Rob Zombie’s Halloween reboot was a lurid disappointment, perhaps because the source material was practically untouchable. Still, that one’s worth a look as Zombie’s a dynamite filmmaker even if Malcom McDowell should have had tobacco shoved into his gob as he’s chewing the scenery so egregiously.
The original Prom Night is a very minor classic in the horror cinema canon. So murdering it beyond dental record recognition is not as much of a biggie.
And make no mistake, this Prom Night remake is pretty bad. [Check out our podcast comparing the two movies]
It’s no surprise director Nelson McCormick is a veteran of NYPD Blue and Criminal Minds, as this one has the trappings of mainstream police procedural all over it. There’s even a MacGuffin in the form of a shawl worn by one of the deceased that has sentimental meaning that comes into play later, and also features poor Idris Elba (Stringer Bell, The Wire) as a local police detective.
Instead of the “accidental” death from the first movie, teen Donna (Brittany Snow) returns home to find her brother murdered and a maniac dispatching her mom while she cowers under the bed.
She’s raised by an auntie and uncle and the film flash forwards three years and Donna still has PTSD and pops pills to cope with the torment.
The bad girls are indistinguishable from the primped and pampered good girls, as the alphas from both groups vie for the title of Prom Queen.
All the while, the usual horror staple (the escaped mental patient) drives the plot and knives into bodies.
Instead of a high school, this prom is set in a fancy-pants hotel with some of the worst security measures imaginable including room swipe cards that read “master” for room service staff. Though not as ridiculous as the first Prom Night, there are still some age-related howlers including a trio of girls getting hit on by men that look like their contemporaries who they find old and creepy. Hey, better to look like college freshmen than grad students, if you’re going to cast a prom movie.
Unnecessary and not even the saving grace of copious nudity.
** (out of 5)