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A movie directed by Brian De Palma

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Not quite like the book

  • Jul 14, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+5

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.  They miss the understanding of Carrie's telekinetic powers, when she discovers them and their oppression by her mother because they are not only seen as witchcraft and the work of the Devil, but as a connection to her father's side of the family which also had the same abilities.  

 

These omissions help shorten the story, but they also cast Carrie in a more positive light.  In the book, we hear more of her thoughts and the awareness of what she is doing whereas the infamous prom scene from the movie seems almost to be an involuntary reaction to the humiliation and stress of having pig's blood dumped on her and the inability to separate the horror (and possible laughter in the face of not knowing what else to do) of her classmates.  We don't know if she's able to control her powers or if they are controlling her.  

 

The other big difference is the lack of sub-plots involving other characters.  In the book, Sue Snell is telling the story, narrating and informing the reader.  There is also a more in-depth look at Chris Hargensen, Tommy Ross and Billy Nolan's characters -- what makes them tick, what causes them to play such a dirty trick on Carrie and how that leads into the prom.

 

Still, the film version of Carrie keeps the viewer on edge, the casting is dead-on and the lighting is constantly adding the just-right atmosphere as does the music (Psycho music, anyone?) and it reaches out and grabs the viewer as Carrie does to Sue at the end of the film.  

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July 14, 2010
I didn't read the book, so I did not know those things about the story! Sounds like a typical book to movie thing though, where things make a whole lot more sense in the book. Thought the movie was great, too, though. Thanks for sharing, Nichole!
 
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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 . 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 …
review by . January 24, 2002
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 …
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Nichole W ()
Ranked #1917
Member Since: Jul 2, 2010
Last Login: Sep 30, 2010 06:29 PM UTC
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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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