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Based on a Stephen King novel, Brian De Palma's 'Carrie' far exceeds
the typical Horror genre. Even though it is labelled a horror film, it
has a strong psychological context to it and the story itself is quite
layered. As King occasionally does, much of 'Carrie' is open to
interpretation but the problems presented in the film are still common
among today's teenagers.
An essential component of the film is Sissy Spacek who plays the title role. She completely embodies her character by capturing Carrie's fragility, vulnerability, shyness and low self esteem. Many young girls could relate to the character. Most of us might have noticed someone like Spacek's 'Carrie' in highschool. Kudos to the actress for such a brave and accurate performance. Amy Irving and Betty Buckley do a fine job. Piper Laurie is great as Carrie's deranged fanatic mother. The rest of the cast is good too but this is Spacek's film.
On the technical side, it's decent. The visuals and editing are good enough and the score is brilliant.
In terms of substance, 'Carrie' offers a lot more than the average horror flick and even though the conclusion is arguable exaggerated, it does reflect the real life horrors of modern day highschool especially the theme of bullying.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Carrie is about a young, timid girl in high-school who gets bullied
around and mocked every day. At home she has to deal with a very
strange and quite possibly disturbed mother.
Because of this she has no confidence and has nothing good to say about herself. This all changes slightly when she's invited to the prom by one of the (more) popular boys.
Carrie discovers she has the power of telekinesis; the power to move or influence objects with the mind. It seems to trigger whenever she's in stress, is angry or is confused.
Things are building up when one of the girls in Carrie's class is denied entry to the prom, and she blames Carrie for it...
After watching this just now, I have to say... wow. Just wow. This movie is truly amazing. The movie has a fantastic build-up and it's great to see so many elements in this story come together, for good or worse. I was on the edge of my seat for the 2nd half.
The acting is perfect. Sissy Spacek as Carrie steals the show. She portraits her role as a confused, scared young woman with much power and emotion. Piper Laurie as Carrie's mother is another amazing role in this movie. None of the other characters look bad; they all play their roles just fine.
Another thing I'd like to point out what's good about this movie is the music. Very fitting, strong (and also very unnerving) music that plays throughout the movie.
I'd recommend this movie for anyone who enjoys dramatic stories. Carrie is a breathtaking story of sadness, hatred, confusion and a thin ray of hope...
9 out of 10 stars
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a beautiful film , It shows the things in life that some people
have to go through , late puberty,bullying,parent abuse. These are all
subjects this film covers very well.
Now when I heard the storyline that she had telekinesis I thought that it would make this film unrealistic but turns out it was strongly believable. The emotion that Carrie suffers, touched me and this is one film you won't forget , its a amazing novel as well. Carrie will touch your heart and it has a life lesson to it that bullying can cause to drastic consequences. The likeliness of a girl with telekinesis killing everyone is out of the picture. But people who have been strongly bullied and have no support try to kill themselves. This film powers that so strongly. The only aspect that i didn't like was that in fact its labelled as a horror film when its more supernatural. However the ending made me jump.
Carrie touched my heart and will touch anyone who has one believable and great acting 9/10 teenagers all around the world will be able to relate to this one.
Carrie was the victim of humans selfishness. It happens a lot of times,
in many places, when a weak, broken school-boy or girl get abused,
bullied and humiliated.
Carrie is more than just a movie. What Carrie did shows us how big the rage that could come out from a little weak person. And that big storm Carrie riven was the the results of bad influences of her classmates. This tells you that you should never underestimate someone who looks weak, and that the rage is always far more stronger.
Carrie is the first horror film that has a deeper meaning. And that's what made it different from other horror movies
What can be said about Brian DePalma and Stephen King's masterpiece
that hasn't already been said before. It became a smash phenomenon upon
first release and has, not surprisingly, grown in popularity after
years of VHS, cable TV, DVD, and Blu-Ray. But has it held up? YES!
Carrie tells the all too real story of a bullied girl who gets no support from her religious freak of a mother who'd rather lock her in a closet and tell her how much she's sinned from getting her first period than trying to notify teachers of her plight. Luckily for Carrie, and not so luckily for her classmates and mother, she possesses a great power - one she can't control.
Carrie is essentially a dark modern fairy tale. It's Cinderella territory all the way, but with a darker ending. Carrie doesn't get through her moment of glory unscathed. Instead of a glass slipper, she leaves a trail of blood back home with her.
