Verdict: 3 / 5
Who would have expected the horrifically overplayed and boring “found footage genre” to once again be used somewhat well, and in a movie that appears so terribly low budget? Maybe that’s the key? That found footage stops making sense the more spectacular your movie is. But when you have something brutal, terrible, and dirty, low down to the bottom of the floor, it ends up much more effective. Prank is something much better than what it appears to be at first. And it has an incredibly upsetting DVD cover, clowns are just terrifying.
Prank features three young nerds, of the typical abused sort in an American high school setting. Teaming up to decide that enough is enough, they seek revenge on the main figure of their bullying and abuse, and kidnap him. However, they go too far and he is accidentally killed, and from there, events escalate out of control even more. The film is shot on a hand held camera style, but some awareness is shown, as there is nearly always a reason why the camera is being used, and the characters even question some of the inanity of their situation in passing. It’s a very aware film, without descending into parody.
What is important to realize is that the film makes an effort to show that it’s not a revenge story between good and evil. The nerds, despite being abused horrifically to an extent no one should be, are also not very good people, and are terrible in their own ways. What it shows might be cringe worthy, not because of being so violent, but because it’s so believable in today’s world for this to occur, in some senses.
It’s not the best film in the world, but for an early attempt by newcomer director, it’s definitely above par. A sleeping surprise of the genre that will leave you shaken in some dark way, I would have to recommend Prank for a viewing with a group of fans of this genre.