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Prom Night (2008)

Directed by Nelson McCormick    Written by J.S. Cardon

  Between the excitement I presently contain to attend next week’s prom at Texas Frightmare and having recently done a review in which Cardone’s name was present, I figured might as well do a prom movie. No, not the awesome 1980 version that has the wonderful Jamie Lee Curtis in it. Why? Well because anyone who has seen it can understand the reason it is seen as a classic. And if you’ve seen it and don’t get it, this could possibly be the type of Prom Night you were looking more forward to. But alas, the 2008 version does not have anything to do with the former. Maybe the fact that the not so clever title made some folks think it was simply another rebooted movie made to shatter your dreams, like they all do. But that’s not the case so stop being bias like that. It was bad all on its own for all types of reasons which was unfortunate because McCormick did do a good job of directing it. The story itself, meaning not even glancing at the dialogue, was believable. It just came together wrong, B for effort, D for execution.

  We are first shown the tragic past of our heroine Donna played by Brittany Snow. In what appears to be the classic tale of pretty student/ psychotic teacher who wanted to be “together forever”…that’s all. Well that route worked better in Fear and trouble is that when you do throw in the dialogue as well as the actors playing the group of friends it becomes less realistic, more of finding yourself back in high school, hating these exact types. Hard to feel sympathy for characters whose biggest problems are boyfriends being jerky and “On top of that, I have killer cramps.”

  Now if your a sissy (no, not Spacek) then there are one or two scenes that are worth a half shoulder shrug. Nothing too major throughout the film. While a completely ridicules movie I suppose the rich crowd deserved their own take at scaring their kind. Except that the film delves too far into some fantasy aspect and makes it feel like we’re watching Laguna Beach: Serial Killer edition. Fantasy aspect meaning who can actually say that their prom was in any way like the one portrayed? It was even a “hot topic” in that the head of the prom committee spent 100,000 over budget and her father had to write out a check to make up the rest; SCANDAL!

  Cardone had a good idea with the story and the direction that they went with the movie wasn’t bad. But they should have been careful in what their story was portraying to their audience. Who was their audience? Is this something that would seem possible or contained a “real” factor that we Reel people appreciate? This film made me reminiscent of Randy from the Scream trilogy; “there’s a formula to it, a VERY SIMPLE FORMULA!” The whole thing didn’t feel very relatable and that if I had to hear “oh my gawd!” like one more time, I would have cheered for the stabbing to continue. The stabbing…if you can even call it that was horribly executed. They must have not tried in the least because there are shots in which you can’t even see a tear through the cloth and it’s the tiniest and most strategic places in which is varied. Perhaps they wanted to create a certain eeriness that the classics easily obtained but we need to just let those kind of thoughts go okay? They are classics for reasons and if you’re making a mainstream-ish kinda film then you have to give the audience a little more. Let the indie movies and my favorite duo Robert and Quentin worry about doing their takes on the oldies. That’s just me though.

          I sincerely hope that Snow hasn’t fooled me all this time and her voice is actually as annoying as portrayed. If you haven’t seen her in The Vicious Kind or the episodes of Nip/Tuck she was in, then you really haven’t seen her act as well as capable. The only other teen role I cared for was Collins Pennie. Besides that there was no reason for me to not really care of what happened to the rest of them. Playing Detective Winn was Idris Elba who was neither bad nor outstanding. The whole movie was pretty obvious as far as, everything. The teacher was played by Johnathon Schaech also having been the vampire in Cardones The Forsaken. This role was certainly a better choice for Schaech. Looking a bit too close to Manson, the teach soon finds another look following Donna and her friends to prom. Making sure it was a night to die for.