What could have been a simple fun exploitation film (see: Jennifer) is made all the richer by Stephen King and Lawrence D. Cohen's vivid characterizations and tight plotting. The actors are all universally stellar. Sissy Spacek takes Carrie from pitiful, heartbreaking, and ultimately, scary as hell! As her psychotic mother, Piper Laurie is more than up to Spacek's powerhouse performance. She's truly one of the most terrifying characters ever committed to celluloid, mainly because we all know someone just as unstable as her. Nancy Allen and John Travolta (in his first big leading role) are equal parts hilarious and pure evil...and boy, do they make evil look good. Amy Irving and William Katt both radiate kindness and warmth, as does Betty Buckley as Ms. Collins, the kindly gym teacher who seems to be the only responsible adult in the film.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Brian De Palma's exquisite direction. He was labeled as a Hitchcock imitator back in the day, but it's really nothing more than homage. His camera effortlessly glides through the sets and characters in the film. The crowning of the prom king and queen has never been so nail bitingly intense.
Carrie is a simply perfect horror film AND a perfect film. It just is! It's filled with heartbreaking drama, pulse pounding suspense, plenty of humor, and a few jump out of your seat shocks! How can you ask for more?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Adolescence, that most tormenting of times for young and old alike! It's a time of great and uncomfortable change. We begin to learn more about our bodies and minds than we probably ever wanted to know. It's a time plagued with zits, mood swings, and awkwardness. Both the Stephen King book and movie capture adolescence in all its mystery. The movie opens with what appears to be every high school guy's fantasy, then quickly turns to shock (and perhaps even empathy) as we're introduced to Carrie. Carrie is the most unpopular girl in high school, picked on by the jocks and cheerleaders, made fun of by everyone. With that constant bombardment at school, you'd think Carrie would find solace at home... Not a chance with her totally-bonkers mother who spouts religious drivel and forces Carrie to repent for something that is completely normal (however embarrassing it may be.) Along the way, Carrie discovers that she can move and levitate things. Even though we're shown little moments of her telekinetic abilities, the filmmakers wisely downplay it to show us the brutal horrors of high school and adolescence. Here is a movie that boldly shows us real teenagers in mostly real-life situations. However, that's not to say that special effects take a back seat. In fact, following the famous "pigs blood" scene, we're treated to one of the greatest displays of destruction ever witnessed. The only part that was a little weak is the very ending, but only because it's been copied innumerable times since then. Sissi Spacek is dead-on in the role of Carrie. In the book, she's described as overweight, which Spacek isn't, but I believe that Spacek's thinness helps accentuate the deep vulnerability that's central to the character. Piper Laurie is equally wonderful as her zealous mother. In my opinion, next to THE SHINING and SECRET WINDOW, this is the best King movie!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was too young to see 'Carrie' in 1976, so had to make do with the New
English Library paperback of Stephen King's novel ( his first major
bestseller ). The cover had a picture of a startled young woman with a
bloody face. I saw the film some years later and found it to be
remarkably faithful to its source. Sissy Spacek is 'Carrie White', a
shy, sexually repressed student who is the butt of her classmates'
childish jokes, in particular 'Chris Hargenson' ( Nancy Allen ), a
bitch of the first magnitude. Following a volleyball game, Carrie is in
the shower room when her menstrual cycle begins. As her religious
fanatic mother ( Piper Laurie ) never bothered to inform her daughter
about such things, she panics, only to be laughed at by her class.
Along with the arrival of womanhood Carrie begins to develop
telekinesis - the ability to move objects just by thinking.
Sue Snell ( Amy Irving ) persuades her boyfriend Tommy ( William Katt ) to ask Carrie to be his Prom Night date. Against her mother's advice, she accepts. Carrie and Tommy win a rigged vote to become 'King' and 'Queen', but her moment of glory is to be cruelly shattered. Chris and boyfriend Billy ( John Travolta ) have placed a bucket of pig's blood in the rafters. As soon as Carrie is standing under it, they cause the bucket to fall. At first, the assemblage is shocked, but then laughter rings out. Angered, she unleashes the full force of her power against those mocking her...
