Carrie White may be considered by many to be the worst prom date in all of cinematic history. In Stephen King's classic Carrie, the telekinetic teen decimated her entire graduating class (and eventually the whole town) before the dance was over, and she did it without lifting a finger. But we would be remiss not to mention the circumstances leading up to that final showdown: Carrie suffered at the hands of an overbearing mother and mean-spirited classmates who relentlessly bullied her every day; it was that combination that ultimately pushed Carrie to the point of no return.
But Carrie White isn’t the only cinematic prom date from hell. In fact, high school dances tend to be a somewhat common convention in horror films. When a dance serves as the epicenter of the action, it allows for maximum carnage: an entire student body crammed into a gymnasium with a mentally unstable perpetrator on the loose is a recipe for disaster. Films like Dance of the Dead, Cabin Fever 2 and Zombie Prom prove just how much mayhem can transpire under those circumstances.
The Carrie reboot is poised to hit theaters on October 18th, with Boys Don’t Cry Director Kimberly Pierce at the helm. In anticipation of that release, we've compiled a list of horror film characters we would definitely not want to accompany to the prom!
[Warning: Spoilers ahead!]
Mary Lou Maloney – Prom Night II & III
Mary Lou is back from the dead, and hell-bent on possessing a member of the student body so she might claim her crown from years ago. She's not the kind of woman you'd want to mess with... in fact, we think anyone in their right mind should avoid her at all costs. Mary Lou first rears her evil head in Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II, and returns in Prom Night III: The Last Kiss. In both films she demonstrates a knack for possessing defenseless high school girls and using their bodies in the same manner one might try on a new dress.
Alex Hammond – Prom Night (1980)
For the majority of this film, Alex seems like the mild-mannered, harmless type. Sure, he has bad hair, and is a bit overprotective of his sister Kim (Jamie Lee Curtis), but we didn’t peg him as a cold-blooded killer dead set on avenging the death of a sibling that fell victim to a childhood accident... but of course, he is, and the vengeance he deals out is way more important to him than a mere date. He would inevitably be too busy murdering his classmates to make time for dancing, or any other typical prom night rituals.
Lola Stone – The Loved Ones
Lola (Robin McLeavy) is a great example of someone who does not know how to take "no" for an answer. After Brent (Xavier Samuel) declines her invitation to the prom, Lola and her father collaborate on how they might make Brent change his mind... and pay for his decision. The poor chap is kidnapped by the father and forced to endure a twisted prom for two at the family home, where he's subjected to every type of torture imaginable. Should you find yourself invited to a school function by this lass, we recommend you run like hell.
Jennifer Check – Jennifer's Body
Jennifer is a pretty and popular schoolgirl who becomes possessed by pure evil after an indie rock band offers her to Satan as a ritual sacrifice. She soon goes about seducing and subsequently killing any man brave and/or horny enough to cross her path. The band is rewarded with overnight success, and Jennifer is rewarded with an insatiable sex drive, a flair for homicide, and an invitation to join the ranks of the undead. The nastiness culminates at the school dance, where Jennifer's BFF Anita (Amanda Seyfried) discovers her seducing and subsequently eating her ex-boyfriend. Avoid Jennifer if you know what’s good for you!
Leatherface – Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation
In this failed reboot of the TCM franchise, Leatherface torments a group of teenagers on prom night. He doesn’t make an epic appearance at the actual dance – which is a bit of a missed opportunity – but still manages to get himself into a bit of mischief. It’s a lot of fun to watch the skin-mask-sporting oaf ruining the festivities... and for an early appearance by future A-listers Matthew McConaughey (as a baddie) and Renee Zellweger (in a truly horrifying dress). Naturally, if Leatherface invites you to be his date for anything, we're going to recommend that you take a pass.
Anton Tobias (and his hand) – Idle Hands
After lopping off his hand (in what we might assume to be an homage to The Evil Dead), Anton’s wayward appendage makes its way to the school’s Halloween dance and proceeds to immediately kill the principal. After literally sharpening its claws in a pencil sharpener, the hand heads to the epicenter of the action and scalps the lead singer of The Offspring. This is one school dance I wish I could have attended... but not with Anton, of course.
Amilyn the Vampire – Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
Our last prom date from hell is played with a high level of camp by Pee-Wee Herman himself, Paul Reubens. Amilyn shows up at Buffy’s school dance and refuses to leave... or die. Buffy has a comical showdown with the vamp, ending with him groaning endlessly and stubbornly refusing to accept death after being staked. In a comical sequence that accompanies the end credits, Amilyn’s long and drawn-out death throes are still unfolding.