This review is of the TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative
It’s time for another school movie where a disaster takes place. There isn’t a huge explosion this time around but there may as well have been as things get really intense here. The movie doesn’t start off on the best note, nor does it end in a great way either. This is really just your dime a dozen slasher movie going through its paces and it never tries to be anything more than that. As a result this movie just isn’t very good at all with a lot of forgettable characters.
The movie starts off with a bunch of cruel children picking on one girl until they corner her by a window where she falls through and dies. They decide not to tell anyone and run off. Years later, someone has decided to avenge the girl. Each of the children who were involved start to get threatening phone calls confirming that they will all be dying at the prom. The heroines are grown up now though and figure these are prank calls and don’t worry about it. As the bodies start piling up they have to be careful though. Can they actually stop this monster before they are obliterated?
Schools really are quite huge so it does work as a big battleground here. For example with the big prom taking place in the main lobby, the rest of the school is completely empty. That gives the murderer plenty of places to hide. It’s a location where you can buy into a cloaked figure even camping out for the whole day. You’ve got several floors each with 12+ rooms plus restrooms and such that are completely empty. Naturally some students leave to go and have affairs and such which makes them easy pickings. In that way the prom was the easiest date to pull this off for because everybody is making the job easier. They split off on their own without telling people intentionally.
Of course it’s also annoying to see them all fall for this by the same token. You just know that the characters are doomed the instant the villain appears. As always they all just don’t know how to fight at all and can’t defend themselves. The only exception to this is a guy named Slick who has a lot of self confidence. It was impressive how he just rode up in his big car and got someone to go out with him immediately although whether it’s a feather in his cap or the lady was too easy is something we can’t say. It’s as rushed a romance as you can get so I’m not exactly going to give that a high score.
Surprisingly Slick actually made this a real fight and went back and forth with the villain for quite some time though. That scene went on for way longer than I had anticipated. Yeah the ending is probably inevitable to be sure but I always prefer when someone puts up a fight rather than meekly going down. When your life is at stake you better find some adrenaline to fight back because if you lose then that’s game over. There is no retry option or anything like that even if it would be cool to have one of those.
The main heroine here is Kim and she does feel bad about what happened. It’s just like 10 years too late but I’ll take what I can get. There isn’t a whole lot to her character though. I mean in a way her character is that she isn’t nearly as desperate as the others who are all either one with the world now or have completely moved on. You just know that they’re all doomed while Kim at least has a chance of figuring things out. Well, she is the main character so that makes sense but she also just seems a lot more reasonable than the others. She feels like your average everyday character if that makes sense.
It’s not a bad thing, I’ll take being a forgettable character over being a really bad one but you can tell that this movie was more about putting the effort in to how everyone would be bumped off rather than the characters. There actually is one side bonus to this although I think it’s probably unintentional. The characters are so forgettable that when they reveal who the villain is, it takes you a minute to remember who the character is. You quickly understand from the context clues but there will be a few moments where you scratch your head and just wonder what’s going on. It all does make sense in hindsight and in a way this is the only culprit that would make sense.
The film does offer an obvious red herring from the start but the movie forgot to be subtle about this so because of that nobody falls for it. Now in a way slasher films are always going to be doomed no matter what setting they take place in but I would argue that taking place at a school puts you at an extra disadvantage by default. First you have all of the drama and poorly developed romances going on. It makes the characters look really annoying and unprepared from the jump. Then you have the fact that the teachers and principal are inevitably not going to help or do much anyway so why even include them in here? If the movie takes place on the mountains or something then at least it’s a unique environment and you have the extra tension of trying to escape from there in one piece.
It won’t solve the core issues but it’s a start. As you’d expect the film suffers from excessive violence and poor writing. There are no really likable characters as it’s really hard to forget that opening scene. I don’t care how young they were, you have to be pretty messed up to attack that little girl the way that they did. It was a really rough way to start the film and unfortunately set the tone for how the rest of the movie was going to play out. It’s really hard to recover from a moment like that.
Overall, At least the principal tried to help things out by putting the pressure on with locating another criminal on the loose. I give him credit for doing his best, he was just doomed from the start and you as the viewer knew it. Some things just can’t be easily stopped. I don’t think there is really anything you can get from this film that can’t be found in any number of other slashers. The movie doesn’t have much in the way of redeeming values as even the mystery of trying to find out who the killer is won’t interest you very much.