13 Horror Movies About Prom

This list catalogs the best scary movies about prom.

Two high school girls make their classmates’ prom unforgettable in Tragedy Girls (2017).

For most teens, prom is built up to be one of the most magical nights of their lives. At least, most prom movies make it seem like a once-in-a-lifetime event filled with love, laughter, and their favorite music. In the horror genre, however, this ordinary high school party is less about dancing the night away and more focused on surviving the dance with death. This list catalogs the best scary movies about prom.

Carrie (1976)

Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), horror’s favorite prom queen.

Carrie is based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name and is still just as iconic today as it was when he wrote it. 16-year-old Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is a shy high-schooler who is more often bullied by her peers than befriended. Even worse, the young girl sheltered by her mother gets her first period during class and is brutally teased about her bewildered reaction. One classmate seems to empathize with her and convinces her popular boyfriend, Tommy (William Katt), to invite Carrie to senior prom. To Carrie’s surprise, prom night seems to be a turning point, and she believes she’s finally accepted. Unfortunately, she’s been set up for yet another prank, which results in Carrie releasing her rage on everyone via her telekinetic powers.

See also: 83 Facts, Trivia and Hidden Details About ‘Carrie’ (1976)

Prom Night (1980)

There are three sequels in the Prom Night franchise: Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987), Prom Night III: The Last Kiss (1990), and Prom Night IV: Deliver Us from Evil (1992).

This first installment in the Prom Night slasher franchise revolves around a group of high school seniors with a long-kept secret they thought only they knew. Six years ago, they witnessed Robin Hammond (Tammy Bourne) crash through a broken window and ultimately die. Unbeknownst to them, an additional witness saw the entire situation unfold. Now, this unknown assailant heads to prom to exact revenge for the young girl’s untimely death.

Student Bodies (1981)

When a character dies in Student Bodies, a “body count” is displayed on the screen.

Student Bodies walked so Scream (1996) could run. Although most people consider Scream the first to satirize the slasher genre, this hilarious 80s film emerged over a decade before the famous Ghostface character. In this parody/horror comedy, a masked killer wreaks havoc on students and teachers of Lamab High School. Poking fun at films like Prom Night, Halloween (1978), and Friday the 13th (1980), the antagonist, ‘The Breather,’ makes stereotypical heavy-breathing prank calls as his signature move to scare his victims.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1995)

Renée Zellweger’s prom dreams turn into a total nightmare in The Next Generation, which also stars Matthew McConaughey.

Heather thought she experienced the worst thing that could happen on prom night – seeing her boyfriend, Barry, kissing another girl. Little does she know, the horror hasn’t even begun. Barry follows Heather to her car after she angrily leaves the party, and they drive off with two friends in the backseat. The group gets into a car crash in the middle of nowhere, unknowingly near the farmhouse where a chainsaw-wielding family of sadistic cannibals live.

See also: 14+ Best Horror Franchises

Crabs! (2001)

Prom night is overtaken by a creepy new species of crabs in Crabs!.

In a sleepy California beach town, people begin getting attacked by an unknown species of crabs. However, these sea creatures are unlike any other, with some reaching enormous man-sized heights. Even worse, they seem to have an intense craving for human flesh. A horde of these mutated crustaceans take over the local high school’s prom night, and it’s up to a group of outcasts and police to save everyone.

See also: ‘Cocaine Crabs from Outer Space’ and the Invasion of the ‘Cocaine Bear’ Mockbusters

Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005)

The third Urban Legend movie is part nightmare prom, part slumber party horror movie.

Urban Legends: Bloody Mary is the third and final installment in the Urban Legend film series. As the legend goes, a ghost will appear if you chant “Bloody Mary” into a mirror three times. In the movie, this spirit is of a girl named Mary Banner (Lillith Fields), who died 35 years prior. She was drugged and kidnapped by her prom date and was killed when she attempted to escape. In the present, a trio of girls are having a sleepover after being black-listed from their dance. They playfully discuss urban legends before deciding to put the Bloody Mary ritual to the test. Later that night, the girls are drugged and kidnapped as a prank by the high school football team. However, one of the girls, Sam, begins having disturbing visions, and people start disappearing. Are the strange events due to a prank taken too far, or is Mary’s spirit making herself known?

See also: 30+ Movies Based on Urban Legends

Dance of the Dead (2008)

Probably not how anyone imagines their prom.

