The demonic forces in the haunted Long Island house escape through a mystical lamp which finds its way to a remote California mansion where the evil manipulates a little girl by manifesting itself in the form of her dead father.
Carrying on the Prom Night tradition, this film begins back at Hamilton High School on Prom Night in 1957. As a young couple are enjoying a romantic moment together in the back seat of a car, they are interrupted by Father Jonas, a priest who slashes and immolates the lovers. Thirty years later, Jonas gets loose from the chapel basement where the church fathers had been secretly keeping him locked up and drugged. As luck would have it, it's prom night again, and group of four students have unfortunately chosen Jonas's hideout as their secluded getaway spot.Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Prom Night IV: Deliver Us from Evil" was the last installment in the hodgepodge "Prom Night" series. This film shifts gears considerably, moving to the story of a psychotic priest who was sexually abused by clergy during his youth. As a result, he has a preoccupation with punishing unruly and oversexed teenagers (and is potentially possessed). When he escapes from the church's basement, where he's secretly been kept sedated for years, he returns to a former monastery-turned-house where teenagers have planned a prom-night rendezvous.
While this slasher is in some ways as "by the book" as they come, it distinguishes itself rather nicely with a macabre religious angle and a kind of neo-Gothic atmosphere that is both effective and at times even somewhat creepy. The film cuts ties with the plot line from the former two sequels, though it does make reference to the Mary Lou Maloney story line, as well as a tongue-in-cheek nod to the first film's star, Jamie Lee Curtis.
The killer in the film spins some hokey one-liners throughout which dampens the fear factor, but moody cinematography and some well-staged appearances manage to give the villain a bit of an edge. Once the teenagers get to the remote monastery-turned-private home, the real fun begins. Clever plot set-ups and a great final chase scene help lift the film even a bit further. The performances are mixed, but Nicole de Boer makes a formidable final girl.
Overall, "Prom Night IV: Deliver Us from Evil" caught me off guard, in a good way. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it does spin it with style, and is also closer to the 1980 film in spirit than the former two sequels—and possibly better in some ways. For an early-nineties slasher entry, this one is wildly amusing and at times even effectively moody. 7/10.
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