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Prom Night

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for violence and terror, some sexual material, underage drinking, and language

Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Mystery, Thriller, Horror, Remake
1 hr. 28 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
April 11, 2008
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Featuring: Brittany Snow
Hairspray,” “Guiding Light” TV series, “John Tucker Must Die

Johnathon Schaech
That Thing You Do!,” “Hush”

Jessica Stroup, Kellan Lutz, Jana Kramer, Brianne Davis, Kelly Blatz, Rachel Specter, Joshua Leonard, Idris Elba, Debbie Entin, Dana Davis, Scott Porter, Jessalyn Gilsig
Director: Nelson McCormick—“NYPD Blue” TV series, “Presidio Med,” “Operation Sandman”
Producer: Christopher Ball, J.S. Cardone, Marc Forby, Glenn S. Gainor, Neal H. Moritz, William Tyrer
Distributor: Screen Gems

“A Night To Die For.”

Teens’ Senior proms are often considered to be a magical time, a night most likely never to be forgotten. The film “Prom Night” attempts to tell how one girl’s special night turns to a time of horror. Based loosely on the 1980 version of the same name, “Prom Night” is one night that would be better forgotten.

Donna Keppel (Brittany Snow) wants to enjoy her senior prom just like the average teen. Having gone through a traumatic past of witnessing her family’s murder, she wants to enjoy this one magical night. Putting her fears in the shadows of her mind, Donna tries to dance the night away with her friends. What she doesn’t know is that her past is lurking in the shadows, watching her and waiting to make his move.

Three years before, Richard Fenton (Jonathan Schaech) was found guilty of murdering Donna’s family. He had been her math teacher who had gotten obsessed with claiming Donna as his own. He was found to be insane and was committed to a criminal asylum. Having escaped, Fenton made his way back to the town to finally claim Donna, killing everyone along the way.

The movie is an all-around cheesy failure and unbelievable in its absurdity. It was sad to see Snow’s talent wasted in this movie. It is the epitome of clichés. There are the annoying characters that die off one by one. There are the dead bodies popping out to say “Boo!”. You have the victims who can’t stay quiet, making themselves an effortless find. Lastly, there is the killer who has omniscient traits. He already knew where everyone was and everyone’s next move. He moved with lightning speed and was able to kill several policemen with only a knife.

The movie has many absurd plot holes, that if filled, would render the movie a boring drama. For example, Donna returns home after Fenton had a massive killing spree at her prom. Two alert cops are strategically placed in the front and back of her house. However, this does not stop Fenton. He manages to cut the phone line that is right next to one of the cops. And he also kills the cops and one more person inside the house, all within a few minutes.

Moral Content

Being a horror movie, murder and blood is shown throughout the movie. However, the director kept it pretty tame. Fenton’s murder weapon is a knife. Actual stabbings mostly took place off screen. However, the audience could see the killer’s movements and hear the victims’ screams.

The film uses the Lord’s name in vain about 10 times. I also counted at least 20 profanities. I never heard any “f” bombs.

The most offensive content is the abundance of sexual references. Sadly, the teens could not have a wholesome prom night. There was constant talk about sex and “getting laid.” One of Donna’s friends was proud her dress had low cleavage, since her boyfriend knew he was going “to get some.” They all laughed like it was a normal thing. Their dresses show almost their entire breasts and cover up just enough to avoid an “R” rating. Different teens would sneak off, while their friends joked about their having sex. Donna’s character was the most refreshing. She and her boyfriend shared appropriate kisses and never talked about sleeping together.

Students were shown drinking or sneaking-in alcoholic drinks. One teacher is implied to be a lesbian who has a crush on a female student. The dialogue is also full of cruel remarks about other students and shallow delusions about how important being prom queen would be.

This movie was a sad portrayal of young teenagers. The teen characters only talked about sex, drinking, and cruel gossip about one another. Although Donna’s character was refreshing and clean, her friends and their moral filth were placed in the spotlight. I wish more movies had leading characters like Donna. We should uplift and encourage our youth with good examples, not moral filth. It reminds me of when Paul wrote an encouraging letter to Timothy, telling him:

“Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

I wholeheartedly do not recommend this movie. It is morally filthy and an inaccurate portrayal of youth. Not only does it fail as a loose remake, it completely fails as a horror movie. Most of the audience laughed at the scary moments, many spoke of how lame it was while leaving the theatre. I completely agree.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

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Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—Ok, so, I watched this movie after reading this review. It is NOT that bad. I mean, yeah the kids talk about sex, but so what? The important part is, is that they do not act upon it. The dresses were inappropriate, I agree with that. However, I have noticed that this reviewer is often too conservative when writing reviews. Just relax. Kids do talk about sex. Although it is wrong, it is okay to laugh about it. I just don't agree that just some sexual talk should make a movie “very offensive” But I do agree how cheesy the film was! I think Britney Snow did a cool job in acting in this movie. That is why I gave it above 3 stars. I recommend the movie for a fun slumber party, just skip it in the movies.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Maria, age 18
Positive—My husband said he wanted to go out. I said I wanted to go to the movies.So I let him pick a movie.He picked Prom Night because he said he wanted to see a horror movie .I felt so weird because the audience were mostly teenagers.This movie was actually alright.This movie wasn't that boring. I liked it because it made me jump out of my seat and got me scared. I loved the suspense!There wasn't that much sexuality, sexual content, etc.So that made me pretty happy because it stayed on the horror and not on kissing and other sexual things.The language was not that bad.It contained no f-words,1 s word,and some a--.One thing I didn't like was the drinking. Besides the drinking and the mild language, I liked this movie.

