• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Prom Night

TITLE: Prom Night

YEAR: 2008

GENRE: Horror

In my opinion, one of the worst ideas that film producers have ever had was to create horror films that have a PG-13 rating. This only allows minimal violence and adult situations, which takes a lot of the venom out of these kinds of films. It is like telling an MMA fighter that they are not allowed to use submission movements or politicians to tell the truth: it changes the very nature of the finished product. Most of these PG-13 horror films are geared toward 9-13 year old girls and have limited enjoyment levels to just about anybody else who does not fit that demographic. Such is the case with Prom Night, a tween-type of horror film that offers very little in terms of scares or quality.

Donna Keppell (played by Brittany Snow) is a teenager preparing for her senior prom. A couple years back she was attacked by former teacher Richard Fenton (Johnathon Schaech) and Donna has yet to shake the horrors of her past. Prom will be an escape from her past, as she attends with a group of friends. However, Fenton escapes from his mental asylum prison on the evening of the dance and bee-lines straight to the event to once again stalk Donna. As her friends disappear one by one, Donna now must confront her stalker once and for all. Will Donna survive the night? Will her dress get stained from all the excitement? Will the D.J. play some great tunes?

Prom Night from a horror film perspective is just awful and it took most of my strength to sit through this mess. The script is a paint by numbers exercise of literally dozens of 80’s slasher films and offers nothing in terms of creativity or new ideas. The actual prom itself was way too extravagant and was a bit too much in terms of flash and substance; at times it looks like the kids are going to Club 54 rather than a high school dance. The catty nature and banter of some of the high school girls is horribly stereotypical and the boys do their best to look as studly and man-like as possible in hopes of eventually getting into those prom dresses. There was not one surprise scare in the entire film and the atmosphere (which is vital in horror) of the film was not even remotely ominous. On the bright side, Brittany Snow does look cute in her dress but that brings about the problem with PG-13 horror films: too much catering to a too young audience.

Periodically there are some quality PG-13 or PG rated horror films, most notably The Fog (the classic 1979 version, not the 2005 piece of crap) and Killer Klowns From Outer Space. However, these films brought a creative element to their productions and have become indelible staples in the horror genre. Prom Night will never be considered a classic in the horror world and will hopefully be forgotten in the next few years. Some people consider this a remake of the 1980 film starring Jamie Lee Curtis, but it is more of an in name only remake than an actual re-imaging of the original. This is the direction the producers should have gone, as the script for the original is much better than this slop. Do what the nerds and burn-outs do and avoid Prom Night at all costs. There are better things to do, really.

*

–Mark

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