DIRECTED BY NELSON McCORMICK
STARRING: BRITTANY SNOW, SCOTT PORTER, JESSICA STROUP, DANA DAVIS, COLLINS PENNIE, KELLY BLATZ, JAMES RANSOME, BRIANNE DAVIS, JOHNATHON SCHAECH and IDRIS ELBA
Perhaps I’m not well-suited to analyse ‘Prom Night’, the slasher film it’s supposed to be. Or perhaps I shouldn’t be writing this review at all citing insufficiency if not an alien premise, for I didn’t happen to quite find one. I was always under the impression that horror flicks are straight-ended vehicles for tomfoolery where the intention was to tie some third-tier acting talent into a predictable plot with limited locations and decent camerawork topped by a fair editing job. The weekend box-office could gobble it all and maybe throw-up when it’s too late and the film had romped home with a positive margin on a trashcan budget.
‘Prom Night’, I thought, tried to be sensible at the expense of major detail. If you thought the prison-break is preposterous, it was just the beginning. Reminds one of the age-old tales of a murderer at large and the paranoia induced – well, that’s not quite the case either over here. The writer mixes unseemly schoolroom rivalries, as is the cliché, into a plot that’s been jumpstarted from the beginning with the man on the move. The very idea of the promenade becomes questionable and the film could have ended even before it began, with the entire school sitting in the lobby surrounded by a S.W.A.T. team while the psycho goes to work on the maid he just killed. You’d only have to title it differently, for it’d be a hunger strike in one’s quest for life.
If you think my lines don’t make sense, it’s because I think the same of the making of the film in the first place. Other than the box-office excuse, of course.
Please don’t consider this to be my assault on horror films on the whole as much as I would like you to. I’ve never appreciated a good scare, perhaps because there can never be one. But then again I guess that’s the only reason why I was able to watch through the lengths of this film – because there were none. Come on, mirror tricks? The dream-reality drift? Consider that I even forgive the writer for ‘engineering’ the stupidest sort of prison-break ever. What’s left is at least a plot that’s intact, with a psycho in its midst who could be made into a Hannibal Lecter, if only he had the direction. A little more empowerment could have made sense as opposed to the dunderhead we’re dealing with, even though he succeeds to rip the girl’s life to pieces in a one-night spree.
Donna Keppel (Brittany Snow) stands without parents and sibling and a recent Boyfriend. To break-up is one, but to find him dead in bed next to her? The psyche is barely explored, can one even fathom to put forth the mind-set, let alone neglect it altogether just to make her look pretty? What of the previous experience? Does she sink into it, or does she retaliate? No, she grows out of it! If that’s not enough outrageousness, there can be nothing else. Except maybe how the aunt and uncle let the girl take her Boyfriend to spend the night with her when the ideal case would be to keep her within sight – after all, it’s just the night’s experience (as agrees the film’s title).
The film confirms my belief that horror flicks are an idiot’s effort to come out intelligent. And needless to say, only he can champion his cause, if there’s ever been any.