My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
Denise, age 41
Positive—I thought this movie was very suspenseful, and there wasn't too much gore, which gets boring after a while in many other horror films. The portrayal of their prom night was fairly accurate, and even though I hate to admit it, the dresses they wore, and the things they talked about were accurate to teens today. I was glad the Donna and Billy didnt have sex or really talk about it at all. They seemed like a nice, caring couple. Overall, I really liked the movie and the story line. You should see it if you want to see a good horror!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Katie, age 18
Neutral—This movie will keep you at the edge of your seat with excitement through out the whole movie. This movie is played very well and I think it's okay. There were some frightening events but that's what made the movie exciting. I love this movie and give it a 4!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
Kristy, age 24
Neutral—prom night was actually not that bad of a movie considering the genre. I have to admit I was very reluctant to go to this movie because I figured it would be filled sex, drugs and full of teenage drinking, but it was actually quite mild considering the movies that are put out there now a days. The cinematography was good and acting was above average. I know it was about the prom and the girls are going to dress up, but I just thought some of the dresses exposed a bit too much skin. There was really no intense sex scenes in the movie, which was a relief. I was also really surprised that the language was as mild as it was, which was a another plus. The murder scenes were also quite fast, not to much gore. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is a fan of these horror flicks.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Gene Cooks, age 32
Negative—This movie was so silly… the whole audience participated in making noises when any little thing was about to happen… which made it fun, because the movie was so stupid and poorly done… The acting was bad, the dialog was bad and it was just a really silly movie. Actually, this movie was more of a comedy than a scary movie. I wouldn't have gone if I had know it was just so “BAD.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
Donnam, age 52
Negative—I watched this movie opening night with some friends, very excitied to have fun, but came out of the movie disappointed!. The movie seemed like a cheap thriller you would find on the Lifetime channel. It could have had its cool points, but was all done terrible. From the beginning to end it was predictable, slow and not one bit scary. Kids 13 and under would find this movie more effective to them. I didnt find anything offensive for children besides the blood spots they had on the dead teens, oh! also a drucken teen shown.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
Mikel, age 19
Comments from young people
Positive—I loved this movie. It is one of my favorites. It is a horror movie, so you can't say you don't like how scary it is. If you are mature you can easily get past all of the bad parts. I recommend this movie to kids that are 13 or older.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
Claire, age 13
Positive—I loved this movie sooooo much. Fun and scary parts just waiting tell the next part comes up. I so recommend this movie for any one over 10.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Carly, age 10
Positive—“Prom Night” started out as just another usual prom night for high school seniors. Once arriving at the prom, the stars of the movie try to make the most of their senior prom by dancing, talking, and sharing some alone time. The movie gets suspenseful when the stars take trips up to their hotel room. Here their are haunted by an obsessed stalker who only has one goal in mind: kill everyone to get to his prized position, the blonde girl who he has fallen in love with. When he successfully reaches her at the end of the movie he tries to hold her hostage which leads to his death by the bullet. He causes the blonde girl to have nightmares from when her mother is killed in front of her to his death. The producer does an excellent job at bringing suspense to the movie through mirrors and lighting.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
Ray Atkinson, age 17
Positive—This movie isn't as bad as the reviewer says. There were only one or two inapropriate dresses. They did not talk about it a lot. I thought it was a good movie. I don't know if I would recommend it to kids who are 11 to 12 years old or less. I would probably only recommend it for 13 to 14 years old and older.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
Sarah, age 13
Negative—This movie was absolutely ridiculous! It was definitely the least scary horror movie that I've ever seen. The scenes that were intended to be frightening were instead hilarious and 100% predictable. This movie is made of fail when it comes to suspense or anything that a horror movie is supposed to do. However, it was one of the funniest movies that I've ever seen. My friends and I couldn't help but laugh our heads off every time the 10-12 year old girls in the audience screamed their heads off every single time the bad guy was on the screen. It was almost as if they had rehearsed their screams of doom before the show. My stomach hurt from laughing so much after we left the theater.

Don't even bother seeing this, because nobody would be watching it by now so it wouldn't even be funny. Just get “I Am Legend” and be happy.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 1½
Brandon, age 15
Positive—This movie was really good but yes there was talk about sex and killing. it was actually a very good and interesting movie. My friends draged me to see it and it turned out that it was a really awesome movie. Some seens like where he killed her mother weren't that great but it can kinda teach you not to talk to people or date people that are much older than you. I would recommend this movie for anyone who well really wants to see it. I gonna go see it again soon and then buy it.!!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
Aundra, age 13
Negative—I really wasn't too thrilled to sit down and watch this movie, but my sister really wanted to see it, so being the nice big brother I am I obliged. What a mistake. This film is never scary, takes too long talking and meandering and is just plain boring. My sister and I both agreed it was one of the worst movies we had ever watched—we both were stupid enough to watch it to the end. The end was terrible too, I won't give it away in case you still want to see it—but you're being set up for disappointment.

Teens doing bad things is probably the biggest offense, even in the dubbed “unrated” version, the violence is very low, so don't worry about getting nauseous. The most disgusting moment is a brief flash of a cut throat—which adds nothing to the shock of the film. Avoid at all costs. If you must absolutely watch it—go ahead, but don't say I didn't warn you.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
Ben Badger, age 17