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It's nearing the end of the school year. High school senior Carrie White is a social outcast, largely due to being unwise to the ways of the world based on her upbringing. Her mother, Margaret White, is a religious fanatic, her extreme views primarily targeted against sex, which she believes is a sin. She even believes natural associated processes such as menstruation are a sin, about which she has refused to mention to Carrie. Mrs. White's beliefs were taken to that extreme largely because of her own failed marriage and her husband Ralph long ago having run off with another woman. The only adult authority figure who tries to help Carrie with her life is her phys ed teacher, Miss Collins, who is nonetheless warned not to get too close to go against how Mrs. White chooses to raise Carrie, Mrs. White whose beliefs are well known in the community. An impromptu event that happens among Carrie's phys ed classmates against her leads to her classmates being punished. One of those students, ...Written by
Many critics have commented on how Carrie seems to appropriate Bernard Hermann's Psycho theme for the killing scenes in this movie. Hermann had composed both Obsession (1976) and Sisters(1973), both Brian DePalma movies which came out right before this, and probably would have composed Carrie as well but he died in 1975 before that could happen. See more »
When Carrie looks out her window, when she hears a horn honk, you can see the spike mark where Tommy's car is suppose to stop. See more »
Carrie boomed Sissy Spacek's and John Travolta's career. I understand why.
Carrie starts off at a gym locker room, where we find out how much the other kids hate Carrie. But, we find out that Carrie has some powers. Like in other Stephen King book-movies, the supernatural aspect is only minor compared to the rest of the story, but it comes into play at the end. Carrie's mom (Piper Laurie) is an over-protective religious zealot who makes The Royal Tenenbaums seem normal. So Carrie tries to cope with her horrible life, but it's getting tougher and tougher.
Spacek is exceptional as Carrie, and I now know why she was nominated for Best Actress. Her emotions are real, not some fake tear drops that make us think she's sad. Either she has great motivation, or she's one of the best actresses of the century (or both!). Laurie was equally good as her mother who locks Carrie up in a closet everytime she thinks that Carrie has sinned. This movie wouldn't be half of what it was if the acting wasn't so great. When Carrie was sad, you were sad. When the other kids ridiculed her, you felt like you wanted to kill the kids. When she smiled, you smiled. Emotions that raw couldn't come from just any movie.
If you know me, I'm a stickler for character developement. Carrie didn't take much time, but from the opening scene you knew about Carrie and her weakness. So are the secondary characters; they're nicely developed even if their role isn't that major. Travolta had a miniscule role, but he was fine in it; it led to Grease and Saturday Night Fever.
The prom scene has got to be one of the most memorable scenes from a horror movie. That red tint is awesome; it's like a premonition. In fact, the movie is full of premonition: the red tint, the freaky looking voodoo doll, "They're all going to laugh at you." I'm assuming that director Brian De Palma meant to put that in, so it just isn't about some supernatural powers, it's also about foreshadowing. Also, I dig that camera movement during the dancing.
The blood and gore wasn't held back, but they just put in what was necessary. De Palma obviously stole from Hitchcock's Psycho, mainly the music cue whenever Carrie is using her telepathy. Also, her school, Bates High, is another Psycho refrence.
Carrie was also very creepy. It wasn't a thrill-a-minute, but at the ending, that was Scary with a capital S. The last ten or twenty minutes were scare-inducing for sure. That last jump scene in the dream...wow! It's still jumping at me. If there was one complaint I had to do about the movie, it's that it took too much time to get to main scene and the prom went on a little too long, but other than that it's a first class horrror/thriller that any horror buff needs to see.
My rating: 8/10
Rated R for nudity, some language, and blood.
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