Saturday, November 1, 2014

Prom Night

Director - Paul Lynch (Humongous)
Starring - Leslie Nielsen (Stan Helsing), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, The Fog), and Casey Stevens (The Littlest Hobo)
Release Date - 1980
Genre - Horror
Tagline(s) - "There's a special night in the lives of all of us. A night to be beautiful. To be desirable. A night we can break all the rules and make our own. Prom night." "Everyone at Hamilton High is getting ready for prom night. It's a day of rehearsals, arrangements, final preparations... and last-minute phone calls." and "They're too old for games, but someone still wants to play."
Format - BluRay (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     1980 was a hell of a year for horror.  We had films like Motel Hell, New Year's Evil, Friday the 13th, Fade to Black, The Boogey Man, Terror Train, and Christmas Evil.  This was a very exciting year for horror but one of the most important when it came to the slasher sub-genre. This year saw some of the most influential slashers during the golden age of the sub-genre.  Among those films that is often referenced is the high school slasher Prom Night.  This is a film I first saw a few years ago and actually reviewed once before when I first started my original blog Blacktooth's Reviews and Rants.  My self-esteem was not that high at that point and I deleted my blog after a few posts and my review of Prom Night was among them.  I felt bad for deleting my review and wanted to cover this one again.  Lucky for me I was recently sent a blu copy of the film from Synapse.
     The film begins with a group of kids, about 10 or 11 in age, as they are playing a game in an abandoned building.  Sadly, one of the little girls falls out the window and to her death.  Her brother and sister just happen to be walking by when she falls.  The group that was with her make a promise to never mention to anyone what had happened.  We then jump 6 years and the young girls brother and sister. Kim and Alex, are preparing for prom.  Kim is looking forward to the big night because she will be crowned prom queen.  However, as prom night nears a masked killer is stalking those at the high school and killing them in true fashion.  The night of the prom finally arrives and the killer is busier than normal killing teens when he finally sets his sit on Kim's prom date.  The two fight it out in the dance floor and it is revealed that the killer is actually Alex who is killing those responsible for his sister's death.
     When it comes to slashers I prefer the ones that take place in the woods.  These slashers just seem more appealing to me.  Don't get me wrong, I do find redeeming qualities in all slashers but for me I feel that the ones set in the woods follow the slasher formula perfectly.  With that being said, Prom Night is a text book example of what it meant to be an 80s slasher.  Though the film is flawed it still offers an excellent slasher experience.  The acting in this one is what you would expect from a slasher.  The acting is not consistent throughout the film.  We had seen Jamie Lee Curtis demonstrate amazing skill and talent on screen in John Carpenter's Halloween and The Fog.  However, in this film she does not have the charm or on-screen charisma that we had became accustomed to.  The remainder of the cast is just slasher fodder with brief scenes of Leslie Nielsen sprung throughout.  The story for this one is a by the book slasher.  We get the opening scene where someone dies and is done wrong.  We then move forward in time where a masked murderer is killing for revenge.  Though it is not original, even for 1980, it is still fun and one of the many reasons slashers are so fun.  Finally, the film does have several on screen kills but most of which are ones we had seen countless times even though it was just the beginning of the slasher craze.  The special effects are decent for the kills so that adds to the enjoyment.  Overall, Prom Night is a perfect example of what made 80s slashers so fun.  A smooth story, some serious kills, and an overwhelming feeling of 80s nostalgia.  Fans of slashers need to check this one out!

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