Prison - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Prison Reviews

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½ December 13, 2015
I'm surprised at myself for never having seen this 80s Charles Band produced Empire Pictures horror flick. I've always been a fan of Band's brand of horror and this film had a bit more quality to it than most, with a cast that includes Lane Smith (you'll recognize him when you see him), Viggo Mortensen and Chelsea Field and the film being directed by Renny Harlin before he hit it big with "Die Hard 2." And you even get Tommy 'Tiny' Lister as one of the prisoners and Kane Hodder as the student coordinator. The film starts as a as a standard prison about an evil warden versus the prisoners, but this prison in haunted by former prisoner who was wronged and who's looking for revenge. This film was a lot more violent and gory than I'd expected and some of the gore is actually reminiscent of Clive Barker's "Hellraiser," particularly once scene involving barbed wire wrapping itself around a guard (and this is meant as a compliment).
February 9, 2015
Falls in the So-Bad-Its-Good genre with horrible acting from otherwise okay actors and cheesy 1980s effects. A movie to watch while laughing drunk if you can ever find it!
May 27, 2014
Its an okay movie, and cool for a late night watch i guess.
February 17, 2014
Very above average horror film!
October 21, 2013
En ung Viggo Mortensen, kan inte lyfta detta klena manus, men rätt underhållande ändå.
August 6, 2013
To it's credit, Prison has stunning visual effects--some of the best I have ever seen in a low budget film--and possibly the only quality Band score I have heard. Beyond that, the film has a bland script with underwhelming moments, characters, and execution. This film felt more like an idea for a movie, than fully constructed story. Given how weak the script was, the director really did a great job with what he had.
½ July 31, 2013
Great setting, great cast, but ultimately underwhelming. There was too much unmet potential. Takes itself a bit too seriously and doesn't get as campy as you would like. There were so many more chances for gore and deaths, but it just never delivered. The make up effects are good and some of the deaths memorable, but if it went all out like a movie like Dead Alive this could have been a horror masterpiece. As it stands, it's a solid overlooked film, but nothing that's must-see.

By the way, does Viggo Mortensen have something written into contracts where he must show his ass in every movie? Seriously...
½ May 26, 2013
Slow going with no payoff.
March 12, 2013
Falls in the So-Bad-Its-Good genre with horrible acting from otherwise okay actors and cheesy 1980s effects. A movie to watch while laughing drunk if you can ever find it!
½ February 24, 2013
Renny Harlin's Prison is another one of those obscure films that didn't find an audience immediately when it was released, but because of the word-of-mouth on the film and the constant bootlegging, the film managed to snag a small base of fans. Outside of franchise sequels, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Prison is possibly Renny Harlin's best film. He's a talented director, has a keen visual sense, and directs the hell out his movies, but the story details in his films are always hazy and performances don't feel all that genuine. His movies are fun, which is the best way to describe them, but they aren't much more beyond that. I'd say that Prison is a little more than just fun and tries to do something a bit more story and character-driven. It has a strong cast, including an early leading role by Viggo Mortenson, a pretty well-laid out story, a bevy of impressive visuals and great special effects. It's been lost in obscurity for years, but now people can finally get to see what Renny was trying to do with the film. After all, it did more or less get him the job of directing A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, which was his first big break.
Super Reviewer
November 12, 2012
Renny Harlin's second feature is a well made supernatural horror film that is much better than what you'd think. Sure, the film looks a bit dated nowadays, and there's been far better ghost tales than this, but in the long run, Prison is a surprising, accomplished film that is an obscured genre film that should see the light of day. The cast do a good job here, but the standout aspects of the film are the special effects, the kill sequences as the supernatural force kills prison inmates and guards alike. Renny Harlin, who has a checkered career, pulls off a good, entertaining and enjoyable ride. This is a pleasant flick to watch for horror fans that enjoy a good ghost story. Although there's never anything truly great on-screen, there are enough good bits here and there throughout the film to make it an enjoyable yarn to simply sit back and enjoy. The plot was original and it's what kept me interested in the film, unlike Kevin VanHook's Death Row, which uses basically the same premise as this movie, this is a far better film that is good gory fun. Despite its lacking acting, the film is held together by effective directing for Harlin. If you're ever looking for a fun little obscured gem of a horror tale, then pick this one out. The film is not perfect, but it has enough going for it to make it a worthwhile good time for genre fans. What makes this film good is the fact that you never see the supernatural force itself, and it leaves it up to your imagination to guess what kind of demented, evil supernatural force is terrorizing the prison. We know it's the prisoner that wants revenge, but you never see him, thus it makes for a more enjoyable viewing as it keeps you guessing till the very end.
½ January 1, 2012
Meidän Rennylle vähän ekstraa.
Super Reviewer
October 29, 2011
Harlin's first theatrical effort quickly establishes his garish stylistics choices such as a POV tracking shot to the electrical chair. It also adheres to his sound-and-fury-signifying-nothing sensibilities wherein the inmates are besieged by a barrage of loud pyrotechnics without a plausible reason since the ghost's only objective is murdering the newly appointed warden. It's all swiftly paced and tautly photographed, but the midsection is a sluggish going-through-the-motions initiation into penitentiary life such as rivalries, riots and sage advice about having "the face of a lifer". But like the 'Final Destination' movies, it's arduous to be frightened by an incorporeal Grim Reaper firing a gun turret and wrapping razor wires around a sadistic guard. 'Prison' retains Harlin's whizz-bang shepherding, but it's a vapid, spineless revenge story with corridors that imitatively resemble Freddy Krueger's boiler room.
½ October 26, 2011
Great little horror film.
½ September 9, 2010
Horror movies become to feel dated really quick, especially low budget as this one which lives on the 80's special effects. However, there's a shower scene with Mortensen
June 1, 2010
Falls in the So-Bad-Its-Good genre with horrible acting from otherwise okay actors and cheesy 1980s effects. A movie to watch while laughing drunk if you can ever find it!
½ April 17, 2010
"Prison" first came to my attention years ago when I read about it in a Fangoria publication titled "101 movies you have never seen" upon reading the article I thought it sounded fantastic and instantly hopped onto amazon to purchase the DVD, to my disappointment the movie was unavailable on any format! After years of trying to hunt this movie down I finally laid my hunts on a dutch import and my of my what a let down!!! "Prison" is a pretty bog standard 80's supernatural horror, often showing moments of promise but never fully capitalizing on the decent premise. My advice is if you really must watch a movie where a dude executed on death row returns to cause supernatural havoc then check out Wes Craven's superior movie "Shocker".
April 2, 2009
it was a wery good one even thou it was old.. and it was kind of funny in some spots xD
January 29, 2009
i was waiting for this and i got dissapointed...
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