Prom Night - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Prom Night Reviews

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½ July 14, 2016
This movie stars - interestingly enough - Leslie NIELSEN and Jamie LEE CURTIS. It is your generic late 70's-early 80's slasher movie (so it is not a comedy although NIELSEN is in it) with some interesting features (in the first 30 minutes) but lots of clumsiness and disappointment (... in the next 61 minutes).
½ July 12, 2016
One of our most beloved scream queens once again takes the star lead here. This film comes just after "Halloween" on Curtis' most astonishing horror list.
½ July 8, 2016
Killer funny, gets hurt running around. Nice ass shot. Brother is killer.
½ March 21, 2016
Do you remember that time you went to prom and someone showed up and started killing everybody? Fun times. So begins our back-to-back look at the first two films of the Prom Night series, the first of which was released to theatres July 18, 1980. It gives Leslie Nielsen top billing even though he has about five total minutes in the movie and then disappears without explanation. Jamie Lee Curtis also stars, having been, at this point, well-entrenched in the horror film genre as the girl who survives all the crazy maniacs. It started with Halloween, then The Fog and then Terror Train not long after this one. Hence, the reason why she was given the unofficial title of "Scream Queen".

The premise of the movie is thus: six years ago, four young children were responsible for the accidental death of Robin Hammond. They promised each other to keep it quiet and split, but unbeknownst to the kids, there was a witness. The police blamed it on a local psycho, arrested him and closed the case. Now, the kids are facing their prom but at the same time, someone has crafted a list of their names on a piece of paper, and is making some crank calls. I find it quite odd that someone went to the trouble to print these names to paper and then scratch them off when the crank call is completed. Meanwhile, we're told that the guy arrested for the little girl's death six years ago has escaped the psych hospital we was held at and that he may be headed back to town for revenge, in a plot device taken directly from Halloween. The problem is that the device in this instance is never fleshed out on-screen.

Kim (Curtis) and Nick (Casey Stevens) are going to prom together; as are Kelly (Marybeth Rubens) and Drew (Jeff Wincott); Drew just wants to get laid and doesn't care if it's Kelly or someone else; Kelly doesn't want to put out. Jude (Joy Thompson) is going with Seymour aka "Slick" (Sheldon Rybowski) and his 1980 custom-made Chevy van. One of the best lines in the film comes after Jude and Slick have sex in the van, when Jude says "I can hardly believe it. This morning I didn't even know you!". Meanwhile, Kim has a rival for Nick in the form of Wendy (Eddie Benton), who is determined to steal him away. So much so that she plots a scheme with the lughead Lou (David Mucci). Lou was my favorite character in the entire film. He's so cool that he smokes in the school hallway, with the top three buttons of his shirt undone. He even has goons! They show up to prom in their tuxedo shirts and it's a beautiful thing to behold.

Nick, Kelly, Jude and Wendy were the four children that kept the secret about young Robin's death. Robin was the sister of Kim and Alex, just so I can tie this thing together for you. Not only are they receiving crank calls, but their high school photos have been taped to the inside of their lockers with menacing-looking shards of glass stuck to them in a threatening manner. At this point, as the viewer, you start to try and piece things together in order to be smarter than the movie. Some of the suspects include our escaped mental patient, as well as the school janitor, Mr. Sykes (Robert Silverman). Sykes is considered creepy by the kids, and I can't really say that I blame them as he really is one creepy bastard.



This movie was all set-up. Nothing really happened during the first hour other than some teen angst and amateur-hour death threats, and the movie has a 90-minute running time! The killer finally kills someone with 30 minutes left. We did get a suspenseful chase scene involving the killer and Wendy, and we laughed at Lou being a meathead. We also wondered how many years these "kids" have been in that school because they all appeared to be much too old for prom. A check of the cast shows us that Jamie Lee Curtis was 22, Eddie Benton was 23 and Jeff Wincott was 24, so there was quite a bit of suspension of disbelief to be held while watching. For a small spoiler alert (this movie is thirty six years old, so get over it), the plot also gave us a few red herrings as I found it strange that Leslie Nielsen's character just disappeared from the movie without any explanation.

The slasher genre can really be clichèd and this one hits them all. A film in this genre can usually escape it's trappings by offering up new twists on the plot, or filling it with humor and moments of self-awareness. Prom Night does not completely succeed at doing this. Whereas I was entertained briefly by the sights and sounds of the setting, the main plot did not really lure me in to the point where I felt entertained throughout. There were some moments of humor, and a couple of tense scenes, but the big reveal at the end was underwhelming because one of the characters involved was not developed on-screen in any significant way.

If you're a slasher film completist, you might find something to enjoy here. If you're looking for a good b-movie, this one hits a few of the tropes, especially with some dialogue and bad acting.

