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A movie directed by Brian De Palma

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Carrie - It's My Life W/O

  • Jan 24, 2002
  • by
Rating:
+3
Pros: You'd be surprised what you can learn from a 'horror' movie

Cons: bloody and over the top, but needed

The Bottom Line: Hey, is that a Carrie standing next to you? Reach out and say HI

The Oracle says: Piper Laurie has a Bacon number of 2.
Piper Laurie was in Rich in Love (1992) with Kathryn Erbe
Kathryn Erbe was in Stir of Echoes (1999) with Kevin Bacon ***


Congratulations to Diane (SurgRN911) on her second anniversary at Epinions and on her 200th review. Who knew we'd last this long? At the end of this review is a list of my fellow writers in Surg's great idea to write about a movie that depicts your life. What a tough chore she threw out to us! That being said, on to Carrie .......

and we all thought we had a tough life, sure there were times that we thought that no one cared about us or we were the geekiest kid in school. That is nothing compared to Carrie White, the somewhat plain and painfully shy miss in this movie. Somehow she has managed to make it all the way through school and into her senior year without going too far over the edge. An occasional flare up of her budding powers when someone crosses her path gives us a hint of what is to come from this little lady.

At home all is not a bed of roses for Carrie, played artfully by Sissy Spacek, who leads a troubled and tortured life at the hands of her demented mother, played by Piper Laurie. It appears that sweet Piper took to the temptations of the flesh, and enjoyed it way too much for her puritan ways ("Oh, when he touched me, my skin turned to fire and I loved it, I loved it ..... ha, ha, ha, ha, ha", she cackles in the heat of her passionate diatribe on religion). To compensate for her own tortured soul and mind, she has become a religious zealot and plummets Carrie daily with her ideals and feelings.

no love for Carrie, no friends to turn to, except popular Sue (Amy Irving), who is practically a saint in her own right in this movie, and the physical education teacher, Mrs. Collins, played by Betty Buckley, who comes to her rescue more than once.

Although Sue originally joins in the taunts of Carrie, as she ‘becomes a woman' for the first time during a shower in gym class, she quickly realizes the horror of what they have done to this fragile creature and recants her attitude. In fact, she goes to her boyfriend, Tommy (William Klatt) and asks him to take Carrie to the senior prom in her place.

Mrs. Collins believes something is afoot and refuses Sue the right to go to the prom, which leads to problems further down the line but in a weird and demented way becomes a salvation for Sue, kinda.

so, Carrie, has a prom date and manages in record time to whip up a cute little prom gown on her sewing machine and somehow transform herself into an ethereal creature for that one night. In the background, we find Momma pacing the floor, wringing her hands, pulling her hair and slapping herself around and repeating "They are going to laugh at you, they are going to laugh at you", as Carrie defiantly applies her makeup and dresses for the prom.

Carrie walks into the gymnasium, transformed into a scene out of all her dreams, and for one shining hour finds happiness. Afraid and shy, reluctant to partake in the festivities, Tommy finally convinces her to dance, and we see an entirely different Carrie White in this scene.

however, lurking under the stage are Billy (John Travolta) and Chris (Nancy Allen), who have a venue of their own. Yes indeed, for when Tommy and Carrie are crowned King and Queen of the Prom, which they will be because of false ballots supplied by Norma (P.J. Soles), they intend to dump a different look entirely on the fantasy that surrounds the prom goers.

Centered directly over the ‘receiving area' for the crowned participants is a nasty bucket of pig blood, that has been rigged up with a rope so Billy and Chris can dump it on Carrie for fun, and as a final insult to her already pathetic life.

Finally the glorious moment arrives and Carrie and Tommy take the stage to receive their crowns. By this time, many are enchanted with the difference in Carrie, and she has taken on a new persona herself. As the crowd applauds their new rulers, we see Sue peeking around the corner of the stage to watch the festivities, delighted that Carrie has finally come into her own.

It so happens that Sue is at the exact spot where the rope runs up the scaffolding, to the pig blood above. A-ha! You say.

feeling the rope wiggle under her hand, Sue steps from around the corner to look up and see what the rope is attached to. At the same time, she looks under the steps to the stage and see Billy and Chris, holding the rope in their hands. Realizing what is about to happen, Sue rushes to the stage to warn the unsuspecting couple and Mrs. Collins fears that Sue is there to spoil Carrie's moment of glory.

