Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Prom Night (2008)

Although teen horror movie remakes typically make me reach for the nearest instrument to gouge my eyes out with, I looooovvveee me some Brittany Snow. As I fire up this DVD, I have secret hopes that she plays a crazed Neo-Nazi who wears too much eye makeup and would force her boyfriend to cut off another man's junk. I doubt this is the case, but here we go anyway.

The 2008 version of Prom Night is rated PG-13, much like many of these recent teen horror movies. Apparently kids these days don't buy tickets to appropriately rated movies and then sneak into the gross stuff like I did when I was in high school. Anyway, this is most definitely NOT a remake of the Jamie Lee Curtis movie of the same name; they are only alike in the fact that there are teenagers getting stalked and butchered on the evening of the prom.

Donna (Brittany Snow) is obviously the star of this little saga. Poor Donna's entire family gets murdered in front of her, and three years later, she's still having nightmares (understandable). The psycho responsible for this mass murder is locked up for life in some institution thousands of miles away. Luckily for Donna, she has a great therapist and lots of pills to take care of her little problem, so off to meet with her girls to get ready for prom.

These high school vixens are gathered in the hair salon getting all dolled up and planning the copious sex that they're planning on having tonight. It's sort of like watching American Pie in reverse. Donna is still seeing this creepy murderer emerging from busses and hiding behind trees. She returns home to get dressed, and we find that there's ANOTHER Nip/Tuck alum in this flick! (Jessalyn Gilsig aka crazy Gina) Seriously, did they all have time off from banging Dr. Troy to film this movie?

So Donna and her girlfriends all have yummy All-American stud muffins to accompany them to prom. There's a red carpet and a keg hidden in the hotel room, and although I don't recall a red carpet at my prom, the keg is definitely accurate. And most predictably, the psycho has escaped the confines of the faraway mental institution, and three days have passed before local police were notified. It turns out that he was Donna's high school teacher, who was obssessed with her, and thought he could be with her forever by removing all "obstacles" in her life. Whackjob.

Now he's at the prom locale looking all Sling Blade and trying to get a room. Seriously, how does this nut get a room in the hotel on prom night?! Meanwhile, in true horror fashion, each of these teenagers keeps going back to the room when they should stay in the prom, and keep looking for one another, and generally just missing the dance altogether. Dumbass Miley Cyrus generation. If they had watched 80s horror movies, they would have learned all of this killer's obvious tricks such as hiding in the hotel room waiting for victims (!) and making you think that they are someone else.

At first I thought I liked this movie, because I always knew what was going on and everything seemed to make sense and progress in sequential order. But I then I realized it wasn't "enjoyment" as much as recounting every horror movie I've ever seen. And the reason it was so easy to follow was that it was so damn predictable. Come up with new ideas, Hollywood! Chop these sex-crazed teenagers up like it's 1980 and we're at Camp Crystal Lake!

Grade: D (Updated Hills Have Eyes -- watered down version of a sweet 80s slasher)

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)

I have been completely obsessed with seeing the Poughkeepsie Tapes ever since I first heard of it. I actually went to college in Poughkeepsie, so the thought of seeing a horror movie about my old stomping ground was totally thrilling. Would our favorite pizza places and bars be in the movie? Would we see interviews with cops that pulled us over in college? The suspense was ridiculous.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes is very very loosely based on an actual serial killer from Poughkeepsie, Kenneth Francois. Francois murdered several prostitutes in the late 90s and early 00s by choking them to death, and then stashed them in his attic. Let's be completely honest. The only way this is based on that case is that it's in Poughkeepsie and there's murders. There's really no other similarities. In the Francois case, there were no tapes and certainly no masks or weird costumes.

If you've heard of this movie, then you've probably seen that crazy video that was floating around YouTube with the crab-walk and the upside down mask. There's a lot of that kind of stuff in this movie and it is thoroughly creepy and pretty jarring.

The movie itself is a faux-documentary where this film crew alternately interviews people from the area and splices in this crazy dude's home videos of all his whacked-out crimes. The filming is horrendous and bounces around so much, it kind of gives you a headache. We were laughing out loud at how ridiculous some of the interviews were. As for the infamous Poughkeepsie "tapes", this was the seriously creepy part of the movie. The guy wore all kinds of masks, and made the girls wear masks. He turned one of the girls into a blubbering submissive, who wanted to return to the dungeon and serve her "master", even after she was saved. The mask scenes seriously made my skin crawl though. Eeeeek.

Anyway, there was really no solid story to this movie. They would have been better off basing the movie on the actual Poughkeepsie murders, which are pretty crazy stories. Check out the book, Body Dump if you're interested. I learned that a psychotic murderer used to cruise by my college checking out co-eds when I was a freshman! Freaky!

Grade: D- (That part in Blair Witch with the close up of Heather's leaky nose: faux-documentary gone wrong)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Movie News: Machete is ON, bitches!

For all the Grindhouse fans out there (and I know there weren't too many of us), Rodriguez's fake trailer Machete begins filming as a full-length movie in just a few short weeks. Danny Trejo is the MAN and I am excited to see this movie. I'm hoping that they film/release it in a grindhouse-style instead of a shiny and clean action movie.
Now let's just keep our fingers crossed for a full-length Thanksgiving:

Movie News: RZ's T-Rex NOT coming in 2009 as noted by movie posters

I was REALLY excited about this movie (as with anything Rob-Zombie related) but it's come to my attention that this is being pushed back to 2011 while RZ finishes up working on H2, which is to be released this summer.
Guess we'll have to hang on a little longer for this one.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Movie News: Jack Ketchum's Offspring

I love that this is the photo that appears when you google image search "movie + offspring". It definitely tells us we're in for something good and gory.
Jack Ketchum's previous novel, The Girl Next Door, was recently made into a really great film. He's using the same crew and taking a stab at Offspring. Although Offspring is actually the sequel to Off Season, it looks like the rights to that one were a little tricky to obtain, so they're going with Offspring.
Those who have read either of the books know that which one is the first and second really doesn't matter. Offspring ends up summing up what happened in Off Season, and to be completely honest, I thought that Offspring was gorier and more exciting than Off Season.
Obviously this movie is a huge departure from The Girl Next Door, which contained pretty serious subject matter involving child abuse. Offspring is just down and dirty cannibalism, and we're not talking refined Hannibal Lecter-types either. These people are living in a cave, impregnating themselves with some poor guy they kidnapped, and wearing skins as clothing.
If you haven't read the book, check it out before the movie drops.