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Review: Prom Night

Borrowing the title as well as a few plot elements from the 1980 original, Prom Night turns out to be a case against retreads which have long past their prime, writes Rashid Irani.

movie reviews Updated: Aug 25, 2008 16:54 IST
Rashid Irani

Prom Night
Cast: Brittany Snow, Jonathan Schaech
Direction: Nelson McCormick
Rating: *

It’s been seen, heard and suffered before. Almost three decades after the trendsetting Canadian slasher flick and its sequels, comes this scare-free update. Borrowing the title as well as a few plot elements from the 1980 original, Prom Night turns out to be a case against retreads which have long past their prime.

In fact, how we wish that we were re-watching the teenage Jamie Lee Curtis and her classmates grapple with a sadistic stalker as they prepare for their high-school prom. This time around, the slice-and-dice formula is neither suspenseful nor marginally involving.

Disappointingly, stalwart TV director McCormick doesn’t quite know what to do with the plethora of cardboard characters. In the process, he makes a royal mess of the storyline revolving around the trauma faced by a blonde student (Snow). She had witnessed the murder of her family by a psychopath teacher (Schaech), infatuated with her.

Three years on, seemingly recovered from her trauma, our Blondie and her friends celebrate their graduation at a swanky downtown hotel. So far, so safe.

Then, in a spectacular piece of coincidence (discourtesy scriptwriter J S Cardone), her brutal tormentor escapes from incarceration, fetches up at the hotel and hacks unsuspecting victims with his hunting knife. Meanwhile, an ineffectual police force strives to contain the carnage.

A slew of horror devices assail our senses. The stray moments that are meant to startle us out of our stupor are either too lame or heavy-handed. The wannabe chiller relentlessly resorts to crude tactics, murky ligting schemes and an overdramatic soundtrack. As for the performances, they are uniformly mediocre. Suggestion: skip this one.

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