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"PROM NIGHT"
(2008) (Brittany Snow, Johnathon Schaech) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Heavy Extreme *Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Heavy Extreme Minor Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy None Extreme Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: A high school senior's prom is ruined when the stalker who killed her family three years earlier escapes from a mental institution and wreaks havoc on her life again.
PLOT:
Donna Keppel (BRITTANY SNOW) is a high school senior who's still reeling from the murder of her family three years earlier at the hands of Richard Fenton (JOHNATHON SCHAECH), her former teacher turned obsessed stalker. Now living with her Aunt Karen (JESSALYN GILSIG) and Uncle Jack (LINDEN ASHBY), Donna is looking forward to attending prom with her boyfriend, Bobby (SCOTT PORTER), as well as their other friends, Lisa (DANA DAVIS) & Ronnie (COLLINS PENNIE) and Claire (JESSICA STROUP) & Michael (KELLY BLATZ).

Little do they realize that rival student, Crissy (BRIANNE DAVIS), won't be their worst irritant that night. For it appears that Fenton has broken out of his mental hospital, meaning police detective Winn (IDRIS ELBA) and his subordinate, Det. Nash (JAMES RANSONE), not only put a watch on Karen and Jack's house, but also the hotel where the prom is taking place.

But it's too late as the killer is already in the hotel, methodically carrying out his scheme to be reunited with Donna and dispatch anyone who gets in his way. From that point on, Donna and her friends do what they can to avoid the killer, all while Nash tries to find and catch him before he strikes again.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into serial killer/boogeyman type horror films, they might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For violence and terror, some sexual material, underage drinking, and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BRITTANY SNOW plays a high school senior who still has nightmares from three years earlier when Fenton killed her family while obsessed with her. Hoping to have fun at her prom, she's terrorized by Fenton's return.
  • JOHNATHON SCHAECH plays her former high school teacher turned stalker who murdered her family in the past and has returned to his homicidal ways after escaping from a mental hospital. He stalks her once again at her prom.
  • SCOTT PORTER plays Donna's caring boyfriend who tries to protect her.
  • DANA DAVIS plays Donna's best friend who sports a lot of cleavage in her dress and briefly fools around with her boyfriend back in their hotel room.
  • JESSICA STROUP plays their other friend who's unhappy about her boyfriend's bad reaction to them being apart after high school. She also wears a cleavage-revealing prom dress.
  • COLLINS PENNIE plays Lisa's boyfriend, the football quarterback who's focused on getting her back to the hotel room for sex.
  • KELLY BLATZ plays Claire's boyfriend who isn't happy about their pending long distance relationship and thus quarrels with her at the prom. He briefly drinks.
  • IDRIS ELBA plays a detective who put Fenton away the first time and is determined to find and catch him again before he gets to Donna. He uses some profanity.
  • JAMES RANSONE plays his subordinate who assists in the search and protecting Donna.
  • BRIANNE DAVIS a rich and snobby girl at school who has a bad attitude toward Donna and her friends, as is obsessed about being crowned the prom queen. She uses some profanity.
  • JESSALYN GILSIG and LINDEN ASHBY play Donna's aunt and uncle who've been raising her since the tragedy three years ago and obviously worry about her when they receive news that the killer has escaped.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this horror film that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 2 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, a high school couple makes out on a bed clothed (and all of the couples have hotel rooms for after the prom), other kissing is present, and varying amounts of cleavage are on display (sometimes a lot).

    Various people are murdered by being stabbed (sometimes fully seen, but usually more of the motion and accompanying sound) and one person is shot to death. Some blood is present, both on wounds and spraying out onto various surfaces (but apparently not enough to warrant an R rating). Those scenes and various moments of potential peril and an array of "cat and mouse" scenes might be unsettling, suspenseful and/or scary to viewers, particularly younger ones and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.

    The killer obviously has extreme bad attitudes, while others are also on display. Tense family material includes a flashback to a high school freshman finding/seeing her stalker kill her family. Brief high school drinking occurs (and others are caught or seen sneaking beer and liquor into the prom and hotel). Other potentially imitative behavior is on display.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there are flashing lights at the prom, and later during an emergency evacuation at the hotel (the latter briefly go into full strobe mode).

