There's no question that Prom Night is bad: the real question then becomes how bad is Prom Night. Is it the worst movie of the year, or can it's rock-bottom ratings across the board somehow be, if not justified, then at least excused? Because if part of what makes Prom Night so darn bad the way that it takes the most tired and stale cliches of the slasher genre and presents them to the viewer without the slightest hint of style or wit, could there in fact be some justification for such an approach - past the usual "we can make some money out of this"? Well, maybe. See, while this is an amazingly bad, not at all scary, and outright dull slasher movie - and it takes some kind of skill to make a film where human beings are in mortal danger this dull - it is also a slasher movie clearly aimed at people who havened seen too many slasher movies. Anyone over the age of 17 simply doesn't care about prom night, so to make a movie where a bunch of teens at their prom night are half-heartedly stalked by a creepy ex-teacher obsessed with a fairly dim and not that hot-looking blonde indicates that you're making a slasher movie for teens, and young teens at that. So perhaps the total lack of wit and style (not to mention zero gore) here could be a conscious decision to try and strip the slasher genre back to basics and introduce the genre to a new audience taking their first baby steps into a new an scary world. If so, it still fails utterly: this is dreck whether you're 14 or 44, and why anyone would pay to see this when John Carpenter's original Halloween is readily available on DVD is a far bigger mystery than which one of these bland yet annoying teens the knife-wielding teacher will bloodlessly gut next.
Anthony Morris (this review appeared in Frote #426)