She picks Sue up and escorts her forcefully from the gymnasium, while Sue protests all the time - "Look up above, look up above". Mrs. Collins turns a deaf ear to her, admonishing her for ruining Carrie's reign and throws her out the door, just as Chris dumps the bucket.

this is when all Hell breaks loose and we finally see the beginning of the power of Carrie's telekinesis. I say the beginning, because the true power doesn't get unleashed until later at her own home and in the arms of her loving mother.

Carrie seeks her just revenge on all those that have made her life a living Hell as the words from her mother echo in her head "They are going to laugh at you, they are going to laugh at you".

I won't tell the entire tragic story of Carrie White because you should see it for yourself. Suffice it to say, back when it was released, it was common for people to get up and leave the theater when they thought the movie was over to beat the crowd, there were quite a few that didn't see the ending and were surprised later to hear how it actually ended.

What really impressed me about this movie were the creative and stylish visuals. Although it is mired in violence and gore, it is well done. It is intended to shock and follows through with that intent.

I find Sissy Spacek one of the most unique actresses around. Appearing, for the most part, a plain person, she also has the ability to bring forth an aura of beauty that surrounds her. Her transformation in this movie alone is testimony to that. Every movie I see her in brings forth a new facet of her make-up, both visually and through her acting abilities.

Piper Laurie was incredibly intense in this movie. Like Louise Fletcher in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, I've never seen Laurie in another movie that I didn't think of her in this part. Unfortunately, both actresses are permanently typecast in my brain in these two parts.

And it is always a treat to catch rare footage of young talent before they ‘became', such as Nancy Allen, P.J. Soles, William Blatt and John Travolta. Amy Irving was, and remains, breathtakingly beautiful. I think I feel in love with her in this movie.

It's not to say that the movie was a remarkable feat in cinema but it will certainly go down in the annals along side Psycho or Alien as a movie that others strive to copy. Other than the main characters, the acting was wishy-washy and typical teenage diatribe. But as a whole, the movie pulled itself together and remains captivating to this day.

They came out with a ‘sequel' a few years later, The Rage: Carrie 2, but other than Amy Irving (considering she was the only one left alive anyway), there was little other than the name to coincide with the original release. Just another cheapo name rip off that should never have happened.

This movie was adapted by Larry Cohen from a novel by Stephen King and directed by Brian DePalma. It received Academy Award Nominations for Best Actress (Sissy Spacek) and Best Supporting Actress (Piper Laurie), but did not win in those categories. Shoulda!

I know you are scratching your head and wondering just what does this have to do with SusiDee's life? I'm not really a fire breathing dragon, despite all claims, nor do I have the ability to move objects with my mind. Hell I can barely move myself. Instead, I look at this story from a different angle, the story of how people interact with their fellow humans and often become less than human.

There is a Carrie in every school in the world, a given fact. Probably not to the extent of this Carrie White, with her telekinetic powers, but the lonely and shy person (girl or boy) that becomes the butt of all jokes and the laughing stock of the school. It is also a proven fact that children (any age) can be ruthless humans, they run in packs, they pick on the weakest, and they show little mercy on the underdog. Many of them grow up to be ruthless and shallow adults.

Now while I was in high school I wasn't what you would call in the ‘in group' but I wasn't a Carrie person either. I was a cheerleader for years, so I ran a little with that crowd, and yes there were times that we ridiculed the Carrie White's that stood on the sidelines. As time went on, duties at home dictated that I work instead of enjoying extracurricular activities at school, and I suddenly found myself more on the Carrie side of the fence than the Sue, Chris and Norma side of the fence.

So when you get the opportunity to look at life from both sides of the fence, you realize the fragile nature of the human psyche and realize the devastation that a misspoken word can bring to another person. You become aware of what you consider playful jokes can be all too real to those on the receiving end of your banter. You learn that hatred and bigotry can become a way of life and you learn that when a child is told something repeatedly, it becomes their life.

Yes, my elders still use the "N" word because they are ignorant of other people's feelings. My elders are lonely, introverted people that lead lonely lives and die lonely deaths.

They continue to be two-faced and back-stabbing individuals who often smile at you out of one side of their face while they ridicule you from the other side. They preach the Lord's word and yet take his name in vain. They talk about 'mackrel-snappers', 'holy-rollers', 'k!kes' and 'towel-heads', and who is to say the beliefs they have are any better than any other.

They say 'white trash', 'queer' and 'hillbilly', using it in only a derogatory sense. And, yes, I've been known to do the same. We learn what we are taught.

As a child I never received hugs and kisses, except the type that were not wanted. As a teen, I found it hard to learn to accept friendship, and love, without thinking that someone 'wanted' something in return. As an mother I found it hard to nurture my children because I had not been taught nurturing.

