View Full Version : Review: PROM NIGHT

Richard Anthony
05-20-2004, 04:58 PM
Director: Paul Lynch
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Leslie Nielsen, Antoinette Bower, Casey Stevens, and Eddie Benton.

During the early 80's, the Horror film genre was one of the most popular and profitable of all film genres. The late 70's and the early 80's was a wonderful time for the Horror film genre, at this time a director with a low budget and a high imagination could make a Horror film and have it play in theatres as well. After all, this was a time when Drive-In Movie Theatres were still very popular among film fans, and most of the time you could find one or two or even three Horror films playing back to back at the Drive-In Movie Theatre of your choice just about anywhere. One of the most popular of all the subgenres of the Horror film was the Slasher film. Thanks to the huge success of John Carpenter's wonderufl low budget Horror Classic, "Halloween", the Slasher film was back in a Big way, and during the 80's Slasher films were king at the box office, and one of the most popular among Horror film fans, like myself.

Director Paul Lynch made one of the most popular Horror/Slasher films of the early 80's, and he took a cue from John Carpenter when he cast his film. Paul Lynch cast Horror Scream Queen, Jamie Lee Curtis, as the heroine of his film, "Prom Night". The story of "Prom Night" is simple and effective, and it continued to showcase the formula for most of the Horror/Slasher films of the 80's.

Years ago a group of kids snuck into an old abandon school, and decided to play a game of hide and go seek, only this game went a little too far. The kid's game turned deadly when, by accident, one of the young girls playing the game ended up dead. Now almost 10 years later, a hooded killer is stalking and slashing those responsible for the death of the young girl, and after tonight, "Prom Night" will never be the same. One of the things that I enjoy about "Prom Night" is that the director keeps a sense of mystery surrounding the killer's identity, and the he keeps the viewer guessing all the time as to who the killer could be. Could it be the creepy janitor who works at the school, or is it a recently escaped killer who just broke out of jail, is it the sexy and bitchy Wendy, or is it Lou, the hot headed classmate who vows revenge on everyone for getting kicked out of school at the time of the Prom? Director Paul Lynch gives the vewer so many red herrings that the final identity of the killer came as a surprise to me.

The cast of "Prom Night" is very good as well. Jamie Lee Curtis takes the lead, once again in a Slasher film, and she is in fine form as the heroine. Leslie Nielsen is good as her father, this one of Nielsen's last serious roles before going on to star in "Airplane", and "The Naked Gun" films and becming known for his comedy film roles. Curtis and Leslie Nielsen also share a fun moment as father and daughter disco dance on the dance floor, the disco dance scene on Prom Night is a nod to John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever".

"Prom Night" is one of the best Slasher film's of the 80's, and the film has some great scares and some creepy moments as well. The film has a standout chase scene as the killer chases a girl through the school, and this scene is one of the best among Horror/Slasher films. "Prom Night" was such a popular film that it even influenced later Horror films, such as Wes Craven's "Scream", and "I Know What You Did Last Summer", since screenwriter Kevin Williamson cited this film as one of his influences for those two films.. "Prom Night" is a perfect Slasher film for those looking for a fun, and sometimes creepy Horror film. The film was followed by 3 sequels, and it still ranks as one of the Horror genre's best Slasher films.

John Gargo
05-20-2004, 09:38 PM
An above average entry to the slasher genre... Jamie Lee Curtis does a commendable job, even if she is just riffing on her success with HALLOWEEN. She plays virtually the same character here that she did in Carpenter's film, but much less effectively. She did much better work in THE FOG, which tells me that a lot of her talent comes from Carpenter knowing exactly how to use her.

06-06-2004, 06:15 AM
Nice review, Rich, it is good to see the PROM NIGHT love spread over the various sub-forums! :D

When I saw this for the first time as a kid with my mom, neither of us were expecting the killer to be who s/he turned out to be. It is obvious when you watch it again, or maybe when you just take into consideration some of the slasher cliches, but I think when it came out, since those cliches were not yet in place, it would not be as predictable then as people claim it to be now. That is what history does to early films in the progression of certain genres. What was once fresh now seems old, where excitement has been dulled by our knowledge of the conventions of genres as they are now in their later stage of development. Still, I love PROM NIGHT, and I hope one day Anchor Bay or Blue Underground can give it the proper release it deserves.

06-06-2004, 06:43 AM
--Prom Night" is one of the best Slasher film's of the 80's--

Ouch, that doesn't say much for the slasher genre in the 80's. I watched this once and it was enough. Still, nice review for a VERY mediocre title.

06-14-2004, 09:11 AM
blah horrible movie. There are hundreds of 80's slasher movies I would recommend over this one.

I might change my mind if someone would ever release a Directors cut version of the film because in my opinion it seems like its cut to bits.

06-15-2004, 10:09 PM
I really really wanted to like this movie but somehow I was disappointed. This is one of those "it had so much promise but let you down" type movies. It's an average slasher with way too long disco scenes. I would definetly rate this as one of the lesser of JLC's horror films. Halloween and Terror Train were much better.

06-17-2004, 12:41 AM
I just bought Prom Night for $5.99 at Best Buy. The copy I bought was distributed by Platinum and I was wondering if the quality of the film will be lower and will it be edited as in comparison to the higher priced version of the movie.

06-17-2004, 12:44 AM
I just bought Prom Night for $5.99 at Best Buy. The copy I bought was distributed by Platinum and I was wondering if the quality of the film will be lower and will it be edited as in comparison to the higher priced version of the movie.

There's some screen comparisons somewhere on here in a different thread between the Platinum DVD and the old Anchor Bay DVD. The Anchor Bay DVD looks way better.

From what I've heard they are both the same length, except the Platinum runs a bit longer due to their opening logo.

06-17-2004, 12:55 AM
Thanks, I'm not too worried about film quality as long as nothing was editied out. I know I should have spent an extra few dollars on the Anchor Bay edition. Always go with Anchor Bay.

06-17-2004, 01:27 AM
The Platinum disc is an open matted full frame too...

06-17-2004, 08:55 AM
I bought that platinum disc. It's horrible. I couldn't see anything during alot of the darker scenes. The sound was going from low to high alot.