One of the more well-known slasher films is the 1980 classic “Prom Night,” which played a part ushering in the slasher craze of the early ‘80s. However what many horror fans may not be aware of is seven years after the first film a different studio decided to make a sequel. That film is “Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2,” a sequel that has nothing to do with the events of the first film and acts as a stand alone film. Hence, it qualifies as both a Hidden Horror and an Underrated Sequel. This film is sadly overlooked by horror fans and that is practically a crime as this little-known ‘80s horror film is quite haunting and damn good.
In 1957 Mary Lou, the girl who is quite “popular” with all the boys at her high school, is just crowned the prom queen. As she is celebrating in front of the whole prom crowd her jealous, freshly dumped boyfriend Bill, played by genre vet Michael Ironside, plays a prank on her that backfires and results in her being burned to a crisp. 30 years later Mary Lou’s tortured spirit returns and is out for revenge and she does this by haunting the good girl Vicki, killing off her friends, inducing eerie nightmares to both her and Bill- now the high school principle- and finally possessing the poor girl herself.
Despite not being related to the first film there are quite a few good qualities that make this film worth watching. It’s well directed with decent characters, good performances, a good villain, somewhat gory deaths- there is one in a locker room that you will want to rewatch- damn eerie nightmare sequences and many fun and quite haunting set pieces. including one involving an old rocking horse that comes to life and a near ending that involves Mary Lou coming out of the possessed Vicki. However tis does not happen in a way that you’re thinking, it happens in more of a “what the fuck is happening sort of way.”
If you want to watch an overlooked high school horror film from the ‘80s with vengeful spirits, possessions, nightmares and a body count, seek out “Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2.” You’ll thank me later.
-James J. Coker