Director: Brian DePalma
Sissy Spacek/Carrie White
A shy picked on girl named Carrie (Spacek) gets her period for the first time and a side order of telekinesis powers to boot. She gradually steps out of her shell, deals with her religious nut of a mother (Laurie) and attends The Prom. A bucket of pig’s blood ruins everything and the mind powers are used.
In my opinion, “Carrie” is a very overrated flick but it still has some good points. The performances are all dead on, the visuals are kickarse (like “forget about it”) and the religious imagery is plentiful (and always creeps me out…that crucifix…brrr). The film is a solid reflection of the awkwardness that teen girls go through when they hit puberty and it’s also a realistic look at how it feels to be the “school geek”. I loved witnessing Carrie’s evolution and I was rooting for her the whole way.
I also found lots to laugh at here. Since the film was shot in 1976, it is a tad dated. I have never seen so many people get bitch slapped in a movie. Teachers slaps their students, boyfriends slaps girlfriends and mother slaps her daughter…it made me laugh big time (except for the mother/daughter slap…not funny). The funky, clown-like fashion also got a few chuckles out of me, god I wished I could have lived my teens in the 70’s…fun times! Add to that a red hot Nancy Allen (Chris) strutting her stuff, a hilarious pre-fame John “I will someday do a sequel to Battlefield Earth” Travolta (Billy) and a powerful score, and I thought I had hit the jackpot with this slot machine.
I was wrong, I only got two cherries. What happened with the last half hour? I mean after that strong hour build-up I was expecting a rollicking good time but what I got was a letdown. Now don’t get me wrong, the split screen thang DePalma indulges in is way, way gnarly and the man sure knows how to build momentum with every technical trick in the book, but the carnage itself is weak. It takes more than a fire hose going haywire to wet my pallet; I expected a more visceral slaughter. And after the prom letdown, the flick followed the same path and bummed me out again with a very disappointing demise in respect to the film’s two main villains. What a throwaway double kill! Very unsatisfying. It felt as if DePalma had forgotten to show them croak in the prom segment and decided to shoot this little scene to compensate.
The film almost won me over again with a very powerful mother/daughter confrontation in the end, but unfortunately it followed that good bit by a silly destruction segment (should of kept Jesus out of the game) and an even sillier last frame that doesn’t have any purpose but to give the audience a last jolt. Compared to the flawless first hour, the conclusion just felt like a patch job. Something just didn’t gel right. I’m not saying this film is bad by any means but if you’re gonna tease me for an hour straight with your beauty and smarts, you better put out for the last half hour. This flick dropped two notches in intelligence and kept its panties on, instead of delivering the goods in its finale. In the end, Arrow got a case of the blue balls. The prom ain't all that…
Not much, we get lots of pig’s blood, a kool crushing and death by fire hose??
Sissy Spacek (Carrie White) is the film in my eyes. She communicates her character’s evolution very naturally and is extremely sympathetic. Piper Laurie (Margaret) is very scary and convincing but I wish her part had more levels. For example, if she would have shown some tenderness towards Carrie I would have been more interested in the character. Not the actors fault though, it’s the writer’s. Amy Irving (Sue) is cute in a simple way and does what she has to do well. William Katt (Tommy) is upstaged by his huge blonde Afro-like haircut and overdoes it on the smiling, but he’s still pretty kool in a funny way. John Travolta (Billy) plays a dim wit and he cracked my arse up. Nancy Allen (Chris) doesn’t have much to do but yell and look hot and she does both so very deliciously. Betty Buckley (Miss Colins) gives a very good show as the gym teacher who cares about Carrie but also understands where the “normal” girls are coming from. Nice work.
T & A
Sissy Spacek and Nancy Allen show all and we also get lots of tits, ass and bush (au naturel) from the rest of the cast. DePalma works his camera on the chicks like a “Peeping Tom” and the male of the species will enjoy.
DePalma goes bonkers here. He goes a bit overboard with the close ups (especially female body parts- but they’re still slick) and also tends to overdo it with the build-ups (but they’re still effective). I loved his play with silence and even though his play with sound is a rip-off of the knife noise in Psycho…it still works. The prom scene is a work of genius in terms of direction and style, the split screen works like a charm. Slap in lots of crazy pans, underhand shots, overhead shots, slow motion and you’ve got a visual feast.
The score (by Pino Donaggio) changes mood with the action in an effortless way. It also captures the spirit of the “Carrie” character to a T. It’s perfect.
Since the first hour is so strong the patchy last half hour hit me even harder. I still recommend you see this flick. It has wonderful character development, style up the wazoo and yes, the split screen action is worth the trouble alone. But the film's conclusion could’ve been so much more. I always get more disappointed by the ones that showed so much promise. When it was all over, “Carrie” just didn’t turn out to be the date I was hoping for.
The film is based on the Stephen King book of the same name. Too bad they misspelled his name in the opening credits (it says Steven King).
Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie were both nominated for Academy Awards for their performances.
Sissy Spacek was first offered the part of Chris (played by Nancy Allen) but her husband Jack Fish convinced DePalma to let her audition for the lead. He folded and presto!
The name of the school in the movie is “Bates High” an obvious reference to Hitchcock.
The dream sequence at the end of the flick was filmed backwards. Amy Irving did all her movements backwards and DePalma played it forward. It gives the scene a dreamier feel.
Amy Irving’s real life mother Priscilla Pointer also plays her character’s mother in the film.