from the murders, which seems to be the only horror that excites these days, is done off-screen. That's not to say that buckets of blood would have saved this movie, but the one time that you actually sit up and take notice is when blood is splattered against a plastic construction tarp -- the only 30-second shot McCormick might have been awake while directing.

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The Covenant Review


Unbearable
If nothing else, The Covenant is a testament to successful -- albeit misleading -- advertising. From the trailers, The Covenant looks like a sexy supernatural thriller, a cross between The Craft and The Lost Boys, about four attractive young men -- born from a family of witches -- with extraordinary powers, who must confront an ancient rival right before their 18th birthday. Pretty cool, huh?

Upon father investigation, we learn the MPAA rated The Covenant PG-13 for "intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, sexual content, partial nudity and language." What more can you ask for in a guilty pleasure? With alleged intense action, sex appeal, and supernatural qualities, The Covenant just has to be a treat for the senses--right?

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Outside Ozona Review


OK
What happens on those lonely west Texas roads in the dead of night? All sorts of derring-do, as it turns out! Outside Ozona is surprisingly lively fare despite its B-movie aspirations, telling a tale of intersecting lives-on-the-highway. The characters include a warm-hearted trucker, a Navaho woman taking her grandmother to see the Gulf, a white-trash couple making a new start, and a pair of bickering sisters en route cross-country. Oh, and a serial killer. Not terribly entertaining, but moderately fun to watch.

The Forsaken Review


Grim
Reworking an old genre is one evil beast of burden. It takes a skilled scriptwriter and a clever director to make a tired genre plausible once again. Alas, both the writer and the director fail miserably with the forgettable vampire farce The Forsaken -- an annoying one-two-three punch of crappy acting, shoddy scriptwriting, and poor direction.

Sean (Kerr Smith), a struggling film editor for a B-movie studio, heads out onto the road from LA to deliver a vintage Mercedes and attend his sister's wedding in Florida. Along the way, he picks up Nick (Brendan Fehr), a hitchhiker with a lame beard who sweats profusely and holds a hidden agenda. During a rest stop, Sean and Nick pick up a dazed girl named Megan (Izabella Miko), an apparent vampire victim who was left for dead by a nightcrawler gang roaming the countryside.

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