80’s Slasher Throwback: “Prom Night” (1980) Review


Yesterday I saw Prom Night (1980) for the very first time, also as part of the ‪#‎80sHorrorWeek‬. I did see the 2008 remake by name only and I absolutely hated that movie. Well I’ve finally seen the original Prom Night and I must say I liked it. The movie begins interesting but the middle act is very slow and drags a lot. The story is well thought out however with developing the characters and setting up the story. Performances were all around modest to great, the standouts definitely were Jamie Lee Curtis, Leslie Nielsen, Eddie Benton, Casey Stevens and Michael Tough. Not all characters were exactly likeable or given some sort of backstory but the cast did a great job none the less. The screenplay felt fresh even though one can easily call it a rip-off from classics in the horror genre like Carrie and Halloween. The death scenes were very creative and one particular chase scene was very well executed.

The final act was truly brilliant and very fun to watch. The disco scenes were perfect yet hilarious and the soundtrack was easily one of the stronger and more memorable aspects of this 1980 slasher. The killer felt very human (read: imperfections) even though he could’ve been more menacing. The reveal of the killer was surprising and gave the movie a shocking but dramatic twist ending. For me the ending worked good as it ended like a drama and is just an extension of the high-school drama setting most of the film carries. The first hour of the movie plays more like a mystery/crime but the final act definitely gives slasher fans in particular something to chew on and then some. Paul Lynch did a great job directing this film, the detail to color is stunning and the 80’s style looks terrific. Its really flawed at parts and there needed to be more tension in the middle act but I still appreciated and enjoyed this 1980 slasher for what it was.

Some of the police scenes should’ve been left out as they lead to nowhere and only added to the running time. Also more detail to the dialogue would’ve had been pleasant. Still this 1980 slasher is MUCH better and superior in every sense of the word to the godawful 2008 remake by name only. I highly recommend Prom Night (1980) to the die-hard slasher fans, this is one slasher you have to have seen at least once in your life. The movie doesn’t come without its problems but the positive outweigh the negative. I’ve seen much better slashers though…

–Ferdi Akkulak