Wait, “Carrie”? That’s a good movie. I get to review a good movie! Praise Odin I get to review a good movie. After those last two movies, this will be a breath of fresh air let me tell you.
The prologue quickly establishes Carrie as the outcast, botching a hit in a volleyball game at match point. The girls mock and sneer at her as they walk away towards the locker room. The credits sequence rolls over the girls changing in the locker room. It’s completely gratuitous, even by gratuitous nudity standards. It’s shot in slow motion and there is a rather cheesy instrumental piece accompanying it; I guess he wanted it to be artistic.
It’s here where Carrie has her first period. She gets pelted with tampons much the same way Dante was pelted with cigarettes and she too freezes up in a panic. The teacher finally comes in and tries to comfort her by smacking her and telling her to calm down. Even after, she doesn’t seem too sympathetic to Carrie’s plight. The principal is. . . oblivious to say the least. Getting her name wrong once is one thing, but the gym teacher repeats it for him twice and he still gets it wrong. Carrie repeats it three more times and he still doesn’t figure it out. That’s a whole new level of dim right there.
Much like “Edward Scissorhands”, I found myself disliking, if not outright hating, a vast majority of the characters, sans the title character. The students seem to go out of their way to be cruel and the teachers publicly mock, and even assault students. Even though the gym teacher was trying to protect Carrie, she still wasn’t justified in doing what she did.
It’s never explained why they seem to despise Carrie as much as they do. Yeah, she’s quiet but somehow a girl with coke bottle glasses gets in with the popular girls, I don’t see why Carrie was cast off. I know high school girls have a reputation for being cruel but I think this was pushing it a bit. I was the quiet geeky kid and there was nothing close to that going on, maybe I just got lucky with school selection.
Honestly, they traumatize her, than they get mad when they get punished and decide to get revenge for the thing that they were responsible for in the first place. So, following up one psychologically scarring experience, they decide to publicly humiliate her and douse her in pig’s blood. She strikes down upon them with great vengeance and furious anger and then they decide it’s a good idea to try and mow her down with their car. Wow, that is petty and spiteful to the Nth degree.
Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie delver amazing performances as Carrie and Margaret White respectively. John Travolta has a small role, but he’s not given a whole lot of screen time. While most of the cast does a good job, those two steal the show.
The score is hit or miss. It’s effective for the most part, but that main theme didn’t appeal to me. I know what it was trying to convey, I just think it tried too hard. There are some nods to Hitchcock, with the sharp violin stings coming in whenever Carrie used her power.
Speaking of which, I’m torn on the “revenge”. The scene works really well and you could say that setting the building ablaze and locking them all in there is pretty harsh, but if I were doused in pig’s blood and had telekinetic powers I would’ve gone all out. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to inflict casualties, but it would’ve been a spectacle. I would’ve gone all Tetsuo on them I’d go into God mode, start levitating across the room, have wind blowing everywhere, send stuff flying in all directions.
While I guess you could credit her for keeping her rage understated, I wouldn’t have minded seeing some seething anger before she just went nuts and unleashed hell on her classmates.
What’s really cool is that Adam Sandler named one of his albums after a repeated line in this movie and based a sketch around it. When Carrie’s mother first started saying “they’re all going to laugh at you” I couldn’t help but think of the Sandler bit even though this came well before that.
Also, the “blood water” was more pink than red so it looked kind of like the slime from “Ghostbusters 2”.
This definitely ranks among the great King adaptations. I recommend giving it a watch, if not another.