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Film / Prom Night (2008)

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Prom Night is a Slasher Movie from the year 2008 starring Brittany Snow, Idris Elba, Scott Porter, Johnathon Schaech, and James Ransone. It is an extremely loose remake of the 1980 film with the same name.

It is about an ex-teacher named Fenton, who is murderously obsessed with one of his students, played by Brittany Snow. Managing to escape from the police, he's prepared and determined to get to her at any cost during her senior prom.


This film has the examples of:

  • 13 Is Unlucky: Fenton claims 13 victims throughout the film.
  • Action Dress Rip: Combined with Giving Them the Strip. When Fenton steps on the hem of Lisa's dress, she escapes by running so the bottom of her dress rips off.
  • Alpha Bitch: Crissy, who has been Donna and Lisa's nemesis forever. According to rumour she spent $10,000 over budget on organising the prom and her father had to write a cheque to cover it. A deleted scene has her delivering a rant to her Girl Posse about how the school owes her the honour of Prom Queen.
  • Asshole Victim: Unusually averted in Crissy's case.
  • Ax-Crazy: Fenton, albeit in a sinisterly understated way. In the Cold Open, he was shown yelling and threatening Donna's mother, but on the titular prom night, he calmly and systematically knocks off everyone who gets in his way, one by one. At one point, he even casually asks one of his victims "Why the rush?" as she's fleeing.
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  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted, very surprisingly. Out of the six main teens, the only two to survive are the Final Girl and the black guy. Even her Love Interest dies.
  • Break the Cutie: Donna: first her family are murdered, then all her friends, and then her boyfriend.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Winn notes that Fenton wouldn't be alive to escape and murder Donna's friends if the jury at his trial didn't believe him not guilty by insanity.
  • Death of a Child: Along with her parents getting killed, Donna's little brother got knifed as well (they even show his body).
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Done here to keep them from all being mere Monster Munch. In particular, one of the boys is shown to be a bit dickish, but not at all enough to deserve being killed for it.
  • Downer Ending: Even though Fenton is killed at the end, Donna's friends and boyfriend are dead and Donna is more traumatized than before.
  • Evil Teacher: Fenton. A sexual maniac and a brutal killer.
  • Family Extermination: The film opens with a flashback to Donna finding her family murdered by her teacher.
  • Final Girl: Donna. Twice.
  • Girl Posse: The blonde Alpha Bitch Crissy has a pair of brunette side girls who follow her everywhere.
  • Giving Them the Strip: When Lisa is being chased by Fenton on the construction level, he steps on the hem of her dress to prevent her from running. Lisa escapes by just running, tearing off the lower part of her skirt in the process.
  • In Name Only: The only things this film has in common with the original is the main character's sibling dying in the prologue, a killer on the loose at prom and a convicted psycho escaping from prison.
  • Invincible Villain: Fenton is this in spades. Coupled with everyone else in the movie being as dumb as a sack of bricks, and despite the fact he's pretty much going out of his way to draw attention to himself, he's always somehow in the right place at the right time to murder someone and/or avoid being caught.
  • Jump Scare: The movie overuses these, including a rather infamous example with a lamp.
  • Karmic Death: Fenton is gunned down by the cop who arrested him, who wanted him dead for years.
  • Lifetime Movie of the Week
  • Mugged for Disguise: Fenton escapes from the hotel by donning the uniform of the bellhop he murdered and slipping out during the evacuation.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Fenton hopes that with everyone out of Donna's life, she can finally accept him.
  • Nephewism: Donna's aunt and uncle took over raising her after Fenton killed her parents.
  • Nice Hat: Fenton mainly uses a baseball cap to hide his appearance from the cops.
  • No Ending: After the cops shoot Fenton, there's nothing but a flashback to the principal characters enjoying themselves at the prom for the credits. We get nothing showing what became of the survivors afterward, no final assessment of the police who handled (or mishandled) this case, nothing.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Done several times to the audience in a number of subversions of the Peek-a-Boo Corpse. We know (though the characters don't) about several of the killer's victims, and the film keeps leading us to expect one of the remaining cast to stumble across one of the corpses, only to have them not stumble across it when it was there just a minute ago.
  • No Medication for Me: Donna stops taking her anti-anxiety medication a week before prom night because she doesn't want to feel numb during prom. This proves to be an unwise decision.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Fenton is one slippery devil, not only managing to elude the police this way several times even though they're watching all the hotel's exits for him, but somehow also managing to "teleport" a couple of his victims' corpses away to conceal them from his other soon-to-be victims.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Fenton manages to avoid the police partially by shaving his beard. This was originally a Beard of Evil, but by no means an all-concealing one, and he only shaves it down to Perma-Stubble, not clean off. Sure enough, one of his former students recognizes him.
  • Past Experience Nightmare: The film opens with a flashback to when Donna found her family murdered.
  • Peekaboo Corpse: Happens twice to Detective Winn. First when Michael's corpse falls out of the closet while he searches the suite, and later when he finds the bellhop's corpse in the air vent.
  • Police Are Useless: Kicked around a bit in this film. The head detective is actually shown mentally kicking himself at one point when he realizes that he let the killer walk right past him out the hotel's front door, right before the SWAT team tossed the place in his Paper-Thin Disguise of a uniform he stole from one of the employees he murdered. Sure, they do finally shoot Fenton dead, but by then, he's killed a lot of Donna's closest friends..
    • He's also shown cursing his superiors for only now warning him (so he could warn everyone else) that Fenton escaped three days ago, and tells his sidekick he'd thought the overwhelming evidence they'd brought against the guy for murdering Donna's entire family would convince the jury to give him the death penalty, but the jury decided imprisonment in a maximum-security asylum for the criminally insane was a better idea... because what could possibly go wrong? Oh, Wait!.
    • Also, they know the escaped killer is obsessed with one single person and though they discreetly post some guys at the prom to keep an eye on her, they elect not to tell her they're watching out for her escaped assailant because it would... ruin her prom night? More competent police would have hustled her to a more secure location immediately, no matter how important the event.
  • Prom Wrecker: Being a remake of Prom Night (1980), this trope shows up. In this case, the perpetrator is Mr. Fenton, who attacks at Donna's senior prom.
  • Psycho Knife Nut: The psychotic stalker Fenton uses a knife as his main weapon.
  • Reactive Continuous Scream: Donna opens the door and is startled by Claire who was about to open it from the other side. She screams, which causes Claire to scream.
  • Serious Business: The prom for the town, apparently. There's a red carpet, people all holding signs congratulating the kids... In a bit of Artistic License, one teen's wealthy father is even indicated to have rented most of the hotel for this event. Hell, the police are even reluctant to interrupt it over an escaped serial killer obsessed with one of the attendees.
  • Slashed Throat: Lisa, Bobby, and Detective Nash have their throats slashed by Fenton.
  • The Sociopath: Fenton.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The reason why Fenton's at the hotel is because he wants to be with Donna again.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Fenton pulls this on Donna a lot.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: As stated above, it's because of the jury not giving Fenton the punishment he deserved that we even have the plot in the first place.
  • Vehicle Vanish: Donna sees Fenton reflected in the beauty salon mirror. As she turns around, a fast-moving bus passes between him and the salon and he vanishes.
  • Would Hurt a Child: As mentioned above, among Fenton's many victims is Donna's little brother.