Prom Night


In 2005, Donna Keppel (Brittany Snow) returns home to find her father and brother dead. She hides under the bed as Richard Fenton (Johnathon Schaech), her former teacher who is obsessed with her, kills her mother in front of her. Three years later, she has been in therapy and she tells her therapist (Ming Wen) about the recurring dream of that night.

Donna is now living with her aunt (Jessalyn Gilsig) and uncle (Linden Ashby), and is about to graduate from high school. She and her friends are getting ready to attend their senior prom that night. While at the salon with her friends, she thinks she sees Fenton watching her from across the street, but when a car passes, he’s gone. Donna’s boyfriend, Bobby (Scott Porter), arrives at her house, along with her friends Lisa (Dana Davis), Claire (Jessica Stroup), and their boyfriends, Ronnie (Collins Pennie) and Michael (Kelly Blatz). They take a limousine to the prom.

At the town’s police station, Detective Winn (Idris Elba), who imprisoned Fenton three years ago, learns that Fenton has escaped from prison and warns Donna’s aunt and uncle. At the prom, Fenton arrives at the hotel disguised as a man named Mr. Ramsey, and takes a room on Donna’s floor and kills the housekeeper to get the master key. On the dance floor, Claire has a fight with her boyfriend Michael and goes up to her room with Donna to calm down. After Donna leaves, Claire is alone and hears noises. She then sees Fenton, who proceeds to take Claire into a room, stabs her and kills her. When Claire doesn’t return, Michael goes upstairs to see her. While in the room, Fenton hides, then kills Michael. Detective Winn arrives and warns the hotel staff to be on the alert. Fenton kills a hotel employee looking for the maid and takes his uniform.

Lisa and Ronnie head up to the room, Lisa bumps into Fenton in the elevator. While making out Lisa realizes that it was Fenton and runs off to warn Donna, but after taking the stairs she’s caught by Fenton. She is chased down to the basement of the hotel where construction is taking place and she hides herself from Fenton, but after her boyfriend calls her name from the elevator, Fenton finds her and kills her.

Winn and his assistant Nash (James Ransone) find the body of a man named Mr. Ramsey in a car in the hotel parking lot. Winn goes up to the room and finds the housekeeper’s body. Knowing for sure that Fenton is in the building, Winn sounds the emergency alarm and has the entire hotel evacuated. Donna goes back to the room to retrieve her mother’s shawl and runs into Fenton. Realizing Donna is still inside Winn races back up to the room. Donna escapes Fenton, and Winn discovers the body of the employee Fenton killed earlier. Winn realizes Fenton left the hotel in the employee’s uniform.

Winn now races back to Donna’s house and finds Detective Nash dead in his squad car. Inside Donna returns from the bathroom to find Bobby’s throat has been slit. She sees a shadow out in the hall and she hides in her closet, thinking the shadow is Fenton’s. The person in the hall is Detective Winn and Fenton grabs Donna in the closet. Winn is about to open the closet but then hears a scream from Donna’s aunt, from noticing the dead officer on the ground outside so Winn runs to her bedroom. Donna bites Fenton on the hand and tries to escape out of the closet but trips on the floor. Fenton tries to hold her down but Donna continues to struggle and kick him. When Fenton was above Donna and tries to stab her, Winn runs in and shoots Fenton, killing him. Donna cries over Bobby’s dead body and Winn tells her it’s over


 We all remember our high school prom and the feelings that ran through us that night, right? Well, imagine if you were the object of some crazy stalker’s affection, and he escaped from prison that night and was coming for you. That is the general idea behind Prom Night.

First off, let me address something that many who have seen this film complain about, and that is the lack of gore. I, too, was expecting a bit more bloodshed, but we have to remember that this film is rated PG-13 (though I watched the unrated version), so the site of blood is going to be few and far between. While it may have made this a better picture to up that factor a bit, not ever horror flick can be Saw.

Now that I’ve said that, this isn’t half bad. However, with all the potential this plot has, the filmmakers seriously drop the ball. I mean how much more creepy can you get than some teacher who develops an infatuation with a student to the point that he murders her parents and anyone that dares to keep them apart.

One would think, that they would really have played up the creepy angle, but instead they chose to focus more on the cop that arrested him and his attempts to contain him in the building where prom was being held.

Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with that, but this isn’t a cop flick.

The casting is pretty good. Brittany Snow seems like she was meant to be a prom queen and her friends form the perfect high school circle for her.

Idris Elba is believable as the cop/hero, though, as I mentioned before, they spent too much time on him.

Johnathon Schaech is the highlight of this flick, as he plays this creepy killer guy to perfection. Even I was a bit creeped out by him.

The final verdict on Prom Night is that it is pretty good, but not spectacular. This is what I like to call a warm-up horror flick. The kid for those not ready for the heavier stuff. With that said, I think audiences will enjoy it, as long as they’re no hung up on wanting to see lots of gore.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

2 Responses to “Prom Night”

  1. […] past about horror movies that seem to be more about the suspense and not the gore, most recently, Prom Night, but this one is proof that a little bit of gore goes a long way. Of course, this was the 80s, […]

  2. […] past about horror movies that seem to be more about the suspense and not the gore, most recently, Prom Night, but this one is proof that a little bit of gore goes a long way. Of course, this was the 80s, when […]

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