Prom Night (1980)

prom night jamie lee curtisThe film opening reminds me of A Nightmare on Elm Street with children playing in an abandoned building. The children play a diabolical game that leads to the death of a young girl of which they vow to keep secret. Six years later, the mystery still remains unsolved. The children involved are now teens getting ready for the prom. What should be a time of fun and memories turns deadly as revenge from an unknown assailant is sought.

prom night 1980Jamie Lee Curtis (property hailed as the ultimate Scream Queen) fittingly plays prom queen, Kim. She is grieving the anniversary of her sister’s death six years prior. Her boyfriend, who was involved in this incident, has a crucial role in keeping this unthinkable secret. Re-watching this film as an adult, I now remember why this isn’t one of my favorites from my childhood. I am as patient as they come, but come on, an hour in and still no kill scenes yet? We have to wait fifty minutes into the film before the prom actually starts, where disco is alive and well, full of bell-bottoms and flowers in flipped and permed hair.

As we watch these teens getting ready for the prom we can’t help but hope that some sort of Carrie incident will happen – but not to Jamie of course. We always want Jamie to survive no matter what. Anxious for the party to get started, it is a little disappointing when the horror does begin because there is practically zero gore; well, until someone’s head gets lopped off. But if you are a sucker for 80’s horror like me, you can look past it. The constant disco music in the background of all the kill scenes definitely doesn’t add to the atmosphere but I do love the strobe lights in the final showdown, creating a feeling of chaos.

prom night axe murderer gifIf you’ve seen this movie, you know that the reveal of the killer is actually pretty good and a nice surprise from our axe wielding psychopath. Even though this is a mediocre film, it is not for a lack of trying. If it weren’t for Jamie, this film would be lost amongst other failed horror films. Sure this film has its flaws but Jamie (on the heels of success from Halloween just two years prior) is the shining light at the end of the tunnel. We still must give this one credit as one of the first slasher films at the time the hype started for such films, setting the groundwork for future teen scream slasher films.

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Prom Night (1980) on IMDb

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