After witnessing the death of a young girl during an unfortunate game of hide-and-seek, a masked killer returns years later to exact revenge against the teens that were involved in her death on the night of their Senior Prom. Coming off of the success of HALLOWEEN, Jamie Lee Curtis stars as the quintessential "scream-queen" in this rather conventional teen Slasher, a role she would assume once more in TERROR TRAIN the same year. PROM NIGHT possesses nearly every trait that defines the Slasher film, including the masked killer, a series of menacing phone calls made to the victims, an empowered "final girl," a killing spree that occurs on a significant date, and many others. That being said, it is also one of the most mediocre entries within the genre. In addition to an inane subplot about an escaped lunatic that has no bearing on any of the events outside of creating a faulty red herring, the film trudges along at a sluggish pace, without a single murder occurring until the last third of the picture. What is worse is that the deaths are completely uninspired and virtually bloodless except for an unexpected decapitation on the disco dance floor. While gratuitous violence certainly does not determine a film's worth (as TERROR TRAIN would soon prove), the overall uneventfulness paired with its lack of gore make it easily forgettable. Thankfully, Paul Lynch's skilled camera placements give the film a visual strength that is lacking in many of the later genre entries. PROM NIGHT holds an undeserved placing as one of the early classics from the first wave of Slasher movies, but purists can overlook its flaws and appreciate it for its strictly formulaic design.
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If you liked PROM NIGHT, check out:
PROM NIGHT II, TERROR TRAIN, CARRIE.