“At a high school senior prom, a masked killer stalks four teenagers who were responsible for the accidental death of a classmate six years previously.“ Director: Paul LynchWriters: William Gray, […]
“At a high school senior prom, a masked killer stalks four teenagers who were responsible for the accidental death of a classmate six years previously.“
Director: Paul Lynch Writers: William Gray, Robert Gurza Jr. Staring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Leslie Nielsen, Casey Stevens Release Date: July 18, 1980 IMDB
I hope you like disco, because that is what Prom Night (1980) delivers on most., No scares, thrills, suspense or excitement. Jamie Lee Curtis, in her third straight horror movie and just two movies removed from playing Laurie Strode in Halloween (1978), finds herself in one of the most boring slasher movies one can imagine. The 90 minute story manages to feel like a three hour long class room lecture, but lulls you into a sense of calm because all you hear are techno beats for the last hour non-stop.
Is watching Prom Night the same as an EDM concert? Does the repetitive sound make it all go by fast?
We are going to get this out of the way now, but Prom Night is not worth watching. It is arguably not worth summarizing. But alas, here we go.
Prom Night begins with a group of young children hanging out at an abandoned convent playing a game of hide-and-seek. There are a quartet of kids are nasty buggers and who tease a young girl chanting “kill her, kill her.” While the group is collectively impersonating a serial killer, they push her towards a broken window. This young girl, who goes by the name Robin Hammond (Tammy Bourne), falls out the window and her body becomes broken. Okay, she died.
These four kids all promise never to tell anyone anything, but like all childhood promises involving keeping a dark secret at bay…it doesn’t last forever. On the fateful night of Hamilton High School’s prom, a mysterious presence begins wreaking havoc on promiscuous high schoolers. This killer has a connection to that same day of Robin’s death, but what connection that is, is left till the very end.
This was the first misstep in Jamie Lee Curtis’s career. After Halloween there was The Fog (1980) which is a wonderfully unique John Carpenter spooky story. Unfortunately for Curtis, Paul Lynch directed Prom Night and he doe snot have nearly the prowess that Carpenter wields.
Prom Night has all the setup you want from a 1980s b-rate horror movie, but the execution is Terrible. Yes, with a capital T. Lynch makes the choice to have all the kills be in either slow-motion, muted from audio, incredibly dark and super extreme close-up.
The brutality of the kills is subdued; it is like playing Scrabble on kids mode where you have all the letters laid out already. There is no thrill when everything is laid out for you. Perhaps it is the era in which I watched Prom Night, but the kills where set up as obviously as blocking on a theatrical play. Set the characters and scene up, and just wait for the cue. Whether it be sex, drugs, or bullying. After the fact is when the killer will strike in slo-motion kiddy form,
Writing this all out, I do get the sense that I am being unfairly punishing to Prom Night, but I wanted this movie to be so much better. This is one of these horror movies where I would rather watch the mid 2000s remake because it doesn’t have the sound track.
Too much Disco man. I don’t think Saturday Night Fever (1977) had this much disco. It is absolutely nuts.
Prom Night is an event not worth attending. It is utterly forgettable…much like many actual high school proms.
Also, can’t end this without nothing that Leslie Nielsen is in this. This is the movie that Nielsen did after Airplane (1980). Talk about polar opposite movies and longterm legacies.
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