by on Oct.18, 2010, under Daily Review

Never has there been better casting for a role in a movie than Sissy Spacek in the lead here. All due credit to Brian De Palma for casting the young actress as she holds the film up and makes it exactly what it is. There isn’t much in the way of plot, it’s simple and I’m actually surprised Stephen King could get a whole novel out of this, but that just shows what a great author he is.

After being tormented in the showers at school, following an innocent misunderstanding over her first time of the month, a young Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is the focus. Chris (Nancy Allen) is out for revenge with her heart throb boyfriend Billy (John Travolta) whilst one of the other girls, Sue (Amy Irving) feels guilty and persuades her own heartthrob Tommy (William Katt) to ask young Carrie to the Prom. Meanwhile. Carries mother (Piper Laurie) is a religious freak with serious issues. To top things off finally, Carrie has the magical ability to move things with her mind.

Basically, King starts us off with the basics, an underdog who gets teased. What if we tease her to the brink of absolute humiliation? Then, what if we give the underdog, looks that kill? What about if she’s really sweet but we still make the viewer support her in her massacre? What if she kills everyone, even her mother?

The film is gorgeous to watch, it’s well paced and super enjoyable. As with most films which follow the underdog, we are totally in support but Carrie is like no other. She’s ridiculously sweet, naive and innocent which conflicts with the flip side when she turns all psycho.

De Palma shoots a great film. Loads of stunning technical genius on show here. From the opening soft focus dreamy shower scene, the amazing spinning dance scene, the gym/workout scene to the masterful swooping crane shot which follows the wire along the trap during the ball presentation. Finally, beautiful use of split screen glorified with red gels.

Lastly, the back story which knits the plot together, gives reason for Carrie’s actions and character, is one of religious insanity. When the mother says ‘the sin never dies’ it echo’s through the viewers mind. The torture she endures her young daughter, and it’s this which creates the true horror here. The evil comes from the mother, allowing the character of Carrie, submissive for the most part in her presence, moments of teenage rebellion are lapped up by the audience.

The film stands the test of time, even though it looks super 70’s, it’s a historical document which is east to sit through but will seep deep into your mind.

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