Prom Night (2008) - Unrated Version

Genre(s): Drama / Horror / Thriller
Screen Gems || Unrated - 89 minutes - $28.96 || August 19, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-08-18


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Nelson McCromick
Writer(s): J.S. Cardone (written by)
Cast: Brittany Snow, Scott Porter, Jessica Stroup, Dana Davis, Collins Pennie, Kelly Blatz, James Ransone, Brianne Davis, Jonathan Schaech, Idris Elba


Theatrical Release Date: April 11, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Director & Cast Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Alternate Ending
  • Gag Reel
  • Bridgeport High Vikings Video Yearbook
  • A Night to Remember: The Making of Prom Night
  • Profile of a Killer
  • Gothic Spaces: Creating the Pacific Grand Hotel
  • Prom Night Photo Album Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

ďThis is getting silly. Enough already.Ē No, this isnít some witty line from a critic, it comes from the script itself and that sums the entire picture up quite nicely if you ask me.

Three years ago, Donna Keppelís (Snow) family was brutally murdered by Mr. Fenton (Schaech), who became obsessed with the teen and wanted to kill anyone who may in between the them. If that wasnít bad enough, Donnaís mother was killed right in front of her eyes as she hid underneath the bed. Fenton was put on trial by found not guilty by reason of insanity and was sentenced to a maximum security mental facility.

Well, back to current day and Donna has made progress. She was taken in by her aunt and uncle and is preparing for a night of fun for... PROM NIGHT! What could go wrong? Unfortunately for her, of all the luck, Fenton escapes from the facility and you can guess where heís headed. Of course, his escape went unnoticed for three days and now Detective Nash (Ransone) must rush to find out whether Fenton is still after Donna.

Meanwhile, inside the Pacific Grand Hotel, where the hot prom shin-dig is taking place, Donna is enjoying her time with boyfriend Bobby (Porter) and best friends Michael (Blatz), Claire (Stroup), Ronnie (Pennie) and Lisa (Davis). The group also has a nice room in the hotel, where the couples can get some... alone time. Well, you all know what happens in horror movies with numerous 1-dimensional characters, right? Letís just say it was pretty laughable knowing exactly what was going to happen as they make their trip up.

Iíve probably stated numerous times how I loathe the barrage of horror remakes (Asian and American) like One Missed Call or When a Stranger Calls, two movies I absolutely found abysmal. And yet, a movie comes along to yet again change the game, and not in a good way. And while it is not a direct remake in the same vein (this one has nothing to do with the Jamie Lee Curtis version), Prom Night still is one boring movie with substandard acting and a story that unfolds with no surprises and absolutely no suspense or even drama. Some horror movies, like the Saw series, show the massacre up close and personal, while others (known more as thrillers), leave the killings to the audienceís imagination (like some of Alfred Hitchockís movies), but Prom Night fails to deliver in either fashion. The on-screen murders are simple but not shocking in the least and the oneís off screen arenít at all suspenseful.

Honestly, now thinking about this film several hours later, there is no one thing or reason why this film fails at just about every juncture. While I didnít think Brittany Snow was particularly brilliant, the material doesnít allow her to do much else other than to scream (though one need not to look further than Jamie Lee Curtis to see you can deliver a fine performance while screaming); and the supporting cast are merely there as fresh bodies ready for a killing. And then thereís the killer himself, played by Jonathan Schaech, is neither menacing nor even remotely scary.

I guess the biggest culprit is J.S. Cardoneís screenplay. The man behind such classics as The Forsaken and The Covenant delivers a screenplay void of emotion or three-dimensional characters. He uses nearly every horror clichť in the book and made me notice so many things that I normally let slide in other horror films. For instance, how does a normal bodied man like Fenton disappear from a room without making a sound... and with a dead body??? Iím all for suspension of disbelief, but those moments (and there was more than one), was too much for me to ignore.

Prom Night is just an all around bad movie with nothing going for it. Snow is very cute but that only goes so far. I canít believe Iím saying this, but this movie actually makes the snooze-fest When a Stranger Calls look half decent.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Sony has put together an adequate amount features, all, except for one, presented in either non-anamorphic widescreen or full frame.

First up is a pretty good commentary track with director Nelson McCormick and stars Brittany Snow and Jonathan Schaech. The track isnít as lively as Iíd hoped, but everyone provides a little info about the production or other on-set stories. I think it wouldíve been great if they got the high school students together for a track on their own.

Five deleted scenes (4:55) and a dumb alternate ending (0:35) have also been provided, but in the case of the ending, itís not that different except for an extra line by the killer before the cut to black.

Next are several featurettes: A Night to Remember: The Making of Prom Night (12:48) which is your basic Ďmaking-ofí featuring interviews with the cast and crew about how this wasnít a remake of the Jamie Lee Curtis classic, etc. Profile of a Killer (5:59) centers the creation of the (bland) serial killer and the influences. Gothic Spaces: Creating the Pacific Grand Hotel (4:47) is about the set design of the hotel where most of the film takes place. Finally, Prom Night Photo Album: Real Prom Stories from the Cast (6:12) is probably the most interesting as you get to hear prom stories from yesteryear (the nervousness, dates, etc) and features stories from the cast and crew.

Thereís also the Bridgeport High Vikings Video Yearbook (5:29) which was featured in the movie, the theatrical trailer (2:19) (in widescreen) and a TV Spot (0:18).

The disc also has previews for other Sony titles: Quarantine, The House Bunny, Lakeview Terrace, 21, Zombie Strippers, Resident Evil: Degeneration, Vantage Point, Made of Honor, You Donít Mess With the Zohan, Starship Troopers 3, 88 Minutes, Redbelt, Walk Hard, 30 Days of Night, I Know Who Killed Me and Persepolis.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

The picture isnít anything that noteworthy on this disc. It is presented in anamorphic widescreen with a 2.40 OAR. Overall, it looks clean enough but itís a fairly dark picture to nothing will really pop out.

I donít know if it was just me, but the Dolby Digital 5.1 track actually sounded pretty weak at times. Even during those moments of ďsuspenseĒ, it was all too quiet all around. It does seem the audio couldíve been stronger.



.::OVERALL::.

While Iíll give credit to Prom Night for being just another remake, it still doesnít mean this is an entertaining flick. In fact, and this is saying a lot, this is easily one of the worst movies Iíve seen in 2008. The story is ridiculous beyond belief and the villain is so bland and uninteresting that he brings down the rest of the film with him. But my biggest gripe with this movie is it just isnít scary or thrilling. In the commentary and featurettes, director McCormick compared this to modern classics like Silence of the Lambs and Se7en... Yeah, OK.