Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

10 April 2008

Prom Night, dir. Nelson McCormick (2008)

NIKKI says:
Free tickets. And even that didn't make me feel any better about seeing this pile of utter monkey-drivel. It was stupid, meaningless, and made no sense whatsoever.

So, there's a school teacher obsessed with the Main Girl. He loves her and kills her family who want to keep him away from her. Then he gets insanity, gets locked up, then he escapes. He comes to get Main Girl on the night of her prom. He manages to get into the same hotel in which the prom is being held and just goes about killing everyone around the place instead of heading straight for her, which he has many opportunities to do.

Why kill her friends? They weren't keeping him from her, standing in her way, or anything. All the time he spent chasing Big Boob Blue Dress Girl in the gym area, he could have been out finding his lady-love. Was her death so necessary?

The police investigation section of the film was just hilarious. They're trying to catch a guy who is hiding in the hotel. So what do they do? Send out a major red alert and evacuate everyone from the building. Not exactly stealthy police work, really.

The most embarrassing part of that? The Main Cop asks specifically for the locations of all exits in the building. There's a 30 second scene about him asking for those things. Every other movie would just have the guy say, "Exits are manned!" I'd believe that. Instead, they take the time to make it all known, and then after the evacuation, they can't find Main Girl. Well, all the exits are manned, the cop says. BUT NO ONE THOUGHT TO PLACE A COP AT HER HOTEL ROOM!

Oh my god. They're all, where's Main Girl? And some other guy goes, "She went back up to the room." And the cops and everyone just look at each other and go, "Of course!" Well, where the fuck else would she be, you idiots!?

And then the bad guy gets away anyway, kills more people, including Main Girl's boyfriend, in her room, right near where she is in the bathroom, with people vigilant all over the house, knifed in the throat without making a sound.

Oh god, this was just TORTURE.

1/5 (The added half-point ONLY because Big Boob Blue Dress Girl was nice to look at.)

STEVE says:
John Huston once said, "Don’t remake good movies, remake bad ones!"

A good point there. After all, he was the director of the third, definitive and - pray gods - the final version of The Maltese Falcon. But good points always get lost somewhere between the Hollywood sign and the dollar sign, and here we are today, threatened with unnecessary remakes of The Thing, Fame and The Birds, still feeling the sting of Rob Zombie's Halloween and reeling from the news of a Friday the 13th remake that eschews Mrs. Voorhees as the killer and moves straight on to Jason.

But then here comes Prom Night. It seems someone has taken Mr. Huston's philosophy to heart.

We hated the original Prom Night. Boring and predictable, not even one of the true classics like Halloween and Friday the 13th, but one of the many wannabes that rode their bloody wave of success all the way to the bank. From the ridiculous opening to the obvious conclusion, we sat through every disco-tinged moment, rolling our eyes, sighing, and crying Get On With It! It seemed like an excellent candidate for a remake. Surely this new one had to be an improvement.

Not so.

Of course my expectations weren't that high, and to say they plummeted would be a gross exaggeration, but they dropped as far as they could when I saw the name Johnathon Schaech in the opening credits - he of the abysmal The Foresaken and the curiously pointless 8MM 2. (I would later look up the film's writer, J.S. Cardone, and find that he directed both of those crimes against humanity, and that he and director McCormick will next be tackling - and, one assumes, beating to death - The Stepfather.) So once again, we're sitting there from ridiculous opening to obvious conclusion, rolling our eyes, sighing, and crying Get On With It! That is, when Dana Davis wasn't on screen. I found her very distracting. I'm talking Rosario Dawson in Josie and the Pussycats distracting. That blue dress, man...

And speaking of which - I know I mentioned this before in my Pumpkin Karver review, and I don't want to sound like one of those guys, you know, whose shelves are lined with the ever-popular Girls with Low Self-Esteem DVDs or anything, but - where's the fucking nudity? I was brought up in the 80s, dammit! Blood and sex went together like Hockey Mask and Machete back then. It was the age of gratuitous violence and gore in horror movies and, yes, that included people getting killed for no other reason than having sex. That was the very basic formula for slasher films, their raison d'ĂȘtre, if you will - or if you won't! But Mssrs. McCormick and Cardone apparently felt that formula was no longer relevant and decided instead to imply the slashing - seriously, there was more blood in Knocked Up than there was in Prom Night - and cut the carnality before it even gets started.

It's because of this lame-ass, ball-less, soul-less modern horror that we now have to contend with shite from the exact opposite end of the spectrum, shite like Saw and Hostel, and this new sub-genre of torture porn or "gornography" as someone so wittily called it. If horror hadn't been watered down since the early 90s, there would have been no such backlash, and we'd still have some decent R-rated (but admittedly probably still b-grade) horror.

Granted, Prom Night sucked for so many other reasons - poor plotting, lame character development, expository dialog, impossibly stupid police, etc. - but apart from all this, I maintain that it would have sucked anyway because PG-13 horror Does Not Work.

So it seems that Mr. Huston's philosophy only extends so far. Perhaps the next remake of Prom Night will get it right.

.5/5 (I can't even give it an extra .5 for Dana Davis - the .5 I'm giving it is for Dana Davis.)

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