In the most accurate portrayal of a girls high school locker room, we are treated to the wonders and horrors of puberty. Girls experience changes in their body such as menstruation and telekinetic powers, and boys get hard.
In this film adaptation of Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is a super sheltered teenage girl being raised by a religious fanatic mother while going to high school. In the first scene, we see Carrie experience her first menstruation in the girls locker room and she is utterly unequipped and humiliated. She’s relentlessly bullied by the other girls, and as a result they are punished and some seek revenge.
The film shows Carrie’s journey from being an outcast to being a self actualized young woman, albeit in a tragic way. All along the audience is privy and sympathetic to the trainwreck slowly unfolding.
Review of Carrie
Carrie was a surprise hit in 1976. Off of a budget of 1.6 million, it grossed over 30 million in the box office. Brian DePalma, the director, skillfully adapted King’s novel to the screen. There are two other Carrie adaptations, but this 1976 version is the only one that is unforgettable.
It walks the line between dark comedy, horror, melodrama successfully. The over the top cruelty and humiliation portrayed in the film don’t seem ridiculous in the setting of high school, because they represent the inner distorted world that every teeneager experiences in high school. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a teenager’s imaginary audience.
Some of the characters are more caricatures than people, but the one that counts most is Carrie, and all the others serve to make hers compelling and believable. Her reactions and countenance seem insane until you meet her fanatic mother, and the pieces all fall into place.
The film deserves it’s place as one of the most iconic horror movies of all time. It’s enjoyable and unforgettable. It’s unique, strange, and somehow extremely relatable.