THE PRANK (2022) Reviews of comedy horror

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The Prank is a 2022 comedy horror film about students that falsely accuse their professor of murder on social media.

Directed by Maureen Bharoocha from a screenplay written by Rebecca Flinn-White and Zak White. Produced by Tyler Condon and Steven J. Wolfe.

Ben and his slacker friend, Tanner play a prank on their high school physics professor. When she fails them on a test, they teach the demanding instructor a lesson by falsely accusing her of murder on social media.

The Prank is an amusing watch, but one can’t help but wish the film refrained from playing things so safely, especially in a film revolving around a teacher who may or may not be murdering her students. This is dark stuff, but the Whites’ script opts for broad, light-hearted comedy instead of a biting satire. It’s an odd choice…” Bloody Disgusting

“While The Prank isn’t without its pacing issues and some flat jokes, it is a heck of a lot of fun that is just here for a good time. Tanner and Ben are a dynamic duo that is easy to root for, especially when stacked against a truly terrible teacher.” 7/10 But Why Tho?

” …Bharoocha moves matters nicely forward, assisted by her very game cast. As great as Moreno may be, Kalopsis and Young join her bit for an over-the-top bit. If not every moment works equally well, the net result is still a largely entertaining thriller-comedy-horror hybrid…” 3/4 Film Festival Today

The Prank seems to want to shine a light on how gullible adults can be and what the high school news cycle is like, but it’s doomed from the get-go by horrible characters painted as doing something whimsical and harmless. And then, when the situation does get more serious, the story eventually vindicates their actions anyway.” 2/5 Flickering Myth

“As The Prank explodes into its climax, the plot threads culminate in a harmonious and shocking fashion. The ending closes out the film with a memorable zinger of horror. Get ready for one wild ride, as The Prank proves itself to be a terrific horror/comedy hybrid for a new generation of moviegoers.” 4.5/5 Josh at the Movies

” …The Prank starts off as an uneven, semi-competent high school drama, and it ends as about as basic and generic a thriller as you can get. While I admire the shift in concept, the execution makes the film come across like it doesn’t know what it wants to be or where it wants to go, leaving us with an overall confused film that left no impact…” 2.5/5 Loud and Clear

” …the young cast really helps carry this mediocre satire and loveable appearances from Keith David and Kate Flannery also add to the already enjoyable cast. And of course, Rita Moreno really sticks her claws into everyone (cast and audience alike) and makes physics class the most terrifying it has ever been.” Nightmarish Conjurings

“The film hit me as reminiscent of The Burbs and Nickelodeon shows from the ’80s and ’90s like The Adventures of Pete and Pete. It is a fantastic gateway film and perfect for anyone who wants a thrill (and maybe a few severed body parts) without any major blood and guts.” 4.5/5 The Scariest Things

“There is little narrative momentum as the film flails wildly in its final act. The only thing that is genuinely funny is how outrageous everyone’s reactions are to the idea that Mrs Wheeler is a killer; they’re all practically gleeful and it can be quite entertaining to watch as it all plays out. Unfortunately, the film’s story gets far too out of hand and never quite finds its balance between humor and blatant cruelty.” 2/5 Screen Rant

“The plot is flimsy and the story is predictable. It’s not the most original script, and the humor doesn’t work at all. Part of the problem is the horrible prank at the heart of the story. Framing a person for the imaginary murder of a missing classmate is a pretty serious accusation, and by the time the final reveal rolls around, it feels too late to redeem anyone.” Screen Zealots

“It gets off to a rather slow start without much of a hook to engage the audience in this story. However, the second half of The Prank is much more captivating. It becomes a substantially campier dark comedy that you’ll wish embraced this side of itself sooner.” Showbiz Cheat Sheet

The Prank had its world premiere at the South by Southwest (SXSW) in March 2022.

Cast and characters:
Rita Moreno … Mrs Wheeler
Connor Kalopsis … Ben Palmer
Ramona Young … Mei Tanner
Keith David … Principal Henderson
Kate Flannery … Loretta
Meredith Salenger … Julie Palmer
Jonathan Kimmel … Joe
Nathan Janak … Phillip Marlow
Romel De Silva … Sawyer Friedman
Tim Delano … Officer Stebbins
Armani Jackson … Greg
Talia Jackson … Quinn
Lauren Knutti … Reporter
Jamie Lujan … Teacher
Alexander Morales … Wayne Lambert
Colby Strong … Rory

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