• R, 1 hr. 31 min.
  • Horror
  • Directed By:
    Paul Lynch
    In Theaters:
    Aug 15, 1980 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jan 27, 1998


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Prom Night Reviews

Page 1 of 38

Super Reviewer

March 22, 2011
With the slasher boom exploding in the early 80's after John Carpenter's Halloween became a success in 1978 upon its release, every studio got the craze to rip it off and create their own slasher films. But the slasher films of the 80's had something that Halloween lacked, excessive violence (I'm not complaining, I'm just stating the obvious).Prom Night is one of the first slashers to rip off Halloween to cash in on it's success. Staring Jamie Lee Curtis, this Slasher film from Canada is a pretty good entry in the genre, more credit should be given to this film as its not as bad as people claim it to be. Sure theres room enough for improvement, but this is still a pretty entertaining horror film. However with the strong succession of slasher films that followed like Friday The 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street, My Bloody Valentine and Terror Train; it's easy to forget Prom Night. If you put this film alongside the most solid slasher films that I've just mentioned, Prom Night may seem kind of weak. At times it does feel that way, but its far from the worst. I loved the film along with it's sequel, Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II. But I hated the last two entries of the franchise. This film follows the usual slasher film formula, a killer stalks and kills teens responsible for the deaths of a girl. But setting of the kills is not a nightmare or a campground or a mine. It's a high school prom. The film is enjoyable but flawed. Prom Night is still a fun film to pull out from time to time to rewatch, but it's one of the weaker slasher films of the 80's. Like I've said, the best Prom Night film is the second one. But this film is still worth watching to kill an hour and a half and enjoy something nostalgic from early 80's slashers.

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2010
On okay horror movie, it's kind of predictable, but it has some good suspenseful scenes too. I'm not a big fan of Curtis, but she's okay. The story is pretty good, but it could be better.

Super Reviewer

December 22, 2009
Leslie Nielsen in a Horror. I didnt believe it first. I thought it was another of his "Insane sense of humor" Movies I prefer to watch. It was not bad. They were too old for games, but someone still wanted to play.
Eric S

Super Reviewer

November 1, 2009
What can I say, this film's a horror classic, and one of the first slasher films that spawned many, even to this day. Sure the acting isn't great to say the least, but Jamie Lee Curtis stands on her own as the "scream queen" she was so destined to become. She just has it; plain and simple.
The lighting in this film is eerie, and the premise is familiar because you've seen it copied by many filmmakers. This film however, delivers horror and unintentional comedy in one dose which is something that can not be duplicated.
And as Randy(Jamie Kennedy) says regarding the police in "Scream", "If they watched Prom Night they'd save time. There's a formula to it, a very simple formula, everybody's a suspect!"

Super Reviewer

January 12, 2007
One of those original slashers that had managed to elude me for all these years, it ended up being, probably inevitably, a disappointment. Not that I had my hopes set high, but all of the slashing action is relegated to the last half hour and isn't done very realistically or suspensefully. Or even graphically. The characters were paper thin, the actors playing the teens were all clearly adults, and the final reveal was pointless. If you're a completist like me, you'll need to watch it. But all others should be able to find something more worthwhile.
Dean !

Super Reviewer

January 14, 2007
One of the earliest slasher film genres, but sure looks dated now! Starring Leslie Nielsen and Jamie Lee Curtis, it starts very slow and is quite predictable. It does have a couple of good moments though. Just had a re-make done also!
Chris G

Super Reviewer

April 12, 2008
A descent slasher flick starring scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis. Someone's getting revenge on prom night. Features Leslie Nielsen and a guy named Slick.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

April 6, 2008
Prom Night is a 1980 horror film about the death of a young girl creates a killer who strikes on the night of a prom.

Prom Night is generally considered a slasher film classic. I would probably have to agree. This is most likely due to the star being Jamie Lee Curtis. However, I'd call it a classic due to it being the first cliché of a slasher film to have to plot about the accidental death of someone and then somebody gaining revenge over it. There are numerous other horror titles with the same storyline, such as 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' and 'The House on Sorority Row' but 'Prom Night' is the true original of it.
Lafe F

Super Reviewer

June 12, 2007
Probably the best high school slasher movie ever made. A template for slasher films. A group of kids play a creepy game in an abandoned building and one of them ends up dead; the other kids promise never to talk about what happened. But somebody knows their secret and comes after them six years later, killing them off one by one. Jamie Lee Curtis enhances what otherwise would've been a forgettable horror flick. It's 1980 when disco music was still legal - watch out for some funny styles. The van death scene was classic. Great final chase with the bitchy girl, though a bit dark. Leslie Nielson played a serious role as the Principal of the school. The final showdown on the dance floor was genius. Nice sad song at the end credits.
Jason S

Super Reviewer

February 16, 2007
A creepy movie. The sequels were a little out there though.

Super Reviewer

October 8, 2011
'Prom Night' has a campy feel to it (in particular, when somones decapitated head rolls down a catwalk), and also has some very scary sequences, but in the end, there arn't enough of either.
Ryan M
Ryan M

Super Reviewer

June 29, 2011

"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 such as this, but maybe that alone explains why so many people get off to watching a film, such as "Prom Night", in which people are stabbed in lame ways, people are decapitated in lame ways, and in which Jamie Lee Curtis proves that she needs a better agent.

The film is intended as a tongue-in-cheek horror picture, but where's the humor? I'm usually good at spotting satire within horror films, but then again, maybe "Prom Night" was aiming for different territories all-together. The film itself begins with the tragic death of a child, who falls to her unfortunate demise after a group of crappy, brat children scare her while playing a little "game". Six years after the death, the kids, all teens now, are facing guilt and anxiety. It is the day- soon to be night- of the big prom, and one of the girls (Jamie Lee Curtis), son of the school principle (Leslie Nielson), has been chosen to be the Prom Queen.

