Cert:18 Runtime: 98 mins Director: Brian De Palma Cast:Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, John Travolta, William Katt, Nancy Allen and Amy Irving
It has nothing to do with Satan, Mama. It’s me. Me. If I concentrate hard enough, I can move things
Yet another Horror re-make will hit UK cinemas this weekend, Stephen King’s story gets a 21st century paint job with Chloe Grace Moretz. So before I watch the new one I thought we would make Carrie (1976) this weeks blast from the past. Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is the outsider of her class. She’s a mousy girl, all of her classmates hate her, and her mother (Piper Laurie) is a religious fanatic who walks around in a black cape. After she unexpectedly has her first period, she is teased by the girls more ruthlessly than before. The gym teacher punishes the girls that were involved and one of them, Sue Snell (Amy Irving), feels sorry for what she did and asks her boyfriend to take Carrie to the prom instead of her. But another girl that has been banned from the prom, Chris Hargenson (Nancy Allen), isn’t so forgiving and hatches an evil plan with her boyfriend that involves Carrie and a bucket full of pig’s blood. But what none of the students realize is that Carrie has the power of telekinesis, the power to move things with your mind, and that when you make her mad, she transforms from an innocent girl to a rage-filled monster. And this is gonna be a prom no one will ever forget.
The story is chilling and unsettling without being a full-fledged slasher movie. What’s great about the movie is the way takes the time to slow down and flesh out Carrie’s story, giving a chance for viewers to realize just how terrible Carrie’s life really is. As it progresses, Carrie becomes a more relatable and sympathetic character, which makes the climax all the more saddening and even understandable to a certain degree. The performances in Carrie are top-notch all around the board. Sissy Spacek, in an Oscar-nominated performance, plays Carrie extremely well. She plays all the emotions that Carrie faces in an extremely believable way, almost making it hard to tell if she’s actually acting. Spacek also has a sort of physical appearance where she can match the qualities needed for the character of Carrie, but also where she is undeniably beautiful when she cleans herself up for the prom. Piper Laurie sort of revived her career with her performance as Margaret, garnering her an Oscar nomination also.
She felt over-the-top at times, but Laurie’s performance is undeniably unsettling, especially in the scenes where she physically abuses Carrie. Rounding out the supporting cast is Betty Buckley as Miss Collins, the gym teacher in charge of the detention and a comforting figure for Carrie, and John Travolta, in a breakthrough performance as Chris’ boyfriend. There are a few aspects of Carrie that feel like they haven’t aged well, such as the strange blurry lighting in some of the outdoor shots, but it’s not enough to hinder it’s greatness. The performances are solid, especially the Oscar-nominated performances from Spacek and Laurie. The story was well-written and well-executed, and offers some deep themes about bullying. Carrie still stands as one of the best Stephen King book-to-movie adaptations, and one of the greatest horror movies to ever grace the silver screen.