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Horror - Prom Night Starring Jamie Lee Curtis

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Prom Night
Jamie Lee Curtis, Leslie Nielsen, Anne-Marie Martin
Directed by Paul Lynch
Widescreen
Originally released 1980
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment 2007
90 minutes

Prom Night is a Jamie Lee Curtis horror movie: it's all you need to know because it doesn't get better than that for horror fans.

Prom Night, for new school fans, is the precursor of I Know What You Did Last Summer and a whole bunch of other more recent horror movies. What makes Prom Night stand out, aside from it starring scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis, is how well the movie still works a quarter of a century later. This is one of the great slice and dice epics. The Prom Night DVD does show the movie's age as a couple of very dark scenes are a bit dusty but it's nothing to stop you from enjoying this classic.

Even the opening sequence of Prom Night, with not a single hint of slasher or killer, gets tense and scary. Four kids are playing "killer" (hide and go seek) in an abandoned school. Another kid, Robin, walks in on their game and while being bullied by the kids accidentally falls out a window. The kids swear to never tell anyone what happened. This set-up to Prom Night is very well made and acted by the kid actors and this is in part why this horror movie works so well. Robin is survived by her brother and her sister Alex, played by Jamie Lee Curtis.

Six years later, the four kids, Jude, Kelly, Nick, and Wendy get a mysterious phone call the day of the prom and the man the police believed responsible for Robin's death escapes from a mental institution. Strangely enough, Nick is going to be Alex's date even if Wendy, his ex, does not believe he has broken up with her. Add to this the fact the school's bad boy, Lou (played by some guy who can't act) just got suspended and the school groundskeeper is definitely weird looking. This does not bode well for prom night at Alexander Hamilton Senior High School, a school that will have a few more bloody prom nights in the future (don't people ever learn?).

In some ways, Prom Night starring Jamie Lee Curtis (one scene in a tennis skirt, one scene with her blouse unbuttoned and wearing a bra for those keeping score), is as much a thriller as a horror slash and splash movie. The pieces for the grand and bloody climax slowly, but not too slowly, slip into place as the day advances.

Even if it respects rule number one of horror movies (when the kids get neckin' the slasher gets slashin') Prom Night breaks some basic horror movie rules. For example, in most horror flicks the first girl to get it is the first girl to put out and blonde. This is not the case here as the first girl to get her throat cut did not put out. Shows you how deranged the killer is!

Prom Night also breaks a couple of other horror movie rules but divulging which ones would spoil some of the fun.

In case you were not around when this horror movie was released: the music played on prom night is something called disco, one of the greatest human errors that, thankfully, is only repeated at your parents' parties.

By the way, I still don't get the lipstick thing.

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