15/100 (88 min, 2008)
Plot: Donna's senior prom is supposed to be the best night of her life, though a sadistic killer from her past has different plans for her and her friends.
Brittany Snow, Scott Porter and Jessica Stroup
Kill them all. Please.
I do love horror films. All horror films - the superb ones with great atmosphere and gorgeous cinematography, the scary ones with sadistic killers and even the bad ones with stupid teenagers getting massacred on the screen. If there is one thing I object to is making a horror movie, in this case slasher flick, into PG 13 movie. That's just ridiculous. The only reason slasher flicks with teenagers as main characters are entertaining are the creative, gross and ridiculous ways in which moron by moron, they die. Prom Night is not only a bad horror film. It also continues another trend - of doing pointless remakes to the films that absolutely don't need to be remade.
The film follows Donna who couple years back witnessed her entire family being killed by a stalker, her teacher, who became obsessed with her. Since Donna is played by Brittany Snow who is ugly as sin there goes the credibility of the plot right there.Anyways the guy as blind or drunk may be is infatuated with her - why? Who knows. So he thinks it's a good idea to murder her entire family while she hides under bed and watches him do his thing. He gets caught few days later in his apartment (!), confesses (!), the jury obviously finds him insane which the lead detective can't believe in (!) and he is sentenced for life. He escapes the prison through the ceiling, apparently (!), and the lead detective finds out about his escape 3 days later (!). Yeah, that is fine script right there.
In the meantime, three years after the tragedy, Donna is having nightmares and popping pills which doesn't stop her from being excited about one of the most moronic traditions in existance - the high school prom. After few sequences that promptly brought MTV reality shows to my mind, her and her plastic friends and their plastic boyfriends arrive to the hotel in a limo to dance, kiss and enjoy being stupid together. And the killer - you guessed it. He is in the hotel too. With new brilliant plan - to kill off Donna's friends. You know. To make her love him.
I'll give this to the movie - it's so dumb that it's funny. It's really hard to chose who is dumber - the students, especially Donna who actually goes to the room alone during evacuation to recover her scarf - or the police who appear to wait for the killer in the car outside the house with no back up and don't evacuate the stupid students from the hotel immediately. God forbid something were to disturb the prom. I mean that would be actual disaster.
PG 13 rating is not the only fatal flaw here. There is usually big mystery about who the killer is - we don't know, we keep guessing, and sometimes - most recently in Scream 4 - it delivers very nice twist that makes you go "Woah, I did not see this coming". It's not much, it's a cliche, but it works - it is something memorable from the movie. It's not the victims we remember and not even final girls who are the most famous things in horrors - it's the killers. And the mystery always adds a bit to that fame. Well, in Prom Night we know who the killer is pretty much from the beginning, so there goes the mystery.
The script also attempts to add some depth to characters in hilarious ways too - an engagement ring thrown in the frame for example. See for some devices to work you need to care about the people you're watching first. Donna is stupid and annoying, her friends aren't any better. Scream 4 had Kirby, The Cabin in the Woods had Marty. Prom Night has no one we could root for. I did root for Idris Elba's detective but that's purely because as long he was in the film I kept watching for eye candy.