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of camera movement in the film, including some late, spin-around camera shots, while there's an overhead, looking-down, flyover view at the beginning of the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see some high school guys sneaking a beer keg into a hotel room.
  • A teacher confiscates a bottle of liquor a student was trying to smuggle into the prom.
  • Michael pours some liquor from a flask into the glass he's carrying.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • In a flashback and/or nightmare, Donna's father has blood on his hand, while her mom has some blood on her clothing after being stabbed to death.
  • We see a bloody knife as forensics evidence in a flashback scene.
  • We see a flashback to Fenton killing someone in the mental hospital, with blood spraying out onto a wall.
  • We see a dead student with some blood on her dress.
  • About the prom queen results, Lisa states about Crissy, "If that bitch wins, I'll hurl."
  • Winn and other cops discover a dead body in a car trunk (no blood).
  • Fenton slices a student's throat, sending blood spraying out onto some hanging plastic. We then see him washing the blood off his knife.
  • We see a dead hotel worker with a little blood from her mouth and a little on her outfit.
  • We see a dead student under a bed with a little blood from the mouth.
  • A half closet door suddenly springs open and a dead body falls from that, slightly bloody.
  • We see some blood dripping down onto a bed from a ventilation grate above it. Using a ladder, Winn then goes up into that opening and slowly looks around. When he turns one direction, he encounters a dead and slightly bloody body that startles him and partially falls out and hangs from that opening.
  • Winn finds a dead cop with a bloody neck wound.
  • Donna finds a dead student with a bloody neck wound.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The killer obviously has extreme bad attitudes for his murderous behavior and stalking of Donna.
  • Crissy is a rich snob who looks down on Donna and her friends, and they have varying degrees of bad attitudes back toward her.
  • Some older men act lecherously (in their comments) toward Donna and her friends in an elevator.
  • About someone else, Crissy states, "If he was any dumber, I'd have to water him."
  • About the prom queen results, Lisa states about Crissy, "If that bitch wins, I'll hurl."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary, especially to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • In a flashback and/or nightmare, Donna returns home and can't seem to find any of her family. She doesn't see her dead father on the floor (his hand is bloody), but does find her brother dead on his bed after nearly tripping on his baseball bat on the floor. She then hears violence and hides under the bed, only to see the killer pin her mom to the floor next to her. Her mom doesn't give up her location, and thus the killer stabs her to death (heard, but not seen, but we do see a little blood on her clothing after that). She then tries to escape, but the killer is right behind her (and the scene ends there).
  • Donna goes back to the hotel room by herself, with Fenton watching her every move. We see the camera moving toward her (as if representing his point of view), but when she turns, he isn't there. Yet, she keeps hearing noises and thus slowly walks around, and we see Fenton's reflection in the mirror, but Donna does not. She then opens the door and is startled by Claire standing right there. Donna then goes back downstairs, with Claire now in the room by herself, and she also hears noises. Fenton then grabs her by the throat, we hear sounds of violence (including stabbing), and briefly see him on top of her (both are clothed), having just killed her.
  • Seated facing away from the bathroom where he thinks Claire is holed up, Michael is unaware that it's really Fenton slowly creeping up on him (and we see the camera moving toward him). He then gets up to look for Claire, enters the bathroom and yanks the shower curtain open, but no one is there. He then opens a closet and looks in there, with Fenton then emerging from the shadows and driving Michael backwards and to the floor. He then stabs him to death (we see the motion, but not the actual impact, although we hear the latter).
  • Lisa trips and falls down a stairwell, hitting the steps and far wall hard. She then sees Fenton and flees, ending up in a construction area with lots of hanging plastic. She then cautiously walks along, turning at one point and running into Fenton before fleeing again. She then hides beneath a table as we see Fenton lurking about, holding his knife. Thinking he's gone, she then keeps moving but accidentally causes a lot of noise. Fenton then grabs her and slits her throat, sending blood spraying out onto some of that plastic.
  • Gun in hand, Winn slowly enters the suspect's hotel room where we expect him to encounter the killer in the bathroom, but he's not there.
  • With everyone else evacuating the hotel due to the fire alarm sounding, Donna goes back up to her room to retrieve a scarf (with us knowing Fenton is lurking about). As she goes to the closet, we see Fenton's hand reach out for her head, but she then bends down, and when she turns around, he isn't there.