Prom is one of the most magical nights teenagers look forward to, though it can be less exciting if you’re going alone. Unfortunately, not everyone at Cooas High School is able to land a prom date. Instead, the outcasts spend their time investigating the local cemetery when one of the teens is attacked by a zombie. The rest of the group escapes, eventually teaming up with others who have dealt with the reanimated dead. Later, they band together to attempt to save everyone who’s dancing the night away at prom, though they may be out of time.

Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)

The nightmare virus from Cabin Fever takes over a high school prom.

What starts off as a memorable prom night for the high schoolers quickly transforms into an unforgettable event, but for unexpected reasons. ‘Down Home Water’ is the popular water brand at the school, so it’s no surprise when it gets passed around at prom. Nearly all of the students take a sip, oblivious to the chaos this seemingly insignificant decision would unleash. Soon, a flesh-eating virus contaminates the prom, leading to a lockdown by the Contamination Control Division.

See also: Is ‘Cabin Fever’ (2002) Based on a True Story?

The Loved Ones (2009)

Lola’s father secures her the prom date of her dreams.

The film opens with high schooler Brent (Xavier Samuel) driving when a figure appears in the middle of the road, causing him to wrap his car around a tree, killing his father. Despite the pain and guilt from the loss, Brent has a spark of happiness when the gorgeous Holly (Victoria Thaine) accepts his prom invite. Unfortunately, their classmate, Lola (Robin McLeavy), is anything but thrilled to see the two of them together. When Brent declines Lola’s invitation to prom, she executes a vicious plan to ensure he can’t say no to her.

Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Jennifer spends the night of a school dance trying to eat her best friend’s boyfriend.

Despite being a shy, nerdy teen, Needy Lesnicki (Amanda Seyfried) is best friends with the stunning and popular girl Jennifer Check (Megan Fox). After being kidnapped by the band at a concert they attended, Jennifer shows up at Needy’s house, covered in blood and behaving bizarrely. Even more strange, boys at their high school continue to be found murdered with evidence that someone had eaten parts of them. Once Needy discovers the truth, she knows she must protect her boyfriend at the upcoming dance, or he could be next.

Detention (2011)

Josh Hutcherson spends the night of Prom in detention trying to figure out the identity of a serial killer in this slasher comedy.

Taylor Fisher (Alison Woods) is the most popular girl at Grizzly Lake High School. As she’s getting ready to leave for school, she gets murdered by someone dressed as ‘Cinderhella,’ a character from a fictional horror movie. Because of various events, a group of students fall under suspicion by Principal Verge (Dane Cook) and are placed in detention on the night of prom. While there, they work together to figure out who the killer is and try to survive.

Prom Ride (2015)

A party limo turns into a nightmare in Prom Ride.

The only thing better than attending the senior prom is enjoying an extravagant ride there in a fancy limousine with close friends. That is unless the car is hijacked on the way. In Prom Ride, a group of teens are having the time of their lives in a party limo when it suddenly comes to a stop. They hear gunshots and look out the window to find that their driver has been shot, and a dangerous figure is now in control. Held hostage, the teenagers are slowly tortured and now need to turn on each other as they fight to survive. 

Tragedy Girls (2017)

Tragedy Girls is a slasher comedy that ends with a gruesome prom.

Two true crime-obsessed teenage girls, McKayla Hooper (Alexandra Shipp) and Sadie Cunningham (Brianna Hildebrand), have a blog, Tragedy Girls, where they discuss murder. The two are willing to do whatever it takes to get the fame they crave, and they find a unique way of taking matters into their own hands. When members of the town continue to go missing, the last people anyone expects are the two girls who seem to be at the forefront of coverage on the case.

More prom horror movies:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) references the vampire lore that vampires cannot enter a building without being invited. Hilary Swank’s character (bottom left) argues that since the zombies are seniors, they are of course invited to the dance.
  • The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976) inspired by a true story, a mysterious “phantom” terrorizes the town of Texarkana with one attack falling on prom night.
  • The Prowler (1981) a slasher movie that takes place mostly at a graduation ball.
  • Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987) a high school student is possessed by the spirit of a girl who died at prom.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) the climax of this comedy vampire movie takes place at a high school’s senior dance.
  • My Boyfriend’s Back (1993) a zombie comedy about a high school boy who rises from the grave to take his crush to prom.
  • Jawbreaker (1999) a *dark* comedy with a memorable third act that takes place at prom.
  • Hair High (2004) an animated horror comedy that includes a nightmare prom scenario.
  • Prom Night (2008) a serial killer targets a high school student on the night of her senior prom.

Further reading:

Meet The Author

Brandy Eaklor is a writer, artist, and content creator who specializes in entertainment and horror subjects. Her favorite horror movies are Hereditary and The Strangers.