This was Brian De Palma's first major hit following the cult smashes 'Sisters' ( 1973 ) and 'Phantom Of The Paradise' ( 1974 ). He was touted as 'the heir to Hitchcock' and from this you can see why. Listen out for the 'Psycho'-like stings whenever Carrie uses her powers. He employs slow motion and split-screen to good effect. Of course it helps that the book and script ( by Lawrence D.Cohen ) are first-rate too. Dominating the movie though is a superb central performance from freckle-faced Spacek. You want to weep for her. When I read the book, I imagined her mother to be some toothless crone, but the movie 'Margaret' is surprisingly attractive, strangely emphasising her insanity. This was Laurie's first film in 15 years, and she was rightly nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Margaret's madness began when she was raped by her husband years before ( "I could smell the whisky on his breath!" ). The scene in which she stalks Carrie, knife in hand and a demented smile on her face, has got to be one of the most chilling cinematic moments ever.
The rest of the cast also impresses, particularly Nancy Allen and Amy Irving. De Palma retained the latter for his next picture, the underrated 'The Fury' ( 1977 ). It is interesting now to see Travolta in his pre-'Saturday Night Fever' and 'Grease' days.
'Carrie' might not have as much gore as say 'The Exorcist' but it definitely ranks as one of the '70's best horror pictures, certainly the best ever King adaptation.
There was a stage musical ( believe it or not! ) and a T.V. sequel ( 'Carrie 2: The Rage' ) but they are best forgotten. Watch the original and be prepared to fly out of your chair during the final scene. 'Carrie' boasts one of the first examples of the 'trick ending' ( later copied by, amongst others, 1985's 'Nightmare On Elm Street' ).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Carrie is a bona fide horror classic. In my opinion, it is one of the
best Stephen King's adaptations ever made (if you are a Stephen King
fan like myself, you know how hard it is to adapt his books to big
screen). Brian De Palma did a terrific job of bringing Carrie to life.
This is a story about a very vulnerable girl with a super power: she can move objects with her mind, known as telekinesis. Her mother kept her sheltered. Piper Laurie portrayed Carrie's mother really well, a religious fanatic who has lost touch with reality. As a result, Carrie is disconnected from society and not living a very normal life. She is constantly bullied at school by other girls.
The score is one of the most important elements of a movie but this is especially true in case of horror movies. Carrie's score is just amazing. You can get chills just by listening to the soundtrack. I especially love the way how the score sets the atmosphere of the scene. I have seen many horror movies but Carrie is special in the way how the score sets the tone so perfectly well. SLIGHT Spoiler ALERT******One of my favorite scenes is right before Carrie is crowned home coming queen; there is a dreamy music playing intervened by ominous music and it switches back and forth creating drama and suspense at the same time.
I think Carrie deserves a minimum rating of 8. They don't make horror movies like Carrie anymore.
Rating: **** out of 4.
Brian De Palma's career took of with the success of this adaptation of Stephen King's first novel (who also boosted King's own success) about a teenage girl with telekinetic powers, using it to enslave her high school bullies during the most unforgettably horrifying prom night in history. CARRIE was a box-office hit and became an famous entry in the horror genre. But surprisingly when I saw CARRIE for the first time, I enjoyed it for more than being JUST a horror movie. Have you ever seen a horror movie that is touching and heartwarming? Or a horror movie where the supposed monster or horror is depicted as a sympathetic outcast? Or a horror movie that, before descending into a bloodbath, is staged as a romance? CARRIE has it all. It's a horror movie as well as a send-up of one. De Palma knows that the movie isn't really much about Carrie's telekinetic abilities, but about Carrie herself.
An icon of every high school outcast ever since, Carrie (played perfectly by Sissy Spacek) is depicted less as the violent monster she would eventually be and is depicted like anyone else who is bullied by popular kids in school and tormented by an oppressive parent. In that way, De Palma and Spacek is able to make us sympathize for Carrie as a nice girl who is pushed too far, making her now famous Greek tragedy-inspired finale all the more affecting. Piper Laurie is superb in an Oscar-nominated role (rare for a horror movie at the time) as Carrie's tormenting mother Margaret, who believes that her innocent girl is proof of her sinfulness. Laurie is both disturbing and devilishly campy, making her character one of the most memorable in the whole genre. Nancy Allen plays the notorious Chris Hargensen, a representation of the "Most Popular Girl" in high school, while Amy Irving plays the opposite in the role of Sue, a character who feels guilty for treating Carrie like dirt. William Katt plays her sweetheart who asks Carrie to the prom as an informal apology from Sue to Carrie. Betty Buckley provides the nice teacher role (a much nicer character here than in the book) who takes young Carrie under her wing. Oh, and watch out for John Travolta as Chris' nothing-but-trouble boyfriend.
