Prom Night Reviews
Este slasher filme indiretamente demonstra a importância de termos ao menos uma vítima do serial killer nos primeiros 30 minutos do filme.
It's still a generic slasher, and it takes a long time to get going when you consider how predictable the entire thing is. Anyone could see who the killer ends up being. I also found it funny how Leslie Nielsen just sort of disappears the last 20 minutes. Maybe I missed something, but he was just... gone.
Worth checking out for slasher aficionados and those who love disco!
The movie takes place-of course-on the day of a high school prom, which also happens to be the anniversary of little Robin Hammond's death; four other kids-Wendy, Nick, Kelly and Jude-were teasing her during a game of hide and seek in an abandoned convent, which resulted in her falling out of a two-story window. The kids have never spoken of it since, but now they're getting threatening phone calls, while a sex offender wrongly convicted for Robin's death has escaped from prison. Soon enough, there's a body count.
Not soon enough, though. Nearly the first hour of the movie is just the antics that take place prior to a prom. Who's going with who, what's everyone going to wear, who's going to lose their virginity, whatever. Occasionally, it's interrupted with scenes of Nick's father Lt. McBride (George Touliatos) investigating the offender's disappearance, believing he might be on his way to the prom. This actually raises a pretty good question for the viewer. We know he didn't kill Robin, so does that mean he's going to kill the others, or is something else altogether happening?
Now how about the characters? Jamie Lee Curtis plays Robin's sister Kim, and as you might expect, she plays her quite well. It's not the same as her Laurie Strode character, by any means; she's much more spunky and out-going. She's much more involved in what's going on throughout the movie; she has a lot more to do than just babysit. Curtis is basically the driving point of the whole movie; director Paul Lynch had a hard time even getting the movie financed until she signed on. Leslie Nielsen does a dramatic turn as her father, also the principal of the high school; he actually does pretty well too. He's done good dramatic roles in his career in films like "The Poseidon Adventure" and "Creepshow."
The rest of the cast is okay, if not particularly memorable. You have your typical weirdoes along with your typical assholes; I'm looking at you, Wendy (Anne-Marie Martin) and Lou (David Mucci). You see, Kim is going to prom with Nick (Casey Stevens). Wendy used to go out with him, so she asks out Paul the rebel so they can embarrass them...God, we're doing this crap again? To be fair, I suppose the motivation is a little stronger here than in "Carrie." But am I really describing something that teenagers would gossip about?
The story has almost no originality; I may as well say that. Setting the events on prom night is obviously borrowed from "Carrie," the phone calls were prominent in "Black Christmas," the masked killer is right out of "Haloween," even the whole "kids accidentally killing someone and then vowing to cover it up" scenario was the theme in "I Know What You Did Last Summer." The movie was years away, but the novel it was based on came out before. But I've always tried to go with the concept that it doesn't always matter if the story is original or not; what does matter is the execution. In this one, it's not really executed that badly. The story has plenty of mystery, and the scenes where the killer attacks are crafted quite well.
But let's jump to the climax, where all the violence happens. With an ax his weapon of choice, the killer in the mask kills off Kelly and Jude (they had almost no real role in this movie, did they?) before killing Wendy after a chase. Then he tries to kill Nick as he's named Prom King along with Kim as Queen, but he cuts off Lou's head instead. A pretty good duel ensues between the killer, Kim and Nick, even if there's some really lame music to go with it.
Then we get our big final act twist. It turns out the killer is Alex (Michael Tough), Kim and Robin's brother. I have to say, it's actually set up pretty well; giving someone else entirely plausible motivation but then revealing it was actually somebody else. But I also love how there's no clichéd lines of "How could you?" "Why are you doing this?" or "They deserve it," etc. It's just a silent stare between Alex and Kim, the realization dawning on Kim's face, and the horror in Alex's under the mask. As he runs outside the gym, gets shot by police and dies in Kim's arms, it's a genuinely emotional moment. I can hardly believe it, but it's true.
So even if "Prom Night" isn't particularly memorable, it's really not a bad movie. It actually became one of those horror franchises that nobody really knew about. In the 1980s and 90s, "Halloween," "Friday the 13th" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" dominated the horror movie scene, but "Prom Night" had the occasional crappy sequel just like the others. But we'll get to those another day; until then, this movie is good for a little time-killer, but there isn't a huge amount of replay value.