Score: 2.5/5
½ February 18, 2016
Another slasher movie, but with a slightly more interesting story than most. This does, however, have one of the most awkward acting scenes in history though. The only time I felt the need to hide behind the sofa during this was when Leslie Nielsen had to dance to music that was clearly several generations beyond his abilities. Poor Les.
½ February 3, 2016
Most trash has the guts to be revolting, but not this one. It just sucks. One of the ugliest, laziest, most interminable experiences I've had with '80s horror, and I've seen "Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf".
November 25, 2015
Finalement assez ordi comme slasher, je comprends pas pourquoi on en parle encore...
October 18, 2015
A solid slasher released at the height of the post-Halloween boom. It is slow paced but the final half hour delivers the requisite thrills.
½ September 23, 2015
First off, let me say that this movie was hard to watch...literally. The picture quality was so bad that there were many times where I couldn't tell what was happening. I realize that's partially because it's so old, but I think some of it was bad cinematography.

Anyway, I don't think I would have liked this anyway. It was very boring and nothing really happens until the last 30 minutes. There are a lot of pointless scenes. For example, there is a choreographed disco dance scene that goes on far too long. I kept watching it and thinking "Isn't this a horror film?". There are barely any kills and the ones that do happen are so dark it's hard to tell what is going on.

Don't waste your time on this one. Even if you're a hardcore horror fan, you'll probably find this to be mediocre at best.
½ September 14, 2015
One of those few slashers that I can barely recall viewing perhaps once before, and after a revisit I still feel a bit fuzzy on the details, as it's somewhat forgettable save for a disco prom bit that I had stuck in my head.

Rental? I keep thinking maybe this one will grow on me.
August 9, 2015
"Prom Night" has nothing original to propose. The script has some (little) thrilling moments but with ridiculous ending and openning, it never succeed to keep the full attention of the watcher.
June 28, 2015
Weak slasher film does feature the original scream queen, Jamie Lee Curtis, but not much else. The set up is kind of like "I Know What You Did Last Summer" where a group of kids accidentally kill a friend causing her to fall out a high window. Several years later the same group of friends are now getting ready for their high school prom and a masked killer is stalking those responsible for their friend's untimely death. There is a bit of a who-done-it to the story along with the various killing, so it's not an unstoppable killer type of slasher film, but it's definitely a body count movie. Unfortunately, it's not a very clever, original or even very well made of one. Something like "The Burning" is even better than this. Leslie Nielsen also appears in the film, who is now impossible to take seriously after "The Naked Gun" films. Overall, this slasher film was pretty dull until the ending where it finally stared coming to life.
May 27, 2015
Um terceiro ato cheio de perseguições interessantes e uma boa revelação que realmente me surpreendeu. Infelizmente, os dois primeiros atos enfraquecem o filme com cenas de mistério e suspense que acabam entediando um pouco.

Este slasher filme indiretamente demonstra a importância de termos ao menos uma vítima do serial killer nos primeiros 30 minutos do filme.
May 17, 2015
Scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis stars in this gore-filled slasher film about a killer out for revenge against some teenagers on the night of their prom.
½ March 26, 2015
No, this movie really isn't that good.
February 24, 2015
Leslie Nielsen in a serious role.
½ January 6, 2015
The movie starts slow and especially drags in the middle act, the story is well thought out however with developing the characters and setting the story. Performances were all around modest to great, the standouts definitely were Jamie Lee Curtis, Leslie Nielsen, Eddie Benton, Casey Stevens and Michael Tough. Not all characters were exactly likeable or interesting but the cast did a great job. The screenplay felt fresh even though one can easily call it a rip-off from classics in the horror genre like Carrie and Halloween. The death scenes were very creative and a particular chase scene was very well executed. The final act was truly brilliant and very fun. The disco scenes were perfect yet hilarious and the soundtrack was easily one of the stronger and most memorable aspect of this 1980 slasher. The killer felt very human to me even though it could've been handled better, the killer reveal was surprising and gave the movie a shocking but dramatic twist ending. For me the ending worked good as it ended like a drama. The first hour of the movie plays out like a mystery/crime but the final act definitely gives slasher fans something to chew on and then some. Paul Lynch did a great job directing this film, the detail to color is stunning and the 80's style is terrific. Its really flawed at parts and there needed to be more tension in the middle act but I still appreciated and enjoyed this 1980 slasher for what it was. Some of the police scenes should've been left out as they lead to nowhere and only filled the running time. Also more detail to the dialogue would've been pleasant. Still this 1980 slasher is MUCH better and superior to the godawful 2008 remake by name only. Highly recommend it to the die-hard slasher fans, this is one slasher you have to have seen at least once. I've seen much better slashers though...
January 4, 2015
It's pretty generic and takes a long time setting things up, and it's bad... but oh so good too! I don't know what it is that I enjoyed about this movie so much. I think it's the fascination with all the disco and the late 70s/early 80s look. This is like opening up a time capsule from a time long forgotten. The disco soundtrack and the random dance number helps elevate this movie a bit.

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!
December 3, 2014
There were parts that were a bit too reminiscent of "Halloween" (and maybe a little bit of "Carrie") but overall it was pretty good.
½ October 28, 2014
More of a Mystery than a Slasher, but yes, there is a prom.
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