I hate it when some audiences from our generation look back on CARRIE is a campy, scare-free "horror" movie. Why, look for some cheap "gotcha" moments that aren't there? CARRIE is more than just the now-usual treatment of horror movies; it's a mature and affecting tragedy of sorts. How many horror movies these days are portrayed with sympathy and warmth that CARRIE had in its smaller moments? In the end, the movie is something that may not be scary, but its rather poignant and sad. In fact, I think some of the horror elements of the film are portrayed as intentionally campy, but that's just me.
CARRIE is also a visual tour-de-force, with some memorable use of color and other visual techniques to drive the story. De Palma's trademark split-screen makes an appearance here during the famous "Prom Night" sequence. The film also has some underlying satire on high school life, during the 70's and even today. In fact, watching CARRIE today gives a few insights that probably wasn't a big deal back in the 70's.
CARRIE is a masterpiece in the genre, and one of the most touching, funny, most tragic, and one of the most memorable horror movies ever.
Based on Stephen King's novel, "Carrie" is a classic horror film
directed by Brian DePalma and one of the greatest movies from the
1970's that still echoes in our minds and in the popular culture.
If in many high school themed movies there's always a shy and lonely character who gets abused by everyone in the school and sometimes in the family we owe this characteristic to Carrie White, the main character played by Sissy Spacek. And if we sometimes identify with the tragedy of the character, with a possible chance for revenge the ones who are bad to us, you gotta recognize: you have a part of Carrie inside of you. I don't know how Stephen King idealized this story or his motivations but all I can say is that it works, it scares yet it makes you look at life with a different perspective.
Carrie had a hard religious education at home with her mother (Piper Laurie, excellent) that looks more the devil himself than a woman who preaches the Gospel. And the teenage girl doesn't know how to behave herself during classes at school, or even taking a shower when she finally had her first period (a scene meant to be more dramatically sad than scary, except for the music) and she gets mocked by her colleagues all the time.
The film evolves into a dramatic story but there's a catch. In the middle of the drama we find out that Carrie has special powers, she can move or break objects with the power of her mind, and that's something she can't control quite right and no one knows she has this ability. I'll won't spoil more things, I'm gonna let you see for yourself, but by this time you can possibly know what's the horror in this story.
I must admit I had a total dislike over this film when I watched a few years ago; now I understand why it's an effective and powerful film, and why it was relevant in 1976 and still is today. DePalma released "Carrie" on the same year of many great classics whose major themes were "We're mad as hell and we're not gonna take this anymore!".
Carrie White is no different than Howard Beale ("Network"), Travis Bickle ("Taxi Driver"), Rocky Balboa ("Rocky") and the Woodstein team ("All the President's Men"). Strange mixing of films some might think but if you look back to all these characters and their struggle to challenge everything and everyone, is quite similar from one to another. In the scene where Carrie stood up and says to her mother that she'll go the prom with a boy for the first time in her life you can see the exactly same thing when Howard Beale shouted the most famous movie quote of that year. Gladly all these films were great, and were recognized with nominations and awards, and survived to tell how the American society felt at that time, and "Carrie" even while being a horror movie knew how to be a important piece of filmmaking.
As I mentioned in the beginning most films today has some qualities and characteristics that appeared here for the first time and the way DePalma presented the story was excellent, including homages to his idol Hitchcock (the music by Pino Donaggio reminds some parts of Bernard Herrmann's theme in "Psycho", and by the way Herrmann was the original composer of the music of the film but died a few months before the filming begin). Not only the music, but the editing is also great, and one of the most awaited moments is the prom night, there are thousand of things in that scene that keeps you thrilled all the time, no matter how many times you watch. And at last the great casting composed by Spacek, Laurie, John Travolta, Amy Irving, William Katt, Nancy Allen and Betty Buckley, all wonderful.
It's a very interesting horror film but more than that it is a historical study (in terms of film) over a period. 10/10
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