Friday, May 31, 2013

Movie Review - Carrie (1976)

What is an effective way to emote the feelings of an outcast girl in high school?  An exaggerated and over the top horror film of course!  Carrie (Sissy Spacek) is an extremely sheltered high school senior.  Her mother has abused and punished her in the name of religion to prevent any sexual indiscretions.  As a result of growing up in this environment, Carrie is extremely insecure, socially awkward, and an easy target to be picked on by her peers.  Little do these cruel high school kids know that Carrie has superhuman powers.

Everyone who has lived through their teenage years knows those are emotionally tumultuous times.  What if your mother was batshit crazy?  What if everyone picked on you for not knowing what a period was when you had it?  A 17 year old girl can only take so much before losing it.  

This movie has many over the top performances.  Piper Laurie, who plays Carrie's mother, couldn't believe that she acted in a horror film because she couldn't stop laughing after shooting her scenes.  The soundtrack has the Psycho sound byte played frequently in moments of high tension (they named the high school in this film Bates as a reference to Norman Bates).  Brian De Palma's direction of the movie walks the thin line between eerie and comedic.  His use of long camera shots are effective in building anticipation for the inevitable.

This was the first film that was adapted from a Stephen King novel.  Not only was it a success, but it was a launching point for Stephen King's career.

Carrie is currently available for stream on Netflix.

Rated R for some violent content, some graphic nudity, language, and sexual content


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