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Film / Prom Night

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Prom Night is a Slasher Movie series of films that all center around the High-School Dance the prom. Originating in 1980, the original film in the series was known as Prom Night and starred Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Nielsen. Seven years later, a second film known as Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II that shared no characters with the original. In 1990, this was followed up with a Direct-to-Video sequel known as Prom Night III: The Last Kiss and a fourth film known as Prom Night IV: Deliver Us From Evil in 1991, which again featured completely different characters. In 2008, a loose remake of the original was released, also named Prom Night, which starred Brittany Snow, Johnathon Schaech, and Idris Elba.


Tropes that appear in the Prom Night film series:

  • Alpha Bitch: Often appear at odds with the Final Girl.
    • Wendy Richards in the original; she cajoled the other kids into keeping quiet about Robin's death and in the present day is a Rich Bitch and Clingy Jealous Girl intent on winning back her boyfriend.
    • Mary Lou Maloney was one in life, and directly caused her death when her spurned boyfriends tried to prank her, but it backfired causing her to burn to death. She's no better in the present day.
    • Crissy in the remake has been Donna and Lisa's nemesis since childhood and helped to fund the prom as an ego trip. Surprisingly the killer doesn't bother with her.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • In the original: the killer/Alex Hammond to Nick McBride, Wendy Richards, Kelly Lynch, and Jude Cunningham. He saw them kill Robin Hammond and is determined to take revenge on them for the little girl's death.
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    • The remake: Richard Fenton to Donna Keppel and Detective Winn. Fenton lusted for Donna and murdered her family, so Winn arrested him and put him in prison. Three years later, Fenton escapes custody to get to Donna again and Winn tries to stop him before Fenton rapes or kills Donna.
  • Big Bad: Each one has a slasher villain at its core.
    • The original has Alex Hammond, who is targeting four high-schoolers who killed a young girl six years before.
    • The second film and third films have Mary Lou Maloney, a Vengeful Ghost who wants to reclaim her title of Prom Queen after being killed in a prank gone wrong thirty years before.
    • The fourth film has Father Jonas, a Knight Templar whose main goal in life is as The Scourge of God, targeting those he believes "tainted".
    • The remake has Richard Fenton, an Evil Teacher who lusted for his student Donna and was imprisoned after he murdered her family. Three years later, he's escaped and is intent on murdering everyone who's connected to her so that all she will have left is him.
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  • Contrived Coincidence: The prologues for the second and fourth film take place on the same day, despite having no connection to each other otherwise.
  • Deadly Prank: What kicks off the plot of the original film and the second film (and the third by extension as a direct sequel to the second film).
    • In the original film, Wendy, Nick, Kelly, and Jude bully Robin Hammond causing her to fall out of a window to her death.
    • The second film: A badly placed stink bomb planted by two guys that were strung along by Mary Lou Maloney detonates badly, causing Mary Lou to burn to death.
  • Death by Sex: Zigzagged.
    • In the original film: Kelly dies before she can have sex while Jude and Slick have sex and are killed.
    • In the fourth film, the killer chiefly targets promiscuous couples.
    • In the remake, nobody has sex but multiple people die.
  • Death of a Child: The original and its remake both open with the death of one of the main protagonist's siblings; the former by a Deadly Prank, the latter by murder.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The main villains for the original films. Father Jonas is an Implacable Man who uses a sharpened cross as his weapon (Fighter), Mary Lou Maloney is a Vengeful Ghost who relies on Demonic Possession (Mage) and Alex Hammond is a Stealth Expert who uses speed and Improvised Weapons (Thief).
  • Final Girl: Zigzagged.
    • The original film doesn't have one; Jamie Lee Curtis' Kim has Final Girl written all over her, but it turns out she wasn't a target. However there is a Final Boy since Nick is the only one of the killer's targets who survives the film; all three female targets die.
    • The Mary Lou films don't have one since Mary Lou wins both times... maybe.
    • Meagan in the fourth film is a straighter example since the killer targets promiscuous teenagers (which she is not), though the ending suggests that the Big Bad has now possessed her, making her a subversion.
    • Donna Keppel in the remake is this trope full-throttle, for two separate massacres. Her direct family was murdered by the Big Bad three years before, and she's one of the two members of her friend group who survives the events of the film (her best friend's date survives as well).
  • High-School Dance: The films center around the prom and will usually encompass the second half of each film.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Downplayed. The day of the prom isn't particularly important, but the event is significant to various characters.
    • For the original film, it marks six years since the death of Robin Hammond.
    • For the second, the present-day events take place 30 years after Mary Lou Maloney was killed at the prom.
    • For the remake, it marks three years since Richard Fenton murdered Donna's family.
  • Recurring Element:
    • The line "It's not who you go with honey, it's who takes you home" appears in each of the four original films.
    • The four original films each have Brock Simpson playing various roles; he started out as Young Nick in the original, Josh the computer geek in Hello Mary Lou, a cop named Larry in The Last Kiss, and finally as Father Colin, the person watching over the incarcerated Father Jonas in Deliver Us from Evil. Simpson has jokingly referred to himself as the Clint Howard of the series.
  • Thematic Series: Zigzagged. All the films center around the prom, but are very loosely connected from a continuity standpoint outside of the location of Alexander Hamilton High School, with the second and third films being a Villain-Based Franchise.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: The second and third films center around Big Bad Mary Lou Maloney.