  • Donna spots Fenton, panics, and races to lock all of the doors in her hotel suite, just in the nick of time. She then looks through the peephole and he's suddenly there, using a fire extinguisher to break through the door. She then hides under a bed and sees his feet moving about, but when she looks the other way, she sees a dead friend next to her under the bed, and she has to keep herself from screaming. She then manages to flee and escape.
  • Winn and other cops enter a room with their guns drawn, slowly searching the hotel suite for Fenton. S.W.A.T. type teams then show up with machine guns and also search the hotel.
  • Donna goes into her bathroom at home, and when she closes the medicine cabinet mirror, Fenton is suddenly there. He then grabs and smashes her head into the mirror, but this turns out to have been a nightmare. She then ends up repeating most of that while awake, but Fenton isn't there when she closes that same mirror. When she goes back into the room, she finds a murdered student and then sees what she thinks is the killer's shadow approaching. She hides in the closet, only to encounter Fenton there who grabs her, holding his hand over her mouth and his knife near her. They then see Winn approach with his gun drawn, but his attention is drawn away and he leaves. Donna then hits Fenton so that she can escape, but he grabs her by the feet on the floor. She then kicks him twice in the face, and when he raises his knife to stab her, Winn shoots him several times, killing him (and Donna must roll out of the way as he falls toward her, knife still in hand).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Knife/Handguns/Machine guns: Carried and/or used to threaten or kill others. See "Violence" and "Frightening/Tense Scenes" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Sick sh*t," "That boy is planning on getting laid," "Did you hear me, butt-hole?" "Rich bitch," "What the hell /is going on/is she doing up there?" "He went psycho," "This is gonna rock their world," "Shut up," "Freaking out," "Making me do damn mad," "You scared the hell out of me," "Bastard," "You pissed her off," "I got all damn night," "Idiot," "If he was any dumber, I'd have to water him," "If that bitch wins, I'll hurl," "That's the geekiest thing you've ever said," "Where the hell is she?" and "The hell it will."
  • Some of the stalking, murderous and other behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • We see a quick montage of Donna and all her friends taking turns standing up through their limo's sunroof.
  • We see some high school guys sneaking a beer keg into a hotel room.
  • We see a miscellaneous student with a Mohawk haircut.
  • A teacher confiscates a bottle of liquor a student was trying to smuggle into the prom.
  • Lisa makes the "gag me" finger to the mouth gesture.
  • Michael pours some liquor from a flask into the glass he's carrying.
  • Winn pulls the fire alarm to get everyone to evacuate the building.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Donna imagines seeing Fenton in a mirror reflection.
  • When Donna closes the mirrored door on a medicine cabinet, her aunt is suddenly there, unintentionally startling her.
  • Donna opens the door and is startled by Claire standing right there.
  • We see Fenton's figure suddenly pass by in the foreground of the shot.
  • When the elevator door opens, Lisa runs into Fenton, startling her (she doesn't realize it's him until later).
  • Lisa turns and runs into Fenton. Moments later, birds suddenly take flight all around her.
  • Donna turns, with something behind her, but it turns out to be just a lampshade.
  • Donna looks through a peephole and suddenly sees Fenton there.
  • We see a dead student under a bed with a little blood from the mouth.
  • A half closet door suddenly springs open and a dead body falls from that, slightly bloody.
  • Winn encounters a dead body up in a vent shaft.
  • Donna goes into her bathroom at home, and when she closes the medicine cabinet mirror, Fenton is suddenly there.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • One song had a lyric that sounded like the male singer liking the way "you shake it," while other songs had lyrics that we couldn't fully hear and/or understand, thus presenting the possibility of them potentially containing objectionable content.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "s" words, 1 slang term for sex ("laid"), 8 hells, 6 damns, 1 S.O.B., 8 uses of "Oh my God," 2 each of "G-damn," "Jesus" and "Swear to God" and 1 use each of "My God," "Jesus" and "Jesus Christ."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Lisa and Claire wear prom dresses that show a lot of cleavage (seen in various scenes, from various angles), while Donna shows some in her dress while hiding under a bed. Crissy also shows some, as do miscellaneous students in other such outfits.
  • After Donna comments on her dress being a little sexy, one of her friends talks of another dress with a plunging neckline, and Lisa playfully adds that Ronnie will like hers even better when she's out of it. When there's talk of the guys renting hotel rooms, Lisa states, "That boy is planning on getting laid."
