Wednesday, August 13, 2008

REVIEW: Prom Night

Prom Night

Year: 2008
Director: Nelson McCormick
Starring: Brittany Snow, Scott Porter, Johnathon Schaech, Idris Elba, James Ransone
Distributor: Screen Gems
MPAA: Rated PG-13

Prom Night was released early this April to many horror fans. The film that was essentially a remake of the original 1980 film "Prom Night", grossed an estimated $54 million worldwide on a small budget of $20 million. I really didn't want to see Prom Night in theaters when it came out. I thought the movie looked plain stupid and not worth my time. That said, I was kind of in the mood for some horror and this was the only film that was recently just released. Ever since I saw The Strangers, I kind of got interested in the horror genre. So every now and then, I occasionally watch a horror movie or two.

Plot Outline:
Donna Keppel (Brittany Snow) is about to go to her senior prom and let herself have some fun after going through some extremely traumatic events in the past few years. She and her friends arrive at the prom, which is taking place in a grand hotel, and try and enjoy what is supposed to be the most fun night of their lives. Little does anyone know, a man from Donna's past, who has haunted her for years, is also at the prom and is willing to kill anyone that comes between Donna and him.

The story is essentially a remake of the 1980's version. The problem is that this version doesn't follow the 1980' version. Their are some little things that the two of them share, but most of the stuff from the original has been cut out. I found the films plot to be pretty useless and predictable. Its so un-original and un-bearing compared to other horror films. The fact that the villain of the film some how manages to escape through a ventilation shaft in a maxium state facility, makes the whole story pretty useless. The film's characters are also un-interesting and really dull. We also get the usual cheesy lines that have come a custom to these types of films. Prom Night is also rated PG-13 instead of the normal R rating that generally most horror films get. This results in less blood, sex, violence and scary moments that again, most horror films have. The movie is also pretty weak in terms of scary moments. I couldn't find one scene in the movie that scared me or made me jump out of my seat. How can you call this a horror/thriller movie when their is simply no scary moments in the film? Their are many more things that hamper the story of Prom Night, but I think I have said enough.

The cast for Prom Night is horrible. Brittany Snow plays as the main character of the film, Donna Keppel. Her acting isn't impressive and neither is her voice. Her screams are terrible for a horror film. She could have easily been replaced by someone else. Scott Porter plays as Donna's boyfriend, Bobby. His acting is so plain and pretty bad. I find it hilarious that his character is hardly as scared as some of the other students when they find out a killer is loose in the building. Johnathon Schaech plays as the villain of the film, Richard Fenton. His character is very dull and simply has nothing going for him. I mean who's idea was it to have the villain of the film wear some kind of baseball hate 80% of the time instead of something like a mask? We also have Idris Elba playing as Detective Winn. I cant count how many cheesy lines this guy really has. His acting is also terrible and just plain weak. Someone else could have played this part or any other roles in the movie alot better.

The visual look of Prom Night is probably the only thing good about the movie. The film's source is pretty clean which shouldn't come as a surprise considering it was released in theaters a couple months ago. Film grain isn't an issue and everything looks the way it should. Colors are nicely vibrant and somewhat eye popping. You can really appreciate the colors when the characters finally get to the prom. Black levels hold up pretty well with darker scenes being pretty inky. Detail is somewhat of a hit and miss. Their are times where the film shows a pretty good amount of detail on peoples faces. Than their are times where some scenes can look pretty soft. This is still a pretty good looking movie considering the type of film it is and its budget.

The soundtrack in Prom Night doesn't mix well. The movie hardly has a score, but it does have music. The music is a mixture of rap/hip hop and some rock. The problem is that it doesn't go well with the films mood. Its all over the place and hardly used when needed. The film is mostly dialogue driven so we don't get much music. The films bass is mostly on the downside. Dynamics aren't as loud as I would have hoped for. Prom Night doesn't feature much scenes that really require much bass. What we get here seems more than enough for a film like this.

Prom Night is probably one of the worst horror films I have seen. The fact that the movie isn't really a horror flick makes it even worse. The story is un-original and not very creative. Their isn't much going on to keep you interested and keep you from switching to another movie. The cast is so dull and pretty terrible. Their wasn't one performance in this movie that surprised me or caught me off guard. The visual look for the film is mostly good with bright and vibrant colors. The soundtrack is lacking good music and suspense. I didn't enjoy this movie and thought it was pure crap. I was so close to giving it an "F" for its grade, but I think that's being alittle too harsh. Id definitely skip this movie even if your looking for a good horror film.

Grade: D-


Mitch Harper said...

Completely agree Farzan. This thing was a total wreck from start to finish. I was a sucker and paid $8 when this thing was in theaters. Yuck.

2/10 would be my rating.

Jaccstev said...

If I could give this film a real rating, it would likely be in the minus numbers. While I respect the fact that somebody has to keep making these terrible "horror" films, but seriously, buying a ticket for this film is a waste of money you could be spending on something far more worth your time.
P.S: I prefer to watch some good and scarifying Asian horrors.

Matt Cyganik said...

Being that I'm not a professional movie critic that gets free passes all the time, Prom Night is the kind of cheese I and my buddy Mike sneak into after paying for a "respectable" movie.

I can't remember if I gave it a D or D-. It wasn't a straight F, Lord knows why not, but very close to it. It's so terrible I refuse to discuss it any further.

Your review was 7x better than the movie itself.