Horror comes back this time in the form of a refurbished slasher flick from 1980. The original “Prom Night” starred Jamie Lee Curtis and — brace yourself — Leslie Nielsen. But honestly, this new “Prom Night,” aside from the title and the basic premise of madman killing kids at their senior prom, has little in common with the first one.
Oh, yeah, one other thing: Neither of them are scary.
In an odd way, this is a sequel to a movie that doesn’t exist. Three years ago, high schooler Donna Keppel (Brittany Snow, “Hairspray,” “John Tucker Must Die”) became the bad-news obsession of teacher Richard Fenton (Johnathon Schaech, “Road House 2: Last Call,” “That Thing You Do!”), who murdered her parents and brother in an attempt to grab her and run off.
Donna’s been living with her aunt and uncle (Jessalyn Gilsig, TV’s “Nip/Tuck,” and Linden Ashby, “Resident Evil: Extinction”) and, except for the screaming nightmares, all is back to normal. It’s the night of the prom and her best boy Bobby (Scott Porter, “Music and Lyrics,” TV’s “Friday Night Lights”) is taking her.
To the prom.
Unless he gets lucky.
Which he won’t.
So word arrives on the desk of Detective Nash’s (James Ransone, “Inside Man,” TV’s “The Wire”) that Fenton has escaped. Of course, this is the night he comes home to complete his mission of grabbing Donna. The prom is being held in a ritzy hotel. Bobby and his buds Ronnie (Collins Pennie, “Half Nelson”) and Michael (Kelly Blatz) have rented a suite just in case, you know, their dates don’t like using the public restroom. You just know the girls Claire (Jessica Stroup, “The Hills Have Eyes II,” “School for Scoundrels”) and Lisa (Dana Davis, “Coach Carter,” “Raise Your Voice”) will be ready for a little manhood-teasing and getting slashed to pieces.
Who will get killed? Oh, come on — who cares? The only surprise the movie has in store is the incompetent way first-time feature director Nelson McCormick handles the catalog of teen horror movie clichés and gimmicks. The picture is chock-full of false scares with mirrors, closet doors, show curtains and mysterious noises that turn out to be bupkes. Fenton kills eight people with what looks like a filleting knife while wearing the same shirt and pants, and never gets a drop of blood on him. Yeah, it’s that kind of movie.
The script is by J.S. Cardone (“The Covenant”), who has as much talent for writing horror movies as I have for selling weight-loss products.
If there’s one thing this flick should have carried over from the first version, it’s Leslie Nielsen, surely. And don’t call me … you can finish it for yourself. —Doug Bentin