  • There's a brief flashback to Fenton saying he wants to touch Donna (it isn't clear if that's meant sexually).
  • Donna kisses Bobby.
  • When Lisa sarcastically asks Crissy about the latter thinking she has everything (about being crowned prom queen), Crissy sarcastically replies about Lisa having everything all propped up and such (referring to her breasts in her low-cut, cleavage-revealing prom dress).
  • Some older men act lecherously (in their comments) toward Donna and her friends in an elevator.
  • When it's mentioned someone's up in the hotel suite, Ronnie playfully tells Lisa that's where they should be (having sex). They then go up there to look for Claire and Michael, with Bobby telling them to make it quick. Lisa then says it should only take about 5 minutes, with Bobby then dropping some playful innuendo by asking Ronnie if he's that quick. After that couple leaves, Bobby tells Donna that he's not sleeping in that bed.
  • In their hotel room, Ronnie picks up Lisa and lies her down on the bed, with him on top of her (both are clothed). They do some passionate kissing, with him also kissing her neck, but when she realizes the man she previously bumped into was Fenton, she gets up and nothing else sexual happens.
  • Donna and Bobby do some passionate kissing on the dance floor.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • In a flashback and/or nightmare, Donna returns home and can't seem to find any of her family. She doesn't see her dead father on the floor (his hand is bloody), but does find her brother dead on his bed after nearly tripping on his baseball bat on the floor. She then hears violence and hides under the bed, only to see the killer pin her mom to the floor next to her. Her mom doesn't give up her location, and thus the killer stabs her to death (heard, but not seen, but we do see a little blood on her clothing after that). She then tries to escape, but the killer is right behind her (and the scene ends there).
  • Donna's aunt and uncle worry about her when they learn the killer is on the loose again.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • People who become obsessed with others and then stalk them.
  • Murderers being found criminally insane.
  • High school prom.
  • Losing one's entire family.
  • Long distance relationships after high school when lovers attend different colleges.
  • Claire states that she has menstrual cramps.
  • VIOLENCE
  • In a flashback and/or nightmare, Donna returns home and can't seem to find any of her family. She doesn't see her dead father on the floor (his hand is bloody), but does find her brother dead on his bed after nearly tripping on his baseball bat on the floor. She then hears violence and hides under the bed, only to see the killer pin her mom to the floor next to her. Her mom doesn't give up her location, and thus the killer stabs her to death (heard, but not seen, but we do see a little blood on her clothing after that). She then tries to escape, but the killer is right behind her (and the scene ends there).
  • We see a flashback to Fenton killing someone in the mental hospital, with blood spraying out onto a wall.
  • Fenton repeatedly stabs a hotel worker, heard more than seen, although we do see the motion of the lethal blows.
  • Fenton grabs a student by the throat, we hear sounds of violence (including stabbing), and briefly see him on top of her (both are clothed), having just killed her.
  • Fenton stabs a student to death (we see the motion, but not the actual impact, although we hear the latter).
  • Fenton grabs a male hotel employee and chokes him on a bed (briefly seen).
  • Winn and other cops discover a dead body in a car trunk (no blood) - the results of an unseen murder.
  • Lisa trips and falls down a stairwell, hitting the steps and far wall hard.
  • Fenton grabs a student and slits her throat, sending blood spraying out onto some of that plastic.
  • Fenton uses a fire extinguisher to bash a door to break through it.
  • Donna goes into her bathroom at home, and when she closes the medicine cabinet mirror, Fenton is suddenly there. He then grabs and smashes her head into the mirror, but this turns out to have been a nightmare.
  • Winn finds a dead cop with a bloody neck wound (from off-screen violence).
  • Donna finds a dead student with a bloody neck wound (from off-screen violence).
  • We see a dead cop down on the ground outside the house (from off-screen violence).
  • Donna hides in the closet, only to encounter Fenton there who grabs her, holding his hand over her mouth and his knife near her. They then see Winn approach with his gun drawn, but his attention is drawn away and he leaves. Donna then hits Fenton so that she can escape, but he grabs her by the feet on the floor. She then kicks him twice in the face, and when he raises his knife to stab her, Winn shoots him several times, killing him (and Donna must roll out of the way as he falls toward her, knife still in hand).



  • Reviewed April 11, 2008 / Posted April 11, 2008

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