Prom Night (1980) - One of those old 80's slashers no one is suppose to dislike.
Jul 13, 2011
A group of kids are playing hide and go seek in an abandoned warehouse. Young Robin Hammond (Tammy Bourne) joins in unannounced, and the other kids decide to tease her with a "die!" chant. The prank gets way out of hand and she dies in an accident. The leader of the pack, young Wendy Richards (Leslie Prescott) forces the group to swear ignorance of the girls death. Little did they know, there was a witness to the whole thing. 6 years later, the kids have grown up and someone decides to stalk them through phone messages, with preparations on doing them in on prom night. -summary
Released in 1980, Prom Night was one among many horror slashers that appeared during the slasher craze of the 80's. For some reason, people (like me) were highly fascinated by watching someone taking that knife in disturbing ways from a deranged individual. Coupled by the suspense and intricate plot that would grip the audience even further. Unfortunately, Prom Night directed by Paul Lynch doesn't have too much of the former, and the latter is handled way too poorly. Read on to see what I think of this cult classic.
Lynch had what he needed to create a decent enough, suspense filled "whodunit?". There were a few red herrings tossed out there, to keep the audience guessing on who could've possibly been making the phone calls. But when taking under consideration the possible motive to want these grown kids, and the development of one character. Predicting on who the possible killer could be really wasn't that hard. But the major problem wasn't the predictability or even the acting surprisingly. It was the boring plot that could actually make watching grass grow seem like damn good fun. To call Prom Night one boring ass horror slasher is an understatement.
During a good portion of the movie, what we're given are plenty of character interactions to some how try and complicate this tedious plot. Outside of maybe two effective moments, the plot is littered with weak scenes, that really did nothing for me despite them being attempts at character development. Now, there's nothing wrong with character development, but if we're not dealing with complex characters, then something needs to happen to keep the plot interesting, a death or three might not have been a bad thing.
When the movie eventually gets to the kills, most of the death scenes really didn't seem to be a good enough pay off, considering what the audience went through to get there. However, I will give credit to the set pieces where the deaths took place. They were genuinely creepy, and the thought of teens being knocked off at their prom, surrounded by so many people is a frightening thought. But I kind of think that Jamie Lee Curtis disco moves were the true horror here.
The acting is alright at best, with some B-level performances, but the solid performances from Leslie Nielson as the school principle, who's role was way too small, and Jamie Lee Curtis as the dead girls elder sister, were not enough to save this tired script. Outside of the disco track during the end, I didn't even really notice the BGM and I honestly cannot comment on it. There really wasn't much concerning the death scenes, they either occurred rather quick, or took place off screen. In other words, the gore is nothing to freak out over.
The ending is a nice pay off for those who couldn't guess the killer's identity immediately. But even though I did figure out who it was quickly, I still have to give credit to the dramatic build up leading to the final act. Overall, Prom Night is a below average slasher to me, because it failed to keep me interested with a good plot. I was one of those who thought a remake was necessary, because there was so much that could have been worked on. Silly me for even thinking that, since the 2008 remake was far worst than this in every way imaginable. If you're looking for a horror slasher with a solid plot that will keep you guessing, then I recommend Alice, Sweet Alice. If serious gore is your thing, then The Burning will no doubt be your cup of blood.
Pros: -Decent acting, ending
Cons: -Way too long, pointless scenes, tedious, death scenes don't deliver
* out of **** "Prom Night" is derivative, boring, bland, ridiculous, stupid, and the worst "classic" slasher/horror film I've seen since "My Bloody Valentine". The film offers no surprises, no suspense, and no substance. It isn't scary, there's nothing worth anticipating, and all-in-all, it just plain sucks. Why it has garnered a semi-large cult following, I shall never know. I'll never quite understand what people see in such an unoriginal and unintentionally hilarious product … more
It's horrifying, all right - that this shoddy, wholly worthless slasher flick (starring numerous painfully overripe "teens") has a small cult fan base. Without Leslie Nielsen or Jamie Lee Curtis in its cast, this would have surely been lost and long forgotten by now.
Prom Night was just another picture in a long line of slasher films that debuted in the early 80's. Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Nielsen star in this horror film. One of Canada's contribution to the slash and hack "teen" flicks that has maintained "cult" status due to a scene at the prom. This movie also has a couple of nice set pieces. Too bad because a couple of nice set pieces do not necessarily make a movie "great". The proof is in the pudding it's just another … more