Prom Night (1980)

Prom Night (1980)

“I’ve always been really sorry about it.”

Six years after a group of 11-year-old kids (Brock Simpson, Leslie Scott, Karen Forbes, and Joyce Kite) accidentally cause the death of their bullied friend (Tammy Bourne) during a brutal hide-and-seek game, a mysterious masked killer begins plotting the demise of each of the teens (Casey Stevens, Anne-Marie Martin, Joy Thompson, and Marybeth Rubens) as they prepare to participate in a disco-themed Prom Night. Meanwhile, the dead girl’s sister (Jamie Lee Curtis) — who is dating Stevens — is about to be crowned Prom Queen, but must deal with the wrath of Stevens’ spurned ex-girlfriend (Martin), who has enlisted the help of a local tough (David Mucci) in seeking revenge.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Horror Films
  • Revenge
  • Serial Killer

This immensely popular Canadian slasher flick was clearly inspired by numerous previous hits, including Carrie (1976) (with its emphasis on prom-night-gone-wrong), the disco-fever of Saturday Night Live (1977), Jamie Lee Curtis’s popularity in Halloween (1978), and the kill-one-teen-at-a-time plotline of Friday the 13th (1980). On its own merits, Prom Night is unexceptional, but meets expectations in terms of offering up plenty of frights and gore. Interestingly, it served as direct inspiration for the spoof horror flick Student Bodies (1981), which similarly features an odd-looking janitor (here played by Robert Silverman), a high school principal (here played by Leslie Nielsen!), spooky phone calls to victims, and a host of potential suspects.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Atmospheric cinematography

  • Effective use of flashbacks

Must See?
No; you can skip this one unless you’re a fan of slasher flicks.


2 thoughts on “Prom Night (1980)

  1. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Solid horror film with decent production and performances. As you say, very popular at the time and since with several sequels etc. Fun film but not a must see for FFs.

  2. First viewing (11/30/20). Skip it.

    Aside from the murders (and even sometimes during), this is a largely lethargic ’80s horror flick. I kept wanting Nielsen to turn into Frank Drebin – and once or twice he almost did.

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