Now, as an elderly adult (I can say that, you can't - smile), I find it hard to accept and give love in return, because for generations our family has been taught that to love is to lose - in one way or another. I am trying desperately to break that cycle in my own life. I'm trying to be more 'Sue' and less 'Chris'.

So, Carrie White helps me to realize that all isn't what it seems and that we should accept all people, no matter who or what they are. Now go read these other folks, for they have a lot to say:

3BCoach, artbyjude, BSmith24, bwyckoff1, charles_tatum, cntaur5, deaser26, ed_grover, exbrave, gungian, IFif1938, jankp, jasonkirk, joydrop26, kuuleimomi, lansky2000, lorace, macresarf1, mets_gal_1, mike.holmes,
misstaegu, paulbg, pmills1210, pogomom, psychovant, redsox95, sparkfan77, surgrn911, susidee34

new entry just this morning: 4-1-1

Links to each review will be on my profile page, as each person submits their review (I hope - smile)

Thanks,
Susi

*** Compliments of: Department of Computer Science
School of Engineering, University of Virginia



Recommended:
Yes

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October 31, 2011
hi again, Susi....
 
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More Carrie reviews
review by . October 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     If there is something more to thank Stephen King for other than his brilliant horror novels, it would be the often equally as brilliant films that they inspire. Quite a few of King's novels have been turned into movies; and I'm sure he's not all that enthusiastic regarding at least half of them. Few truly gifted authors even are; controversially, King dislikes "The Shining" with a passion; and think of it, today, that's regarded as another fine Kubrick masterpiece, …
review by . July 14, 2010
The film version of Stephen King's classic horror novel, "Carrie," is beautiful in its humanization of the character and the way in which Sissy Spacek portrays the innocence of a young girl combined with the ability to kill people in large quantities.   However, it strays from the book in a few unfortunate ways.  The viewer misses the back-story of Carrie's mother while the reader discovers that she was essentially raped and Carrie is the child of that event.  …
review by . March 02, 2009
Carrie Special Edition DVD
Stephen King's first novel that was adapted into film version is quite true to the author's words. While Stephen King was less than pleased with Stanley Kubrick's film version of his malevolent masterpiece, "The Shining", King was quite happy with Brian De Palma's direction and his vision with "Carrie" and with Sissy Spacek in her debut role as the freakish, shy and telekinetic Carrie White. Incidentally, little Sissy beat out Melanie Griffith and Carrie Fisher for the title role that launched …
review by . July 30, 2009
Carrie was Stephen King's first published novel (under his own name) and it would be the first in a long line of book-to-film adaptations. As long as Mr. King continues to right, someone will always try to adapt his novels or stories for either the silver or small screen. This film not only made King's career but it launched a plethora of knock-offs. While Brian De Palma can re-live the glory of making this over-hyped adaptation, it made stars out of "teen" actors Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, …
review by . June 14, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
CARRIE, Brian DePalma's masterpiece of horror, gets its well-deserved treatment in this new Special Edition DVD containing several featurettes as well as trailers and text screens.Young Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is a loner. She has no friends, and lives a life of fear and repression. Her Bible-thumping momma (Piper Laurie) also chooses to reject and abuse her. However, her pent-up anxiety causes her to get a form of telekineses, that lets her move things. At first she is frightened of this all-new …
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About this movie

Wiki

Brian De Palma's commercial breakout, based on a novel by Stephen King that helped launch a whole slew of teen-based horror films.

Followed by the sequel The Rage: Carrie 2 and television remake.

Priscilla Pointer and Amy Irving are mother and daughter in real life.

Based upon Stephen King's first published novel.

Soundtrack was composed by Pino Donaggio.

The film was made into a Broadway musical that closed after 5 performances.

This terrifying adaptation of Stephen King's bestselling horror novel was directed by shock maestro Brian De Palma for maximum, no-holds-barred effect. Sissy Spacek stars as Carrie White, the beleaguered daughter of a religious kook (Piper Laurie) and a social outcast tormented by her cruel, insensitive classmates. When her rage turns into telekinetic powers, however, school's out in every sense of the word. De Palma's horrific climax in a school gym lingers forever in the memory, though the film is also built upon Spacek's remarkable performance and Piper Laurie's outlandishly creepy one. John Travolta has a small part as a thug, De Palma's future wife, Nancy Allen, is his girlfriend, and Amy Irving makes her screen debut as one of the girls giving Carrie a hard time.--Tom Keogh
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Details

Director: Brian De Palma
Genre: Horror
Release Date: November 3, 1976
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: August 28, 2001
Runtime: 98 minutes
Studio: United Artists
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