Screen Gems latest horror-thriller Prom Night, a remake of the 1980 film of the same name, is expected to top the box office this weekend. But some critics think that the movie’s cast of unknown actors, as well as its unpredictable teenage audience, might derail the film.
What the commentators said
“Even without major stars or reviews from most critics,” said Josh Friedman in the Los Angeles Times, Prom Night “looks to be an easier sell” than last weekend’s box office disappointment, Leatherheads. Screen Gems stuck with its “formula” of combining “crafty marketing with careful scheduling” for Prom Night, and it’s been “tracking especially well with teen girls, as fright films often do, which should lead to a strong first night.” And if the “consumer tracking surveys” are right, Prom Night “should be No. 1 this weekend with $18 million to $22 million in ticket sales.”
But Prom Night isn’t a shoo-in, said Carl DiOrio in Reuters. “Much depends on whether famously fickle youthful moviegoers decide that they are back in the mood for the recently slack horror genre. That’s difficult to gauge from tracking data, as teens tend to make last-minute movie choices.”
Prom Night is likely to be nothing more than a “forgettable, one-weekend wonder,” said Brian Orndorf in the blog DVD Talk. “Stop me if you’ve read these ingredients before: a PG-13 horror picture, a remake of an 80’s cult classic, directed by nondescript filmmaker, pathetically kept from critics to avoid unpleasant opening day reviews, and starring a roster of insipid young actors?” Prom Night is a “stinker”—the “defanged slasher movement once again lays a rotten egg.”