Sunday, April 20, 2008

Prom Night

I hesitate to call this remake an actual remake. It shares the same name of the 1980 original, but the similarities pretty much stop there. It took director, Nelson McCormick, to take a horror movie and strip even more plot away from it. At least the original Prom Night featured the stars being haunted by their own actions in the past. The new one replaced those demons by just another psychopath.

So quickly, the movie is about Donna Keppel (Brittany Snow), who's family was killed by an obsessed teacher. He was put away, and she went to live with relatives. Flash forward a few years and she's getting ready for her senior prom. She, her date, and her friends get a room at the hotel where the event is taking place, and the night takes off. There's only one small hitch in the event signifying the end of high school- the killer has conveniently escaped. With a freshly shaved face, and donning a new baseball cap, he shows up at the hotel to rekindle his obsession (which for some reason means murder).

Now this is a little different than I remember prom being. I mean the murders certainly seem familiar, but our prom wasn't nearly as fancy. The move progresses as Donna's friends go off and get murdered one by one. There's actually a surprisingly low body count in this movie, and I'm inclined to say that the almost 30 year version was more bloody. This is a first- a remake that was tamer than the original. And taking the location out of the school and placing it into a fancy hotel kind minimized the horror of it. There's something immediately terrifying about these things taking place in a school.

All the (and I hate to it this) charm that made the original one of my favorite slasher movies is completely lost here. The murders are all the same, and pretty much happen in the same room. The prom scenes themselves, as fancy as they are, are fairly stiff and bored (One scene during a fire alarm has one girl freak out more that she lost prom queen than anything else around her).

The movie was filled horror cliches that I would normally have sworn were intentional, if I didn't know better. The figure in the mirror was used a number of times, the jumping out of the closet was used several time, and the blood splattering on the wall was used even more. In fact, the hiding under the bed with the killer in the room was not only used, but used twice.

There's just not much to say about this movie. There wasn't anything that made it overtly bad- but there was nothing that made it good either. It's like it was made on auto pilot- with the occasional unnecessarily elaborate shot (the opening aerial sequence) and pointless scene (The killing of a bell-hop). It's not terrible or good, it's just nothing. I guess not even being worth forming an opinion about doesn't speak very highly of the movie.


No comments: