Prom Night (2008)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +1

Content: -4

Brittany Snow, Scott Porter, Jessica Stroup, Dana Davis, Johnathan Schaech, Idris Elba. Thriller. Written by J. S. Cardone. Directed by Nelson McCormick.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Donnas senior prom is supposed to be the best night of her life. But when the night turns deadly, there is only one person who could be responsible a serial killer who murdered her family. Hes escaped the asylum and seems to be determined to ruin Donnas big night by killing her and all her school chums.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Being a film reviewer and onetime teen, Ive seen my share of prom night horror flicks. Why, I can still remember my own high school prom night and my date, Freda Lugosi. But we wont go there. As for the movie, this is an update/remake. Its music is probably more to the liking of todays intended audience; otherwise, its the same old girls-running-from-madman fare weve seen for twenty-five years. Those who appreciate classic horror (The Bride of Frankenstein, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Signs) will find this calamity as blah as the 1980 version, which starred then scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis.

Surely by now everyone is finding this genre a bit hackneyed. I mean, how many times can you watch chicks in gowns running from a guy who wants to hack them to death? There are lots of faux jolts, manufactured more by the films composer than the movies boogieman, and lots of titillating tease before the pretty graduates start running and screaming. But because they are an annoying bunch, its difficult to garner much concern for the about-to-be victims. Or is that the point? Maybe were supposed to be rooting for the guy with the knife.

DVD Alternatives: The Old Dark House. Made in 1932, many a spooky movie has borrowed from this one. Great cast includes Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Gloria Stuart, and Raymond Massey. A tongue-in-cheek chiller about travelers stranded in a mysterious mansion, with Karloff as an eerie butler. Admittedly, this one is for film buffs not afraid of black-and-white.

Something newer? Signs. (2002) Farmer Mel Gibson discovers crop circles on his land. Soon the world is crawling with hostile aliens. Like Hitchcock, director M. Night Shyamalan builds tension through restraint. Its not what we see, but what we imagine that scares the Jujubes out of us. Besides being an arm-grabbing suspenseful thriller, Signs is an equally touching family drama. We get to know this broken family as they cope with the traumatic loss of a wife and mother. There is an intimacy in both script and presentation that causes us to care for these people. Added to the drama and suspense is the storys subtext about a man losing, then regaining his faith. The film also has an intriguing take concerning coincidence in our daily lives. Do things happen by chance or do they serve to develop our nature? Shyamalans film is about finding our way or finding our way back.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Screen Gems

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: There are several crude sexual comments.

Obscene Language: Four or five obscenities and a couple of minor expletives.

Profanity: Two profane uses of Gods name and three of Christs; several variations of the expression Oh my God are heard throughout.

Violence: The special effects and makeup department get to have a field day with an insane man killing countless folks, stabbing, choking, slitting of throats; some of these murders are graphically depicted, some we simply see the aftermath of dead bodies soaked in blood; the leads entire family is gruesomely murdered. Blood: Oh, yeah, a lot of blood.

Sex: There are some sexual comments matter-of-factly made by teen girls; some older men make inappropriate comments to teen girls; a couple of scenes feature teens passionately kissing.

Nudity: Some cleavage is shown in revealing formal gowns.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Teens are seen sneaking a keg of beer into a hotel.

Other: None

Running Time: 88 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens

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