These days, genuinely good horror movies are hard to come by, especially if they’re rated PG-13. This seems to be the biggest problem with an otherwise entertaining new movie entitled “Prom Night.”
This horror flick is loosely based on the 1980 film of the same name. This modern version centers around Donna (Brittany Snow), a high school senior trying to get over her family’s murder at the hands of an obsessed teacher.
Three years have passed since the murders and Donna is getting ready for her prom. At the same time, the crazed killer has escaped the mental hospital and is out to claim what he sees as rightfully his.
The plot is simple enough and is easy to follow. The director Nelson McCormick, previously known for directing various episodes for popular television shows such as “House” and “Prison Break,” keeps the tone of the film even throughout.
From the opening scene, there is a sense of suspense that is kept throughout the entirety of the relatively short movie. The characters are interesting, although greatly underdeveloped. These are all positive points, but they do not make this a good movie. The most apparent reason for this is the movie’s lack of commitment to being a horror movie.
The murder scenes are too anticlimactic and there are times when it looks like the killer is softly smothering his victims while he is supposed to be stabbing them. It is said that gore does not make a good movie, but it could’ve definitely made this one more memorable.
Another problem with the murder scenes is the editing, which consists of fast cuts and cliché suspenseful music. This does not make a scene scary or suspenseful; it actually kills all the momentum that was building.
Brittany Snow does her best with what she is given and gives an emotional performance, nothing Oscar-worthy, but decent. Her friends, though, are not given an ounce of personality and do not illicit any emotion from the audience during threatening scenes.
There is also a “detective,” if you want to call him that. He goes through the entire police handbook of what not to do in a situation like the one he’s in. His character adds nothing to the movie and becomes annoying towards the end. With all these missteps, the movie could’ve still worked, since the premise is interesting enough and the direction was not bad. If only the studio had decided to take a chance and make it R-rated so the “crazed killer” could really have some fun, and maybe in turn the audience would too.
This film fails enormously in that its murder scenes come across as comical, while the rest of the film tries to have a serious and suspenseful aura to it.