If you’ve always wanted to experience a slasher film but really can’t stand all that icky blood and gore, then “Prom Night” is the film for you.
This remake - in name only - of the 1980 cult classic starring Jamie Lee Curtis may be one of the nicest and least bloody slasher films ever made. It’s as if Disney summoned the cast of “High School Musical” for an edgier project, with the result being a laughable, boring and stupid film that dumbs down a genre even more than the recent fiasco “When a Stranger Calls” (something I would have never imagined possible).
Brittany Snow stars as Donna, a beautiful high school senior trying to get past a horrific incident three years earlier when an obsessive teacher (Johnathon Schaech) stalked her and eventually killed her family.
Donna is about to head to Brown University, but is hoping to have one final night to remember her friends at their high school prom.
But the night takes a turn for the worse when the teacher escapes prison - intent on reuniting with Donna.
I remember watching the original “Prom Night” as a teenager and being scared to death, so I come into this film with some skepticism. That being said, it is pretty clear that this “Prom Night” can’t hold a candle to the original.
This version is much different, with a story that bears no resemblance to the Jamie Lee Curtis version and a gore quotient that is so minimal, it could have premiered on Cartoon Network with little controversy.
The cast is terrible and Nelson McCormick’s direction is horrible - way too many closeups of wire hangers in closets.
About the only positive thing I can say about “Prom Night” is that it does manage to have a few unintentionally humorous moments. Among those are the fact the prom appears to take place at the Kodak Theater (the home of the Oscars) and the notion that someone can get stabbed multiple times, yet leave no trace of blood whatsoever.
It’s moments like those that spare it from worst movie of the year status. While “10,000 B.C.” still holds that distinction, I think I can safely say that “Prom Night” has secured a spot next to “B.C.” as one of the 10 worst films of 2008.
DVD dandy of the week
2007 was a good year for comedies about pregnancies, with films like “Waitress” and “Knocked Up,” but this week’s dandy “Juno” (A) was the best of them all - a smart and very funny indie comedy that features a razor-sharp screenplay and an outstanding cast.
Ellen Page stars as Juno, a teenage girl who decides to have sex with her longtime friend Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera).
Her decision has consequences - an unplanned pregnancy that has Juno searching for answers to her problem.
She ultimately decides to give her unborn child up for adoption and chooses Vanessa (Jennifer Garner) and Mark (Jason Bateman) - a seemingly perfect couple who placed an ad in the local Pennysaver.
First-time screenwriter Diablo Cody really knows her characters and subject matter and delivers a story that is hip and edgy, with a sweet-natured center. The dialogue may well be the wittiest and smartest of any film released in 2007. Cody also isn’t afraid to take the story into different directions, managing to steer clear of obvious clich/s with some rather original touches.
The well-rounded cast proves to be more than capable of handling Cody’s magnificent script.
Cera builds on his success from “Superbad,” while Garner and Bateman are both very good as the potential adoptive parents.
Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons also have some nice moments as Juno’s dad and stepmom.
But the real star of “Juno” is Page, who knows just how to handle a character that walks a tightrope between pop culture icon and annoying smart aleck. Page really made an impression on me in the 2005 film “Hard Candy” and the 20-year-old actress manages to impress even more here.
It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Juno, a testament to just how good Page is in this film. The actress - and the movie for that matter - deserve all the award hype that has been bestowed, because this was easily one of the most entertaining and best movies of 2007.
“Juno” is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual content and language and is now available on DVD.
— Think you can scare Micheal more effectively than “Prom Night”? Send your best scary picture to email@example.com, and who knows? Maybe he’ll send it on to Hollywood and secure you a cameo in “Prom Night 2”!