Monday, October 6, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 6: Prom Night

For the last few years I always do a 31 days of Halloween month. The past few years I re-read all the original Goosebumps books and before that I'd watch 31 horror movies. However I realized every single time I watched 31 Horror movies I exclusively picked ones I enjoyed. I decided to do something slightly different. I composed a list of every horror movie I owned and put them in alphabetical order. Then using a random number generator I generated 31 numbers and watched the movies that corresponded with those numbers. Some are great films and others… well… are less than fun let's say. I hope you enjoy!

Day 6: Prom Night (Movie #380)

Prom Night is one of those movies I rented early on in my horror movie fascination and I really never liked it very much. Honestly the only reason I own it is because I'm a slasher film completest. If we're becoming completely honest I prefer the sequel in name only Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2.

There's quite a few issues I have about this movie, a major one is that the film is a mystery with the least shocking reveal possible. It's basically stated in the beginning of the movie than the rest of the time the "Killer" is hidden among shadows and when he's finally unmasked in the last 5 seconds of the film it's treated as some startling revelation.

The film is also super tame (although this came out the same year as Friday the 13th that un-tamed the slasher film so I'll forgive it for that) and very slow (which I won't forgive). It's a bad sign when one of the most entertaining moments in the movie is 3 minute disco dancing sequence (to the films title track).

The premise of the film is weirdly similar to Stitches. If I didn't just watch that yesterday however I probably wouldn't have made the connection, but both films involve the unfortunate death of someone at the hands of a group of kids and a killer getting revenge on them years later. The only difference is that a killer undead clown is much more exciting.

In the beginning of the film a group of 10 year olds accidentally lead to the death of a girl name Robin. Flash-forward to six years later and her brother and sister are preparing for prom night (on the anniversary of Robin's death). At this same time all the kids involved in Robin's death get cryptic phone calls and are slowly killed off one by one. Eventually the killer is revealed. The End.

Now watching this again for the first time in years there are things I really like. You might think I'm joking about the dance sequence I mentioned earlier but for some reason it's captivating (isn't all disco dancing?). However the stand out character that I completely forgot even existed is Seymour "Slick" Crane. Everything involving him and Jude Cunningham is charming, funny and at times even cute. Jude might be the only person in the film that I'm said to see die (um Spoiler Alert I suppose).

The final death scene (literally in the final… 90 seconds of the movie) is a pretty decent death and takes advantage of a really simple practical effect but still makes for the best gore moment in the whole film.

Chances are this will sit on my shelf unwatched for a couple years and it's still one of my least favorite slashers but I have a slightly better appreciation for the film at least.

Long Live Slick

Matt Kelly is the host of the popular podcast The Saint Mort Show, a frequent contributor to, the founder of Chords for Cures and the co-writer/co-director of the upcoming comedy Describing the Moon. He also loves it when people surprise him with purchases from his Amazon Wishlist… just saying.

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