PEI

6 prom movies to watch this weekend

Flipping through Netflix but can't decide what to watch? Pick one of these prom movies and be transported to a time of teen angst and taffeta.

'It's probably the most famous prom scene of all time, and it's every prom-goers nightmare'

Sissy Spacek's character in the 1976 horror film Carrie (from the book by Stephen King) didn't know what was coming after she was crowned prom queen, but if you've seen the movie you're unlikely to forget. (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Flipping through Netflix but can't decide what to watch? Pick one of these prom movies and be transported to a time of teen angst and taffeta. 

Dave Stewart is a copywriter at Graphcom, editor/contributor to the new P.E.I. horror anthology Fear from a Small Place, a writer/cartoonist for The Buzz, and former student who struggled all through high school and avoided his own prom.

He's also a graduate of of Humber College's film and television production program. 

Here are his top six picks, along with some of your suggestions. Warning: this article includes spoilers.

1. Carrie

Carrie is Stewart's top pick for best prom movie — he's been a horror flick fan since age four!

"It's probably the most famous prom scene of all time, and it's every prom-goers nightmare," said Stewart. 

In the 1976 film — from the book by Stephen King — Carrie White, played by Sissy Spacek, is the girl no one likes. Bullied by her classmates, Carrie is shocked and delighted when the best-looking boy in the senior class asks her to prom.

Little does she know, it's all part of a scheme to humiliate her. When Carrie is crowned prom queen and figures out the joke's on her when her fellow students douse her with a bucket of blood, Carrie turns the tables on her classmates with spectacularly deadly results. 

2. Ghost World

"I relate to Thora Birch's character more than any other movie character," said Stewart of the star of Ghost World.

The 2001 cult classic also stars Scarlett Johanssen before she shot to superstardom.  

''It's a very funny, cynical take on the world of proms."

3. Romy and Michele's High School Reunion

Roommates Romy and Michelle haven't really grown up since leaving high school in this 1997 comedy — they party, they diet, they shop, and repeat. It's kind of a female Dumb and Dumber

Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe from Friends) and Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite) play adorkable bimbos in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion who decide to pretend they're successful career women as they attend their 10-year high school reunion. Hilarity ensues. 

"It's yet another movie that I love and the prom scene features two characters who are just so above their classmates, and are hated for it," said Stewart. 

4. Prom Night

The tag line for this 1980 horror flick starring Jamie Lee Curtis is "if you're not home by midnight, you won't be coming home." 

It's since been remade, but Stewart suggests the original version "because it's Canadian, incredibly silly, and a lot of fun. Anything that turns school spirit into a nightmare is okay by me."

5. The Loved Ones

The Loved Ones is a 2009 Aussie teen horror flick described as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre meets Sixteen Candles

It stars Robyn McLeavy (Eva from Hell on Wheels) who turns psycho killer after a classmate rejects her invitation to prom. It's terrifying, suspenseful and violent, and received five stars out of five on the review site Rotten Tomatoes

"It portrays what an obsession with fluffy things like prom can result in," said Stewart. Which is, apparently, gory, over-the-top revenge.

6. Valley Girl

"More people should see this Nicolas Cage comedy with a perfect '80s soundtrack, and what's a prom without a punch being thrown?" said Stewart. 

It's California in 1983, and uptown valley girl Julie meets Randy (Cage, with peroxide blonde streaks), a punk from downtown Hollywood. Although their friends object, opposites attract, and love conquers all, and there's like, a food fight? For sure. 

A soundtrack featuring Men at Work, The Clash, Culture Club, The Psychedelic Furs, and Bananarama are another huge reason to watch, or at least listen, to Valley Girl. 

A remake is now in the works. 

Your Suggestions

When asked via Facebook for some of your favourite prom or graduation-themed movies, many of you nominated Pretty in Pink. The 1986 romantic comedy stars Molly Ringwald, who's recently been cast as a mom on the Netflix teen melodrama Riverdale, and John Cryer from TV's Three and a Half Men as her best friend.

1987's Can't Buy Me Love was also a popular pick. The comedy stars Patrick Dempsey as a geek — before he shot to sex symbol status as McDreamy on Grey's Anatomy — who blackmails a popular cheerleader into posing as his girlfriend. She eventually falls for him and goes with him to prom. 

Many also suggested the comedy She's All That, a 1999 adaptation of the Pygmalion/My Fair Lady story, in which the popular Freddy Prinze, Jr. transforms dorky Rachel Leigh Cook into prom queen in six weeks. Spoiler alert: (not really) — they end up falling for each other by the end. 

About the Author

Sara Fraser

Web Journalist

Sara is a P.E.I. native who graduated from the University of King's College in Halifax. N.S., with a bachelor of journalism (honours) degree. She's worked with CBC Radio and Television since 1988, moving to the CBC P.E.I. web team in 2015, focusing on weekend features. email sara.fraser@cbc.ca

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