In 2005, Bridgeport native Donna Keppel, a high school freshman, returns home from a date with her friend Lisa Hines to find her father and little brother murdered. Donna hides under the bed, where she sees her mother struggle with her former teacher Richard Fenton, who has become obsessed with Donna. As Donna locks eyes with her mother, she witnesses Fenton murder her after she refuses to tell him where Donna is. In 2008, Donna, now a high school senior, lives with her Aunt Karen and Uncle Jack and is about to graduate. She regularly visits her psychiatrist, Dr. Elisha Crowe, and takes anti-depressants to cope with her depression.
Donna and her friends are getting ready to attend their senior prom. While at the hairdressers with Lisa and Claire, Donna sees Fenton standing outside but realizes she was hallucinating. Donna's boyfriend, Bobby, arrives at her house along with her friends and their boyfriends, Ronnie and Michael. At the police station, Detective Winn, who imprisoned Fenton three years ago, learns that he has escaped and warns Karen and Jack. Karen thinks Donna should come home, but Jack convinces her that Donna should stay at the prom and have a good time.
At the prom, Fenton arrives at the hotel disguised as a man named Howard Ramsey. He reserves a room on Donna's floor and stabs the housekeeper to death to get the master key. Claire has an argument with her boyfriend Michael, and goes up to her room with Donna to calm down. After Donna leaves, Claire hears noises and sees Fenton, who stabs her to death. When Claire does not return, Michael goes upstairs to see her. Fenton attempts to hide in the closet, but Michael sees the door close. Michael, thinking Claire is in it, opens the closet and Fenton stabs him to death.
Winn arrives and warns the hotel staff, one of whom Fenton kills. Lisa and Ronnie bump into Fenton in the elevator on their way to the room. While making out with Ronnie, Lisa realizes that she saw Fenton and runs off to warn Donna, which makes Ronnie sad as he was about to propose to her. After waiting for the elevator, which does not come soon enough, Lisa takes the stairs, but Fenton chases her down to a lower floor under construction. Lisa hears the elevator doors open and sees Ronnie call for her. She attempts to flee, but Fenton slices her throat.
Winn and Detective Nash find the body of the real Howard Ramsey in his car trunk. Winn goes up to the room booked under Ramsey's name and finds the housekeeper's body. He sounds the emergency alarm and has the hotel evacuated. Donna goes back to her room to retrieve her mother's shawl, but runs into Fenton, who tries to break into her room. Realizing Donna is still inside, Winn races back up to the room, but Donna escapes from Fenton. SWAT and police search the hotel, but find no sign of Fenton. Winn discovers the body of the employee Fenton killed and realizes that Fenton has left the hotel in the employee's uniform. Winn races back to Donna's house and discovers Nash in his squad car, presumably stabbed to death by Fenton.
Inside, Donna goes to the bathroom and returns to her bedroom to discover Bobby dead with his throat slit. She sees a shadow out in the hall and hides in her closet, thinking it is Fenton. She learns that the shadow is only Winn, and Fenton grabs Donna in the closet. Winn is about to open the closet, but hears a scream from Karen, who has seen a dead officer on the ground outside, so Winn runs to her bedroom. Fenton attacks Donna and a violent struggle ensues. When Fenton is about to stab Donna to death, Winn returns and shoots Fenton to death. Donna then goes back to Bobby's dead body and cries over him. Winn hugs and consoles her as she cries. Donna's Aunt and Uncle run in the room , they hug her and then walk her out of the room as Winn stays and looks over to the bodies.
The budget for the film was $20 million. It was produced by Original Film and Newmarket Films in association with Alliance Films, which holds the rights to the original franchise, along with sequel rights.
Prom Night was released by Sony Pictures and Screen Gems. The film grossed $20,804,941 in 2,700 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #1 at the box office in its opening weekend and averaging $7,705 per theater. It grossed $43,869,350 in the U.S. and a $12,728,210 in other territories for a worldwide total of $56,597,560.
Prom Night was not screened in advance for critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 8% of critics gave the film positive reviews based on 63 reviews. The critical consensus states: "A dim and predictable remake of an already dull slasher film, this Prom Night fails to be memorable." On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 17 out of 100 based on 12 reviews.
Schaech was nominated for the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain, but lost against Heath Ledger (posthumously) for his role as the Joker in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight.
The DVD and Blu-ray Disc was released on August 19, 2008 in theatrical (88 minutes) and unrated (89 minutes) versions. Both formats contain deleted scenes and an alternate ending. It was released in Australia on Blu-ray and 2 Disc DVD Edition on August 27, 2008. In F.Y.E. stores in the U.S., the unrated edition came with a bonus disc called "Body Count: Investigating the Murders of Prom Night," a 22-minute documentary about the murders of various characters about the film, as well as various techniques the director used to make the murders scarier. Includes interviews with Nelson McCormick (director) and other members of the cast of the film.