The problem is that this night is about to become reckless as all hell. Earlier on in the film, a mysterious man phone-calls each of the kids from the opening scene. He knows they will be attending the prom, so that is where he is expected to turn up. The man may be seeking vengeance for the death, as he was a witness. Nobody really knows what he wants. That is, until he starts, as I mentioned, stabbing and decapitating teens (in lame ways).

We want to know who the killer is, in the end, and this is the only reason why we stick around. I liked- or at least somewhat liked- how the film THOUGHT that it was on to something, but when all is said and done, it needs to be a little more self-aware. Really, this might help it, you know, work.

Suspense scenes are poorly staged, even for a low-budget horror movie. The 80's seemed like a good time for some filmmakers to stretch their creative limbs, as well as a good time for down-right morons to make movies that nobody really gives a damn about. Low-budget does not mean you have to give us an overdose of cheese and unoriginality. You can milk an idea until it has nothing left, or you can expand and be creative. Tell me, where's the creativity here? What makes "Prom Night" a "good night" (at the movies)? If nobody can answer me, then hell, I'll just give up.

Oh, now look what your movie has done, John Carpenter. Your horror masterpiece "Halloween" has transformed the brave and bold scream-queen Jamie Lee Curtis into a "type actor". She is brave and bold no longer, but granted, she's still a scream-queen. But still, it doesn't matter. What matters is story, characters, and wit; all things which "Prom Night" simply does not have. Nielson is kind of pleasurable in his relatively small role, but forgettable in the end.

I don't go into slasher movies expecting ANY of them to be good. That's the beauty of the moment when, to my surprise, they turn out to be good. I approached "Prom Night" the same way, and got bored really fast, just like I have with other just-as-bad slasher movies. Believe it or not, there are good slasher movies, and then there are, obviously, the god-awful ones. The only truly scary thing attached to "Prom Night" is that it has an audience, and sadly, it's a stupid one.
Sylvester K

Super Reviewer

December 10, 2013
It is understandable that this film garnered a cult following, despite it's cult status, I believe the film was overrated. I'd still give it credit for being an early slasher film though. The story centred around 4 kids who accidentally caused the death of one of their friends when they were still kids, now a killer began killing each one of them on the prom night to avenge the girl. There wasn't much to watch out for, Jamie Lee Curtis was surprisingly a good dancer! The chasing scene of one of the girls with the killer was entertaining. Overall, the film bored its audience for 50 minutes before anything actually happened.
David S

Super Reviewer

October 11, 2011
Following on from the 'Halloween' cycle this also stars Curtis and the setting of a school was nicked by 'Scream' but unlike 'Hallowee' and 'Friday the 13th' the killer isn't very scary here and the deaths are unimaginative (apart from a nice decapitation of the dance floor). There is also a distinct lack of gore. Not the classic I was hoping for.
Lord Naseby
Lord Naseby

Super Reviewer

October 13, 2010
Well, here we have another Jamie Lee Curtis Scream Queen flick. And how boring and unoriginal it was.

Acting: blah blah blah. How many different ways can I say that having nameless actors play the same characters as every other slasher film that you don't care about is a bad idea? I just didn't care. Why should I? I liked Leslie Nielson though. I always like him. He's great. 1.5/10

Plot: they aren't even trying now. They are just looking for new excuses to rip people apart. We simply don't care about any of the characters. They don't get much screen time until they die. It's pathetic. The plot is ridiculous. I absolutely hated it. Plus, you know who the killer is in the first five minutes of the film. That's never ever good. .5/10

Screenplay: *sigh* same old same old. 0/10

Likableness: I didn't like it. I didn't even care. I disliked all of the characters even when I could tell them apart which was rare because they are all the same cardboard cutouts that keep getting recycled for new slasher films. I don't even want to bother watching these movies anymore but I know I will. perseverance is a virtue. 1/10

Final score: 3/40 7% (N)

TRIVIA TIME: 1. The line, "It's not who you come with, it's who takes you home," appears in all the Prom Night movies.

2. 'David Mucci', who played troublemaker Lou, had a serious medical condition. He was forced to be immobilized underneath the stage for one of the scenes. He was terrified that something would happen while he was trapped there so director Paul Lynch held his hand for the duration of the scene to assure him everything would be all right.

Super Reviewer

March 8, 2008
So, we have a lot of uninteresting, underdeveloped characters whose only redeeming quality is being slightly less annoying that anyone from most Friday the 13th movie. These characters walk around aimlessly for about an hour and then start dying the most boring deaths ever... probably, you can't tell with the shitty video quality and finally the movie ends with the killer being exactly who you thought all along. The only good thing I can say about Prom Night is that it surely inspired way better horror movies.
Lee K

Super Reviewer

July 6, 2009
Jamie Lee Curtis during these 80's thrillers was labelled by the media as the scream queen. She doesnt seem to do horror anymore however i think she should give it another stab " no puns intended". This one was filmed in parts of Toronto and was even creepy at times as i remember it something new horrors cant seem to accomplish.

Super Reviewer

August 7, 2007
The story is a little better than the new film with the same name that's actually not a remake. A killer that kills people from his year book is a decent idea for a movie. He also has a pretty good reason to want to killer them all. It beats the new one where the killer is just obsessed with a teen girl for no good reason. But it's still a pretty bad slasher picture.
Anthony V

Super Reviewer

May 2, 2007
Not one of the best slasher flicks, although it did have a creepy opening with the kids. Less bad disco, more wicked slashing!
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