The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Feature running time: 89 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English/Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Spanish/Thai Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles:English, English SDH, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Indonesian
Starring: Brittany Snow, Scott Porter, Jessica Stroup, Dana Davis
Directed by: Nelson McCormick
Music by: Paul Haslinger & Jason Ballantine
Written by: J.S Cardone
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 19, 2008
"A party to die for"
Three years ago, Donna (Brittany Snow, John Tucker Must Die) watched in horror as an obsessed predator murdered her family. Tonight is her senior prom and although she's anxious about the past, she's excited to celebrate her future with her friends. What Donna doesn't know is that the deranged psychopath has escaped from the asylum. He's returned to hunt her down, intent on killing anyone who gets in his way. As the night races towards its heart-pounding conclusion, the question becomes not who will be prom queen, but who will survive the killer's rampage.
I saw the original Prom night starring Jamie Lee Curtis years ago. She was at the height of her teen horror popularity at the time. The genre was pretty fresh and I recall that the film was decent. Of course I was a young teenager in 1980 and everything was good back then. I am sure that looking at it now I would feel differently. This remake changes the plot just a bit and introduces the villain as a teacher who is obsessed with one of his students. Three years earlier he murders her entire family and goes to a maximum security psychiatric hospital after trial. The student, Donna (Snow) is now living with her aunt and uncle and is about to attend her senior prom. That night the local police receive a fax advising that the teacher Mr. Fenton (Schalech) has escaped. Of course he shows up and the mayhem begins. I really didn't have a problem with the story right up until the point where the first murder occurs. I mean there is no question this is a formulaic teen horror film but why is it that the characters have to be portrayed as a being so gullible and stupid? Once the killer gets rolling he becomes an almost unstoppable force that is capable of incredible feats of manipulation, anticipation, and an acute sense of timing and skill when it comes to killing. I liked the young actors who played the main characters and I thought that they played well off of one another. The story just didn't bring anything new to the table and felt very much like too many other films.
The unrated version contains violence and bloody gore, brief sensuality and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Prom night comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio that has an average bitrate of 1.5 mbps.
The video presentation was quite good and what you might expect from a newer film release. The video was sharp with high level detail and lustrous quality. Colors were deeply saturated and vivid which made them pop off of the screen. Blacks had excellent dynamic range and depth while shadow detail was just above average. Skin tones were beautifully rendered with excellent tonal separation and lifelike texture. The Dolby TrueHD sound rendered clear and well articulated dialogue with excellent tonal delineation. The front three channels carried the majority of the audio which was acceptable but not optimum. I would like to have seen more use of the surround channels and sub woofer to heighten the impact of jump scares and the film's music track. Surround use was relegated to supplying light ambience and occasional discrete sounds to enhance front soundstage depth. Low frequencies kicked in during a few of the music numbers during the prom night party but never provided any real tactile feeling. I think that a stronger dynamic presence would have enhanced the films scarier moments.
Sony has included a healthy compliment of bonus material on this Blu-ray disc release. It offers Director commentary, a pop up Bonus view storyboard track and interactive poll which selects from 6 different scenes in the film and allows the user to vote on the best place to hide a body. There are deleted scenes, an alternate ending (no significant change) both including optional director commentary and a 2 minute gag reel which wasn't bad. It provides a making of documentary, a profile of the killer from the story, a segment on the design of the hotel set, a piece which contains real prom night stories from the film's cast and BD-Live features (which will be enabled by release day). All in all this was a decent offering.
- Director Commentary
- Bonus view PiP storyboard track
- HD)Interactive poll: Where's the best place to hide a body?
- 5 Deleted scenes with optional Director commentary
- Alternate ending with option al Director commentary
- Gag reel
- Bridgeport H.S. Vikings video yearbook
- A night to remember: The making of Prom night
- Profile of a killer
- Gothic spaces: Creating the Pacific Grand Hotel
- Prom night photo album: real prom night stories from the cast
- (HD)Theatrical trailer
- TV spot
Prom night is not going to win any awards for originality. It is a below average teen scream horror movie that had a decent cast but lackluster writing and boring direction. On a positive note its Blu-ray high definition picture looks great and it includes a boat load of bonus features that fans are sure to appreciate.
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