Prom Night (2008) Movie Review
Written By: SN
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Nelson McCormick
Producers: Toby Jaffe, Neal H. Moritz
Writer: J.S. Cardone
Date Released: April 11, 2008
Brittany Snow as Donna Keppel
Scott Porter as Bobby
Jessica Stroup as Claire
Dana Davis as Lisa
Collins Pennie as Ronnie
Kelly Blatz as Michael
Idris Elba as Detective Winn
James Ransone as Detective Nash
Johnathon Schaech as Richard Fenton
Rating = 2 /5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Prom Night (2008), a remake of a 1980 movie of the same title, is set during the prom night of senior high school students in the upper-middle class of Bridgeport. Three years after witnessing the death of her family, Donna Keppel (Brittany Snow) is once again haunted by her former teacher-turned-stalker after he escaped from prison. The local police was notified of escape which prompted Detectives Winn (Idris Elba) and Nash (James Ransone) head out to tell Donna’s aunt & uncle while she was at the prom. Unbeknownst to them, her stalker, Richard Fenton (Johnathon Schaech), was already a few steps ahead of them. With a new look, a few stolen identities, and a knife, he is more determined to get Donna this time.
Five minutes into the movie, the viewers are already treated to three dead bodies, one of which was seen by the protagonist getting stabbed multiple times. The film also has more creatively shot murder sequences. Throughout the film, it features more stabbings, dead bodies, and blood spewing on a clear surface after one clean sweep with a knife (ah, the classic shot we all look for at a slasher).
The Grave Review
Unlike any other slasher film, the viewers already know who the killer is in Prom Night (2008). This is a refreshing take on the genre as it already takes out the traditional climax (reveal of the killer), and gives way to build more tension on the actual murder and cessation.
That being said, the progression was pretty fast-paced and director McCormick wasted no time in dull conversations and got straight to the killings (the stabbings start literally two minutes after the opening credits). The killing sequences were also beautifully shot. McCormick used the over-the-top details of the prom setting (including a glass dance floor complete with a DJ and posh suites for the students) to his advantage and experimented with different camera angles and played with lights and shadows that resulted in more dramatic than terrifying murder scenes.
Both Snow and Elba were also commendable in playing their characters. Snow was believable as an anxiety-ridden teen and Elba could almost pass as a real detective. It also consists of impressive supporting cast ensemble.
McCormick did not shy away from throwing in a few good jump scares too, which were all perfectly timed just like when Donna realizes she was hiding in the same closet where her killer was hiding from the police. Another one would be the chase scene between Lisa and Fenton. After she recognizes Fenton at the elevator, Lisa runs down to warn Donna but is trapped by Fenton on a deserted floor under construction. In classic killer hide and seek fashion, Donna tries to be quiet as she creeps to her escape but is instead surprised by a flock of birds. Where did the birds come from? No one knows. An open window? Maybe.
Perhaps another thing that left us wondering by the end of the movie was how did Fenton find out about Donna’s prom and its whereabouts? The film really didn’t show the process where he tracked down Donna except for the dead body in his stolen car whose identity he stole in order to check in at the same hotel wherein her prom was held.
What this all boils down to is that Prom Night (2008) somehow took the simplest of horror movie story line devoid of the essentials from a character that we can get behind to horror, gore and violence; basically it lacks frights of any variety. It is less than a rewarding horror movie. Even the new generation will find the film not that entertaining as it just fails when it comes to delivering horror.
Because of the above reasons, Grave Reviews gives the Prom Night (2008) two graves out of five graves.
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