Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Movie Review: Prom Night (2008)

 It's a rarity when you have a PG-13 movie these days. People are so eager to amp up the sex and violence just get an R-rating and it's so desperate to me. As I said before, I'm not the biggest gorehound or don't particularly care for sex and nudity in horror films. To me, horror should rely on suspense and playing with your fears. But when a certain movie seems to be lacking that, there's really nothing to fall back on. In the mid to late 2000's, there have been a few PG-13 teen horror films that have been lackluster at best. And it's only a marketing ploy for teens and tweens to ramp up the box office. Prom Night is one of those movies. It became sort of a trend when movies that happen to have the same name, the same plot, the same idea of a decade old horror film yet is a completely different movie. This didn't have to be named Prom Night but people were so eager to make comparisons anyway. When there really shouldn't be. Okay to make this quick, it did have a promising opening scene, Brittany Snow does at least try to put in a good performance with special mention going to the very sexy Idris Elba, and it did have one good suspenseful chase scene. But all that doesn't make up for a terrible script and Prom Night ends up being a run-of-the-mill forgettable teen horror film.
The Story: Typical ordinary teenager Donna experiences a night of terror and tragedy when her family is murdered right before eyes at the hands of her psychotic teacher Mr. Fenton, who is infatuated with her. Years later at the eve of her Senior Prom, the past comes back to haunt her, literally, when the mentally unbalanced Mr. Fenton, who just escaped from prison, begins hunting down her friends one by one.

The acting wasn't bad, it was more average to passable if you ask me. The actors were good with what they were given, although the character development seemed to be lacking. Okay, in the original the characters weren't what I call nice but at least they were a lot interesting than our main cast here. They're just so...bland. And I will use that very often.

Brittany Snow as Donna was one of the actors that at least tried. And although it's not one of her strongest efforts, she gives an acceptable performance.

The character of Donna I could fall back on because She's the only character with any proper character development. I get that she went through a traumatic ordeal but if the filmmakers would've went further through that and how it deeply affected her I think the movie would've been slightly better for it, instead of some cheap plot point to add story to the script.

There could be more to Donna, however, she's nothing more than a typical final girl.

Johnathan Schaech as Mr. Fenton was mostly forgettable. Okay, just to get this out of the way, Johnathan Schaech is a very sexy man but he is totally miscast in this role. The filmmakers could've cast someone more intimidating, more scary. Maybe having a less attractive actor would've help too.

On top of that, Mr. Fenton has a terrible disguise. He just strolls in his killing spree, with a hat and a knife. Really? Really? And what makes it worse, the police are totally oblivious to this guy who only wears a hat. Do you see how stupid and convoluted this movie is? If they would've went with the ski mask-all black ensemble, I could totally buy that. But the whole Joe Schmoe-with-a-hat is what they went with. This has got to be one of the lamest horror villains in slasher history. Not crafty, not clever, yet he can still outsmart the cops.

Speaking of cops, we have Idris Elba as Detective Winn. This is one of Idris Elba's notable early roles and he does a good job, not much is given in his part but he does his best. As far as the character of Detective Winn, he is surely incompetent. Him and his entire police force are probably the dumbest law enforcement I've ever witnessed. And as much of the slasher movies I've seen, that's saying something. Gosh! These guys are useless. Of course, Detective Winn comes in and saves the day but it doesn't get him off the hook at being horrible at his job.

Okay, I'm going to run through Donna's friends. Since there is no character development, this will be easy peasy:

First we have Donna's very hot handsome boyfriend Bobby but with good looks, there is no personality. He is so bland I can't even have a full description of him.

Then we have Claire played by Jessica Stoup, who was last seen in the horrible The Hills Have Eyes 2, has nothing to work with here. She does seem to have promise as an actress but for all I've seen her in she is given wasteful material which indeed wastes her talent.

The sexy Kelly Blatz is also mishandled as Claire's disgruntled boyfriend and throughout the movie that's all the couple do is bicker like a married couple. Kelly Blatz, to be honest, isn't really that strong of an actor but at least he's cute, right?

Lisa and Ronnie played by Dana Davis and Collins Pennie are the cute high school couple who decides to consummate their love on Prom Night but since this is a slasher movie, you know what happens.

There are actually two scenes I found suspenseful. First, there is the opening scene that shows some promise, though, it could've been done better.  Lisa's chase scene was actually well done but nowhere near as thrilling as the 1980 original. That's all I got, the rest of the movie pretty much falls flat.
How does one make a PG-13 slasher movie? No really I want to know. I....just don't know what to say. Now this is what I call an unnecessary horror remake and it just gets worse further down the line in the coming reviews. As a whole this is a pretty shitty movie that has nothing to offer. It's a typical bubblegum pop teeny-booper slasher film that tries to be hip, but failing miserably. As a verdict, I will go with the Jamie Lee Curtis original. To be fair the 1980 film, may not be up to par with Halloween or Friday The 13th, though at least it has the right ingredients of a great slasher and at least it's ENTERTAING. But this is a waste of time and a terribly written mess.
My Last Word: The original is way more of a night to remember than this forgettable trash.


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