HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
Bullet for the President, A
Constant Husband, The
Anbessa
Man in Grey, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
   
 
  Carrie How was the prom Carrie?  Carrie?!  Carrie!!!
Year: 1976
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt, Betty Buckley, Nancy Allen, John Travolta, P.J. Soles, Priscilla Pointer, Sydney Lassick, Stefan Gierasch, Harry Gold, Noelle North, Michael Talbot, Doug Cox, Cindy Daly, Deirdre Berthrong
Genre: Horror, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  9 (from 2 votes)
Review: Gawky, lonely teenager Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is relentlessly picked on at high school by spiteful kids and heartless teachers alike, while the onset of womanhood isn’t made any easier by the cruelty of her hysterical, bible-thumping mother Margaret (Piper Laurie). Yet Carrie has secretly blossomed a potent array of psychokinetic powers. Nice girl Sue Snell (Amy Irving) wants to do Carrie a good turn and persuades popular, good-hearted boyfriend Tommy Ross (William Katt - with amazing hair) to ask her to the prom. This he dutifully does and come prom night seems to genuinely fall for the lovelorn misfit, before a cruel prank perpetrated by school bitch Chris Hargensen (Nancy Allen - evil but yummy as heck) and her redneck reprobate boyfriend Billy Nolan (John Travolta in a star-making turn) turns a fairytale evening into a nightmare. Whereupon, Carrie unleashes hell…

Based on the Stephen King bestseller, this was a breakthrough for everyone involved and along with Halloween (1978) remains an evergreen classic teens still reach for to guarantee a spooky night come October 31st. Striking the perfect balance between heartbreaking lyricism and helter-skelter horror, Carrie’s success interestingly lies in two elements pulling in seemingly disparate directions. Brian De Palma’s virtuoso direction, intermingling split-screen, swirling camera work and pyrotechnics with Pino Donaggio’s beautiful and opulent Psycho (1960) riff orchestral score, plays up the Hitchcockian suspense and horror, reaching a grand crescendo amidst the immortal prom night sequence. Yet Sissy Spacek grounds the movie with her heartfelt, sensitive performance and turns Carrie White into one of the most affecting, pitiable and heck, lovable “monsters” in horror cinema.

De Palma is often thought of as cruel, with criticisms levelled as to why good guy Tommy and Miss Collins (Betty Buckley), the only teacher to show Carrie any kindness, are so callously swept aside amidst the apocalypse. And yet their fates underline the metaphor that Carrie’s powers embody uncontrollable, adolescent rage at its most mindless and destructive, lashing out in pain regardless of who gets caught in the crossfire. What’s more it adds to the idea that true horror often involves bad things happening to good people. In fact, De Palma is attuned to the more poignant aspects of King’s story and plays up the sweet, tentative almost-romance that briefly blossoms between Carrie and Tommy, beautifully played by Spacek and an underrated William Katt.

Oscar-nominated along with Spacek, Piper Laurie’s incendiary turn rests at the heart of this movie’s fractured religious imagery. Note the figure of Christ on the crucifix seemingly remodelled with Margaret’s own face to fit her sick sense of martyrdom. Away from the old moralities of Hammer horror or even The Exorcist (1973), Carrie is a movie where religious fervour is a passport to doom, not salvation, yet still turns the heroine’s climactic self-destruction into an oddly spiritual act.

Away from its status as a horror classic this is also a landmark in the development of the high school movie. While oddities like High School Confidential (1958) played up the exploitation angle, Carrie is surely among the first to really delve beneath the sunny, All-American, “best years of your life” image and satire high school as a Darwinian pressure cooker where the meek and the awkward are damn near eaten alive. Which paved the way for the likes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twilight (2008), and arguably even the horror-free Welcome to the Dollhouse (1998).

And let us not forget the justifiably celebrated shock ending - again one of the greatest in horror cinema. This has been criticised in that it transfers our allegiance to Sue Snell, with Carrie becoming the monster the preceding movie and Spacek’s performance went out of its way to suggest she is not. But this nightmare can be interpreted as born less from Carrie’s own perceived monstrousness than the guilt Sue Snell bears for letting things get so out of hand. Plus it’s one heck of a great scary moment - so why complain?

Its monumental success inspired a disastrous Broadway musical, a belated sequel The Rage: Carrie II (1999) and a less-than-stellar TV movie remake Carrie (2002), but there remains only one true ode to the misunderstood misfits of the world. Indeed Carrie is almost a Hans Christian Anderson fable rewritten for the modern age. And is it wrong to think prom queen Carrie looks really beautiful - pig's blood and all?

Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4873 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Brian De Palma  (1940 - )

Controversial American director and Alfred Hitchcock fan, strong on style, but weak on emotion. His early, political films like Greetings and Hi, Mom! gained some acclaim, but it was with Sisters that he emerged as a major talent of the 1970s and settled into his cycle of thrillers and horrors: The Phantom of the Paradise, Carrie, Obsession, The Fury, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Body Double, Carlito's Way, Raising Cain, Snake Eyes and Femme Fatale being good examples.

He's not aversed to directing blockbusters such as Scarface, The Untouchables and Mission Impossible, but Bonfire of the Vanities was a famous flop and The Black Dahlia fared little better as his profile dipped in its later years, with Passion barely seeing the inside of cinemas. Even in his poorest films, his way with the camera is undeniably impressive. Was once married to Nancy Allen.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: