Prom Night Movie Review

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.

As if the exploitation of horror clichés wasn't enough, we also get all the clichés that make up a coming-of-age teen movie: "This is the best time of our lives," "This is the last time we'll be together," alcohol abuse, and prom night sex. But it's just as half-assed as the attempt at suspense. The imitation of MTV-style jump cuts, pans, and tilts on the dance floor is laughable in its inability. It's horror for The Hills generation, where extravagant dresses, shoes, self-imposed glamour, and self-importance trump scares and depth.

Like the high-gloss confetti that falls on Prom Night's dance floor, there are moments where the movie might show the flicker of pulse, but you have to be looking for it. Take, for instance, the moment in the prom-hosting hotel elevator, when 40-something business men hit on the barely legal teens. It's the epitome of the story, but it lacks any creepiness or effect and is quickly forgotten, much like the death scene where a stabbing is intercut with dance floor gyrations. The montage is poorly executed and barely happens -- only the tail end of the murder is cut with the dancing, almost by accident it seems.

It's a telltale sign when studios are remaking D-list horror flicks that the genre is in trouble. But the movie's existence is our own fault, as we continue to support trash every week at the box office. Prom Night's critical star rating means nothing to the Hollywood remake machine compared to its box office take. Where other remakes such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes elicit a sense of anger, Prom Night brings on cinematic sadness. We're one box office weekend away from a remake of Leprechaun.

Who farted?

Comments

Prom Night Rating

" Unbearable "

Rating: PG-13, 2008

Advertisement

More Brittany Snow

Hailee Steinfeld Joins 'Pitch Perfect 2': One Of The Barden Bellas?

Hailee Steinfeld is to join the cast of Pitch Perfect 2, the college singing drama sequel set for release in May next year. The 17...

2013 Teen Choice Awards: On The Red Carpet And Highlights

The 2013 Teen Choice was held last night, Sunday 11th August, at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City. The event was star studded with attendees...

'The Avengers' And 'Pitch Perfect' Became 2013 MTV Movie Awards Biggest Winners (Photos)

Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Joss Whedon and Chris Evans at MTV Movie AwardsThe 2013 MTV Movie Awards relived some of our favourite movie moments...

The People's Choice Awards Sees Success For Taylor Swift and The Wanted (Pictures)

Taylor Swift was among the big winners at the People's Choice Awards last night (January 9, 2013)Taylor Swift and The Wanted were undoubtedly the biggest...

Advertisement

Pitch Perfect Movie Review

You can call this Glee meets Mean Girls if you want to, but this riotously intelligent comedy is much better than that. With one of...

Pitch Perfect Trailer

Beca is a fairly aloof music lover who arrives at Barden University as a freshman apathetically unable to fit into any sort of clique on...

Brittany Snow's Manager Says She's An 'Over Achiever'

'Hairspray' actress Brittany Snow leaves the Japanese restaurant Katsuya in Hollywood with her manager. Outside, the photographers ask her thoughts on the Fred Willard incident...

Janie Jones Trailer

Ethan Brand is the frontman of a once successful shabby rock band who is slowly on the decline. One night, the band is preparing to...

Advertisement