3.08.2009

Prom Night (2008): High School Slasher, from the creators of High School Musical


Mediocre never looked so good!

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard the droning disco music of a dying seventies era—“prom night.. bumbumbumbump…everything is all right… bumbumbumbump.” Well, maybe I’m the only one that remembers the on-the-nose, musical charm of the original Prom Night, but I’m certainly not the only one who remembers a completely different movie than the “remake” directed by Nelson McCormick and scripted by J.S. Cardone.

I finally got around to watching this film because all my other movie options were longer than 90 minutes. The brevity of this film is appreciated, as well as the snappy editing that tried to fool me into believing Michael Bay had something to do with this film. I didn’t see a Platinum Dunes logo, did I? Prom Night is one of those formulaic, teen slashers that is not only numbed to a blood-shy PG-13 rating, but executed like a shotty 300-knockoff. With speed ramp effects, necessary jump cuts (so that we don’t have to endure the pain of watching the action in between the edits), and a hard contrasty look, you’d think the cinematographer and director thought they were shooting a music video. Of course, I can see how this would be confusing with the ever-so-persistent pop soundtrack.


And this is our cast...

Good-looking 20-somethings (I mean teenagers) populate the film and discuss the usual best-time-of-our-lives/I-can’t-believe-it’s-all-ending dialogue that we have come to expect. And the other predictable dialogue that we are used to from the Final Girl: “I have a bad past, my parents are dead, I’m taking pills because of my problems, I’m having nightmares, I can’t forget what happened that fateful night, but tonight, I’m going to just have fun.” The most amusing aspect of the build-up to prom is just how big of a deal this event appears to be. Donna, the lead, is doing the girl thing of course and getting all pretty for her date, but her godparents are talking up prom as though it were the equivalent of graduation or even marriage.

As for the horror, the kills are pretty tame as anticipated. A lot of the action takes place off screen and the on-screen deaths are handled through cutaways/reactions. The miraculous thing about the world of Prom Night is that corpses don’t bleed. Yup. After multiple stab wounds, you’d think that at least a small pool of blood would collect under the body. Nope.

They do this a lot.

Here’s another mystery. The DVD I watched was allegedly Unrated. I’m thinking that there is no difference between the PG-13 and Unrated versions, other than the addition of some dialogue. A ploy by the studio to make more money upon DVD release? Oh well, I don’t think it’d matter.

All in all, it’s not terrible, but it’s certainly not good. It’s decent on a technical level, despite some patchy sound work. Artistically, the acting works well enough (I actually felt kind bad for Ronnie—the token horror movie black guy), the direction is capable, and the screenplay is hopelessly unoriginal. Then again, what did you expect?

4 comments:

  1. I got the soundtrack on compact disk.

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  2. sweet, you'll have to rip it on to your comp so i can put it on my ipod...oh wait i don't have one :(

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  3. As much as the "disco-lights-through-a-fog-filter" look of the original nauseates me, I'd rather watch the original again than this remake. Seriously…has there ever been a more useless heroine than Brittany Snow in this movie? Personally, I’m all about Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II.

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