Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Night A Dull Sad Teen Will Remember: Prom Night (2008)

Prom Night (USA/Canada, 2008)
Rating: *
Starring:  Brittany Snow, Scott Porter, Jessica Stroup

I can forgive re-imaginings like House of Wax (2005)Black Christmas (2006) and, hell, let's throw in Child's Play (2019) for good measure as, despite basically bearing little to no connection to their respective originals, they were at least entertaining, twisted and overall simplistic fun as gory "namesake" bodycounters. It's not for everyone, true, but I find these as real gems for how daringly alternative they are from the very property they're trying to reboot.

The 2008 Prom Night remake tries to be an alternative, though a bland one. And that's why I hate it. Even after all of these years.

In this run, Highschooler Donna comes home one night to find her teacher Mr. Fenton murdering her family, only escaping his wrath when he hears the cops closing in, forcing him to book it. He gets captured eventually and thrown into the loonie bin as he's revealed to be dangerously obsessed with Donna, snapped into murdering that night when the family filed a restraining order against him for being a creep.

Three years later, Donna's prom is just a few hours away and she hopes this one night of fun with her boyfriend Bobby and her loyal gal pals will be enough to help her finally move on from that terrible night. But of course, shit's about to go South fast as the local police just got word that Fenton has broken out of his asylum and very likely has plans on pursuing lil' ol' Donna.

Sure enough, bug-eyed Fenton is there at prom, disguised (if you call it that) and going teary-eyed whenever he spots his little prey being happy without him. It ain't long before the psycho starts slashing through all those that stand in his way until he has his "love" all to himself.

Even if we ignore the fact that Prom Night (2008) is a reboot of the original 1980 Canadian cult classic of the same name, the resulting movie is still a far cry from being an entertaining "dead teenager" film, the blame of it going on the fact that this is a fucking PG-13 production; it has zero thrills and suspense to speak of as the film more or less shot itself on the foot by introducing to us the killer way early into the film, so now we know damn well who's out killing people and why he's doing this. The whole stalk-and-stab gag also goes stale real fast seeing major of the murders are repetitive stabbing, taking place in the exact same room with little to none bloodshed to be seen. Seriously, it's one dumb kid (or a random staff) to the next, walking into an empty room for one damn reason to another, only to be stabbed to death by a boring lovesick killer. Did I forget to mention that the scares are also reduced to repetitive predictable jump/false scares, too?

Dialogue is apparently scripted to aim at young teenagers, more so girls with the movie's highschool teen drama sub-plotting so hardly anything that engaging unless you're a 12-year old tween. The noticeably teen-mag beautiful talents involved for the teen characters (and killer) also doesn't help dissuade this point, but at least said talents were competent to a forgiving degree.

Any good bits to point would be that it is at least shot and edited slickly but, at the bottom of it all, Prom Night (2008) is just a dull, inoffensive and unoriginal drag. If it wasn't for the existence of another terrible slasher "remake" (*cough*April Fools Day (2008)!*cough*), this film would have been hands-down the stinker of this sub-genre. Back away from this one if you know what's good for you.

1 male found stabbed on the throat
1 boy found stabbed to death
1 female knifed to death
1 male had his throat cut
1 female stabbed to death with a dagger
1 male stabbed to death with a dagger
1 male strangled, later found with throat cut
1 male found dead from a throat cut
1 female had her throat cut with a dagger
1 male found stabbed on the neck
1 male found with his throat cut
1 male found stabbed, bleeding dead from wound
1 male shot dead
Total: 13

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