Carrie (R) - 1976 - Runtime: 98 minutes
Starring: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, John Travolta
Director: Brian De Palma
I've never really been a fan of horror movies. It's partly because they are scary (yes, I'm a pansy) and partly because most of the horror movies in the past 10 years are not really interesting save for a few. Like Hostel and many others, the modern horror movie tends to shock, rather than terrify. That's not to say I've neglected the genre: The Descent and 28 Days Later are two of my favorite movies. So this is why I've decided to watch horror movies - I've actually never seen most of the classics and what better way than Brian De Palma's adaptation of Stephen King's popular novel?
As with most horror movies, the story is simple, but the underlying themes and metaphors are much more complex. The movie starts off as probably a high school girl's worst nightmare: she has her first period in the girl's locker room and doesn't know what it means. Her mother is a complete religious nutjob who thinks that a woman's period is proof of sinning. The girls mock and taunt her all the while throwing tampons in her face. It's truly disgusting, but it's effective at conveying Carrie's emotional collapse. I was completely horrified by the opening sequence - a juxtaposition between the naked, playful girls in the locker room against the eventual nastiness of their mockery. Of course, this moment triggers Carrie's possibly uncontrollable psychic abilities. She continues to get tormented, leading up the climax of the movie where she unleashes hell's own version of prom night.
Despite being in the horror section, the movie has more to do with high school and the agony associated with not fitting in. I really enjoyed the movie, although it's funny, I guess I'm used to blood and guts so when the queen bitch gets killed in a car crash because of Carrie, it seemed kind of anti-climactic. I wanted to see her decapitated or something truly gruesome. Oh well - the implications of what she does in the gym are truly horrific. No one is spared her wrath, save one girl who gets out in time (the only well-intentioned girl in the movie). There's a lot of scenes with her crazy mother, almost one too many scenes, actually and it got on my nerves, but I enjoyed the ending thoroughly. The movie does do a good job of mixing the cheese with the supernaturally scary, though.
If you haven't seen this classic, it's definitely worth checking out! Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie are fantastic in their roles. I don't think we'll ever see a movie as graphic and bare about high school anxiety again like this one.
Rating: Rent It!