Carrie White is the odd girl out. The girls in her class bully her and call her names, and she doesn't get a good treatment at home. Her mother thinks of her as sinful, and locks her up in a closet whenever something upsetting happens. What they all didn't know that Carrie has a special gift - she is telekinetic. However, things start to change for Carrie, when one of the popular boys in school ask her to the prom - at the prodding of his girlfriend. We all know what happens at prom.
Sissy Spacek's portrayal is perfect. She embodies Carrie White so much. The movement, her expressions, they were all perfect of a woman who was confused. Considering that she was a sheltered girl, the way she wanted to blossom was beautiful, yet it was so heartbreaking because of what happens to her. Sadly, this is the only film of hers I know, as this is where she was most acclaimed with. While she gets much of the praise, credit should also be given to Margaret White, portrayed by Piper Laurie. She's scary as a religious fanatic, to the brink of insanity. You don't know if she really wanted to protect her daughter or she was acting out on religious obligation. She and Carrie don't really see eye to eye, although Carrie respects her mother's religious fanaticism.When she found out about Carrie's gift, it was turmoil for her. What's confusing about her character though is if she wanted to keep her daughter out from sin, why not homeschool her? That way, she can keep track of her daughter and her supposed sinful life.
I like how De Palma didn't take the scheming out of the equation. Usually, teenagers with motive would just be mouthing out what their plan is, but De Palma brought that scheming to life. The rest of the cast involved were great in their roles. Their bullying against Carrie didn't really have much of a root, but the grand scheme that followed did. Their actions trigger Carrie's anger and resentment towards them. She went to a social gathering against her wishes, and she was humiliated in the worst way possible. Even her prom date didn't have a clue. I could feel Carrie's anger against them; I would very angry too if that happened to me or someone I know. What they did to her in all those times was stupid and senseless. It's sad to think that people like them actually do exist, and think that the world revolves around them.
Whether you've seen Carrie or not, it's easy to associate the film with the iconic prom scene, where Carrie is drenched with pig's blood. I'm not really sure why they used pig's blood, although there seems to be no significance - it's a ploy to get the scheme moving. Then again, it would be equally disgusting if they used any other blood, so moving on. The prom scene was executed with such finesse. The timing of the supernatural was perfect, and so were the effects. From the lights switching to bloody red, the turmoil inside the gymnasium, they were all moving at Carrie's will, even if she was just standing there, glaring angrily because of the humiliation. That scene is where De Palma truly captivates the capability of Carrie White. It carries on to the latter scenes, with the timing never going off. She was in momentum - everything was.
De Palma also incorporated a few symbolic scenes along the way. What stood out for me was the mother's death. It similarly resembles the crucifix inside the closet where she would lock Carrie in to pray. The version of the crucifix in the closet was a horror to look at, with its deep scary eyes, and the needles that stick out of it, like a voodoo doll. It did resemble that something evil is at hand in that house, and whether it was out of Carrie's doing or not, it can't be certain. My theory is that it has something to do with the mother, but I'm not sure either.
Even if you're not a fan of horror films, you should at least see Carrie. It merits itself to be a classic, and a perfect rendition of it. It's been remade at least 3 times, and it still doesn't stand against the original. At first I was regretting putting it because I really don't like horror movies (I scare easy) but this was an amazing film. So to cap off my ramblings, I would like to share a story involving, well…Carrie. I was at a theater waiting for 2 Guns to show when they showed the trailer for Moretz's Carrie. There was a bunch of freshmen students behind me (I assumed they were freshmen since they looked innocent and not stressed out by college life), and while the trailer was playing, one of them asked who was Carrie. Another explained that Carrie was some girl with super powers or something. I was so aghast about that conversation I immediately ranted to my sister, who then replied that people her age don't even know what Jerry Maguire is. Seriously.
Final Word: Such a classic.
Cast: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving
Director: Brian De Palma