Having run out of decent slasher flicks to remake in the noughties (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Black “X-Mas”), Hollywood started scraping the barrel for properties that weren’t even good the first time.
Before going off to an Ivy League University that presumably had some sort of imbecile quota, Donna (Brittany Snow) attends her high school prom with her boyfriend (Friday Night Lights‘ Scott Porter) and best friend (Dana Davis), who is desperate to be crowned prom queen to win the “respect of her peers” that eludes the actress playing her.
Despite this prom resembling an elitist Hollywood event, Donna’s former teacher and current stalker (That Thing You Do!‘s Johnathon Schaech) sneaks in and starts killing her friends offscreen. The film’s shallowness is par for the course, but to omit sex and violence misses the entire point of slasher movies. Without those it’s just an irony-free episode of My Super Sweet 16.
As well as featuring Idris Elba as an inept precursor to Luther, this remake is technically more competent than the original, by virtue of sporting some semblance of coherence. But director Nelson McCormick shoots more like a teen soap than a horror movie, full of kids wandering into brightly lit rooms and disappearing like his film career.
Trying to reboot the slasher cycle after Scream was never going to work, and none of these remakes really caught on in a market newly dominated by Saw and found footage movies. But they didn’t even try. Prom Night isn’t horror and it’s barely a film, succeeding only at sucking in two separate centuries. And you don’t need a high school diploma to know it won’t work next time either.