An attractive cast of young performers lead by Brittany Snow (Hairspray) is the main selling point for Prom Night, a remake of the 1980 Canadian slasher film starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Snow makes for a capable lead as the sole survivor of her family’s massacre at the hands of an obsessed teacher (Jonathan Schaech), who returns three years later to finish his campaign on the eve of her senior prom. While no one’s idea of a classic horror film, the Paul Lynch-directed Prom Night offered viewers a modest whodunit angle in between the killings; here, the villain’s identity is known from the get-go, and what’s left is a string of mechanical stalkings (which feature a surprisingly modest amount of blood) and reams of turgid teenspeak, which is handled as best as possible by Snow and her cast mates. The end result is a dull, suspense-free chiller that manages to make its mediocre source material seem inspired by comparison. Older moviegoers may note the presence of actors Idris Elba and James Ransone, both used so well on The Wire, and so thoroughly wasted here. –Paul Gaita
Stills from Prom Night (click for larger image)
Three years ago, Donna (Brittany Snow, John Tucker Must Die) watched in horror as an obsessed predator (Johnathon Schaech, That Thing You Do!) murdered her family. Tonight is her senior prom and although she’s anxious about the past, she’s excited to celebrate her future with her friends. What Donna doesn’t know is that the deranged psychopath has escaped from the asylum. He’s returned to hunt her down, intent on killing anyone who gets in his way. As the night races towards its heart-pounding conclusion, the question becomes not who will be prom queen, but who will survive the killer’s rampage.