By Clint Morris
â€œThree years ago… a high school teacher got obsessed with a female student… He went psycho!… He’s been in a maximum security prison until three days ago.â€ â€“detective-who-got-his-badge-out-of-a-wheaties-box says to younger, dumber colleague.
Donna Keppel (Edie Falco look-a-like Brittany Snow) once witnessed her family being slaughtered by a maniac (Johnathon Schaech), but sheâ€™s a lot better these days, and the only thing on her mind is her Senior Prom. Its going to be, like, totally rad!
Little does Donna know that the chap who knocked off her family a few years earlier has just escaped from Prison. Can you guess where heâ€™s headed?
Weâ€™ve never had Prom Night in Australia â€“ instead, most of us lost our cherries in the back alley behind a nightclub, or at a Deb, which I guess is our equivalent to a Prom? â€“ and after witnessing one in full bloom, I now know why : Theyâ€™re as boring as micro-waved chippies, and the night seems to revolve around four or five kids (as it does here), forgetting about the rest of the class who have been looking forward to the evening just as much. Who wants to go to that!?
Maybe itâ€™s just â€œProm Nightâ€, the movie, thatâ€™s dull and ridiculous? Whatever the case, Iâ€™m not interested. In either.
Ten years ago we â€“ or rather Wes Craven (â€œScreamâ€) â€“ were making fun of films like this. How did we end up back up where we started? The nonsensical clichÃ©d horror films with big-breasted pimple-less beauties being chased around by homicidal maniacs (in this case, at a Prom) are suddenly all the rage again? What?
Where did all the good ideas go? When did it become a mandate in Hollywood that each and every studio must have a minimum of twelve remakes a year on their production slate?
â€œProm Nightâ€- which comes hot on the heels of the unnecessary remakes of 80s horror faves â€œThe Hitcherâ€, â€œWhen A Stranger Calls, â€œThe Texas Chainsaw Massacreâ€ and â€œThe Hills Have Eyesâ€ – does very little to disguise itself as something new and fresh. In fact it doesnâ€™t even try to be anything other than a cheap, kid-friendly version of the Jamie Lee Curtis-starring original.
If these types of films were good for anything in the 80s it was for scaring the bejesus out of us â€“ or the girl we were out on a date with (who youâ€™ll soon be hoping jumps on your knee, or grabs your arm!) â€“ and pouring buckets of corn syrup over its scantily clad cast. Not only does everyone remain dressed in Nelson McCormickâ€™s remake, they also donâ€™t get covered in blood, or nor are they killed in nifty ways. Yes, they are killed â€“ but the camera is so quick to turn from the slaughter, that you almost expect most of the cast to turn up alive in the final five minutes of the film (aâ€™la the comical moment at the end of the â€œKiss Kiss, Bang Bangâ€ where Val Kilmerâ€™s thought-dead character, Gay Perry â€“ as well as Elvis, and a bunch of other seemingly dead folk â€“ turn up alive). The film is even more of a tease than its female characters (which isnâ€™t saying much, considering the girls in the film seem to be more interested in dancing than doing it doggie-style and drinking daiquiris â€“ unrealistic or what!?). Itâ€™s insulting.
I get it, kids are the biggest cinema-going audience around â€“ but even theyâ€™ll be expecting a little more from a horror movie than a few cheesy pop tunes, a man chasing virginal teens down flights of staircases (yep, thatâ€™s about as scary as it gets), and a bunch of pretty young actors sprouting such ingenious lines as â€œIf he were any dumber, I’d have to water himâ€. If youâ€™re going to make a horror movie, you should at least have to stick within the guidelines of making a horror movie: gore, blood, scares, decapitations and genuinely suspenseful stalkings. This is just lame, tameâ€¦ and, er, Sonyâ€™s to blame.
Horror movies have always been dumb, but because thereâ€™s not a lot to keep you entertained here, the plot holes and stupidity of â€œProm Nightâ€ shines through even more â€“ thereâ€™s the cops who constantly drop their guard; the heroine, knowing too well a killer is out to get her, running back into a building thatâ€™s being evacuated; the fact that nobody seems to lock their doors or windows an therefore the killer can easily get into homesâ€¦ the list goes on. Itâ€™s laughably retarded.
Blu-Ray Details and Extras
Heaps of stuff on this beautiful-lookin’ disc – including commentaries with the director and cast, some deleted scenes, alternate ending, blooper reel, numerous featurettes, and a picture-in-picture storyboard feature which is pretty original.