Prom Night (2008)

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*. Kim Newman: “It takes a great deal to screw up utterly generic material — but the people working over The Fog and Prom Night manage it.”
*. I can think of very little to add to Newman’s judgment, except that the original Prom Night was even more generic than Carpenter’s The Fog. This is a terrible film that fails to improve, in any way, on a terrible original.
*. Instead of having at least the pretence of a mystery surrounding the killer’s identity, it’s given away right from the start. So even that tiny bit of interest is missing.
*. The original had very little gore, I think largely because they couldn’t afford it. Here I’m not sure what the problem was. Perhaps they really wanted that PG-13. I’ve heard that this is the first slasher film to ever receive such a rating. In any event, for a movie like this to cheat on every single murder, with this high a body count, is like watching a porn movie without any sex. There’s nothing else of interest. And the killer here only has a knife. That’s it!
*. You know, if you just have to get to the third floor, and you’re really in a rush, the stairs aren’t a bad option. Beats waiting for the elevator.
*. Poor Idris Elba. But damn, the man is a professional.
*. I was hoping — yes, hope springs eternal, even with only ten minutes left to go in a film as dire as this — for a clever explanation of how the killer escaped the hotel. Something along the lines of Hannibal’s escape in The Silence of the Lambs. What I got instead was the PG version of that scene. But it’s an homage that doesn’t add anything to the original.
*. I wonder how many people actually cover their own mouths when they’re trying to be quiet. I got tired of seeing Donna doing it.
*. I didn’t mind the usual slaughter of the innocents. Even the still virginal but, alas, black Lisa. But how is it that the insufferable Crissy survives? What were they setting her bitchy character up for?
*. Why on earth doesn’t Winn call for back-up when he knows the killer is at Donna’s house?
*. You could go on listing the improbabilities forever. Perhaps the most ludicrous is the way Lisa leaves the prom with her boyfriend just minutes before the announcement of the prom queen, which is the moment she’s been waiting for all night. What sense does that make?
*. I’m not wasting any more time on this one. It’s not worth it. Avoid it if you can.

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