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May 26, 2008 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

Film Review: Prom Night

Directed by Nelson McCornick

The reaction that I had to this movie was rather like the reaction I have to most movies of this type: If this movie were a comedy I would have loved it. Sadly, laughter doesn’t seem to be the reaction that the director of a slasher-horror is going for. So my friend and I, while still laughing of course, ended up leaving the theatre with a larger sense of disappointment.

After a predictable opening sequence we are introduced to Donna, a senior high school student whose family was murdered by an obsessed teacher. Three years on from this fatal night Donna goes to her senior prom with her boyfriend where the killer, recently escaped from prison, begins to pick off her friends one by one.

I have to give the film kudos for fitting in almost every genre scare-tactic in the book and for somehow managing to have a dead body on screen within the first two minutes. Having been given a rather pathetic villain whom we are given no reason to fear other than the fact that he has a knife and seems to be unusually quiet, hitting all the beats along the way is at least something that can amuse you. We get the bathroom killing scene, the hiding in the closet, under the bed (several times over) stealing dead-guy’s uniform in order to escape unnoticed and my personal favourite, knowing somebody’s watching you and then jumping out of your skin at what turn out to be a lamp. When it comes to convention this movie certainly delivers on cue. What’s also surprising is the editing; juxtaposition of DJs, dance floors and prom queens with bodies being slashed and stuffed into abandoned stairwells, air vents and of course bathtubs. I felt as if this should have heightened the tension and made viewers more nervous, but it served more as a way of keeping the movie surprisingly upbeat.

Perhaps difference isn’t something this film was going for, in which case thumbs up and $8 well spent. On the other hand, going to see this film with expectations of being blown away is perhaps not such a good idea.


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