Horror comedy “The Prank” doesn’t do a lot right. The script is unoriginal, the cast is unappealing, and the premise is uninteresting. The story of an overachiever Ben (Connor Kalopsis) who, after being threatened with a failing grade, cooks up a plan with his best friend Tanner (Ramona Young) to play a cruel prank on their most-hated (and outrageously strict) teacher, Mrs. Wheeler (Rita Moreno).
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. This shouldn’t be considered a spoiler because it’s easy to figure out where the narrative will lead.
The production values aren’t the best either, with choppy editing and a directing style that’s distracting. Young and Kalopsis have zero chemistry, and the yin-and-yang organized friend and slacker friend shtick doesn’t work. The performances are commonplace. The one exception is Moreno, who gets to ham it up as a stern, potentially psycho killer. She’s a lot of fun to watch, even if it’s a very silly role.
Films like “The Prank” are a dime a dozen, and the ones that have gone before are much more entertaining. This one, unfortunately, doesn’t do the genre any favors.