Prom Night (2008)

prom night 2008 movie poster
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 5/10

Straight forward psycho killer film

No hope

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Prom Night

Studio:  Original Film

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  April 11, 2008

MPAA Rating:  R


Prom! Everything is perfect and we are all going to have happy long lives together!

Donna Keppel (Brittany Snow) finds her family violently murdered by an obsessed teacher named Richard Fenton (Johnathon Schaech).  Three years have passed, and unknown to Donna, Fenton has escaped the prison institution that was holding him.  As prom night approaches, Donna, her boyfriend Bobby (Scott Porter), Lisa (Dana Davis), Lisa’s boyfriend Ronnie (Collins Pennie), Claire (Jessica Stroup), and Claire’s boyfriend Michael (Kelly Blatz) are preparing for one of their biggest nights of the school year.  A high price hotel becomes a site of terror as Fenton comes back for Donna and nothing can get in his way.

Directed by Nelson McCormick, Prom Night is a remake of the 1981 cult horror film starring Jamie Lee Curtis.  The movie wasn’t well received by critics but performed modestly at the box office.


I’m a detective in a horror film, that means I die right?

I actually don’t mind Prom Night that much.  It is a stripped down horror film that if it had been released in the 1970s would easily have been grind house.  It isn’t the best film, but I kind of like its extremely basic approach.

Prom Night does make fun or have much fun with the horror idea…something that was popular during the period in which it was made.  There aren’t a lot of in-jokes, and the movie is no nonsense (almost to a fault).  The killer is the killer and it is just a matter of the killer hunting Donna…it is almost a pleasant change from the need to surprise and mystify the viewers with a twist in most horror films.


So…want to go to prom with me?

The cast is so-so.  Brittany Snow actually does an ok job as the victim, and I always like Idris Elba who is solid as the detective hunting Fenton.  Johnathon Schaech is alright as the villain, but he is a general “psycho” (he did get nominated for Best Villain from MTV losing to Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight).

Surprisingly with a straight forward plot, the movie didn’t go for elaborate kills.  The killer pretty much just stabs people to death (of course with a jump).  Once again, it fits more into a grindhouse style movie with this format and that is kind of refreshing.

Prom Night isn’t a great horror movie, but I do like its basic nature.  The movie is a traditional killer movie and it is violent and deadly.  There are definitely ways that the script could have been pumped up or tweaked to make it a better film, but it isn’t the worse thing you’ll see.  It might be more realistic that almost everyone Donna knows dies (even the bitchy girl lives), but it does leave the film as a bit of a downer.

Related Links:

Prom Night (1980)

Prom Night II:  Hello Mary Lou (1987)

Prom Night III:  The Last Kiss (1990)

Prom Night IV:  Deliver Us from Evil (1992)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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