“Carrie” Review ✦✦✦✦✧

10 December, 2017

Year of Release: 1976
Brian De Palma
Lawrence D. Cohen
Director of Photography: 
Mario Tosi
Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, John Travolta

Synopsis: A bullied teen with a domineering and deeply religious mother discovers she has telekinetic powers which are unleashed in full force after a cruel prank is played on her during her high school prom.

Carrie Review:

A De Palma classic from the still chaotic “Don’t Look Now” era, “Carrie” is an arrestingly mad movie from a time when Giallo passion had taken over the horror film industry. Seemingly aware of the garishness of its own time period, the movie verges on dark comedy with Piper Laurie giving a deliriously highly-strung performance involving impassioned religious monologues and frantic carrot chopping while a group of twenty-something-year-olds play high-schoolers at the behest of filmmaking rules and regulations. Bonkers and bloody with a confidence captured in the careful beat of each establishing sequence, the movie adapts challenging concepts with sheer adoration for Stephen King’s epistolary novel, falling in love with his taste for the wicked and humanising his leading lady through gratuitous shaming.

Embodying every facet of a girl immature for her age and ridiculed by her peers, “Carrie” cherishes Sissy Spacek in her finest hour, playing effortlessly off her insular talents and bringing out her most reclusive and peculiar qualities as the face of King’s outcast. Given powers beyond the means of an everyday outsider, Carrie is the telekinetic leper in a high school filled with judgement, becoming a blood red metaphor struggling to fit in as the pain of rejection leads her to unleash her most repressed and devilish powers.

Harshly subjective in the lead up to an iconic Prom Queen massacre, “Carrie” provides warning signs wherever possible, continuously suggesting that something sinister might be brewing below the surface as giggling bullies and unsympathetic adults provide the backdrop to a life of hidden rage. Seemingly weak but adorned with a talent that Satan himself would find more than one excuse to unleash, Carrie is the personification of stifled abandonment, depression, and frustration; a bottle rocket of anxiety with no way out from her problems who’s inevitably driven insane with embarrassment and resentment for all that she’s surrounded by.


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