Carrie (1976)

Director: Brian De Palma

Starring: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt, John Travolta

First of all, I do apologize for the lack of reviews that I have neglected to write for the past 3 weeks or so. It’s not like I haven’t been watching movies….I have. It’s not like I have been totally overloaded with work that I haven’t had time….because I do feel like I have had time. I don’t really know what my excuse is…maybe a lack of inspiration? And the fact that I was avoiding WordPress like the plague because of the guilt I felt every time I logged on and didn’t write anything….Anyways, I’m going to try to slowly work back up to what my pace was before, although I doubt any of you really missed me that much (…besides my mom. Hi, mom!).

Plot: A high school teenager, Carrie (Spacek), struggles to fit in and becomes the subject of much humiliation from her peers. She learns early on that when angry or upset, she can move objects with her mind. Carrie also must come home every day to her crazy, bible thumping (literally) mother who sometimes resorts to locking her in a prayer room for hours at a time. When Carrie gets asked to prom, she is skeptical at first but agrees, unknowing to the fact that all hell is about to break loose…

With the remake fixing to come out next month, I thought it would probably be a good idea to see the original which has become a classic in the horror film world. Well, after seeing it, I can confidently say that the remake is definitely going to have some big shoes to fill!  This was some seriously great horror film making. Horror is not my go-to genre at all, but I try to delve into it once in awhile and I feel like I have some sort of feel of what works for it and what doesn’t. To me, Carrie was great horror because it isn’t the type of scary movie that relies on gore, buckets of blood (Ha, see what I did there?), and cheap jump scares to thrill the audience. Carrie was scary because for an hour and fifteen minutes tension is building and building and nothing is really super scary (except her bat crap crazy mother) until finally, in the last 15 minutes or so, all of Carrie’s rage is unleashed and we are left to observe this craziness in complete awe.

On top of the chilling and horrific story that could only be crafted by the one and only Stephen King, Brian De Palma incorporates some great film making to go with it, something that has sadly been lost in a lot of modern horror movies. The movie just has some really great moments of camera work that add to the eerie atmosphere of the movie. My favorite scene was probably the slow motion sequence in which Carrie walks to the stage to accept the honor of being crowned Prom Queen. In that moment everything was perfect for her, people were clapping and congratulating her and the slow motion worked to savor this moment as we know what is about to happen to her. Then we cut to a shot of Sue, the girl who gave up her date so that he could go with Carrie, as she links together little tidbits of information as she realizes what is about to unfold until she finally attempts to stop it. That scene is just pure cinematic genius. I’ll be interested to see how the remake interprets the same scene.

Conclusion: There isn’t a ton to say about Carrie. It’s a pretty straightforward movie that moves at a pretty quick pace. It’s relatively short, about an hour and a half, so there are no dull moments yet everything builds up perfectly to the moment of the prom scene that really delivers on terror. It’s not an especially “scary” movie but all fans of the scary movie genre should appreciate it. The camera work and choices that De Palma made for the movie in order to create a creepy atmosphere yet create just the right amount of tension was brilliant. I was excited for the remake, but after actually seeing the original I’m afraid the remake won’t even hold a candle to the 1976 original. Carrie is a definite must-see for all horror film freaks and is a classic that truly lives up to it’s name.


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