I’m not entirely sure I’d ever seen this flick uncut until tonight. It’s one of those that has been on cable constantly and so popular in modern culture that the original version was never high on my list. Moral of that story is that I was shocked a bit by the amount of nudity and menstrual blood contained in the first five minutes.
In case you’ve had an overprotective mother who has shielded you from everything and locked you inside a world of shame and self loathing you probably know the plot to this Brian De Palma flick. It’s about a girl who has an overprotective mother who shields her from the real world causing her to be a freak that the dumb bitches at school all laugh at. Thing is, Carrie has telekinetic powers that are getting bigger, messier and bloodier – just like her period.
Carrie deals with a horn of plenty of teenage problems and does so with a rawness that contributes to its staying power. When a movie feels real, looks real and is genuine, like this one, it transcends genres and audiences. When a horror movie does this it’s something rare and is to be celebrated. And Carrie has certainly been celebrated over the years. It’s widely considered one of the best high school horror flicks and is well represented on many best of all time lists, including clocking in at number eight on cinephile Quentin Tarantino’s all time favorites list. Even more impressive, Roger Ebert actually liked this film. Of course, it’s being remade (again) with Chloe Moretz (Let Me In, Kick Ass) in the titular role.
While I love this film for about a bajillion reasons, it could easily be considered slow by modern standards. A large percentage of the film is in slow-mo, which can be considered by some to make the film drag. I’d argue that and say the intense score combined with slowed pace only heightens the suspense. The moments leading up to the infamous pig blood prom queen massacre scene are some of the most terrifying and tense ever put to film. It’s so effective and devastatingly tragic because of the prolonged build up and prior character setup.
This film is also exceptionally rare because of how it makes you feel about the supposed evil that Carrie unleashes. Did the kids push her so far to deserve what they got? Maybe. But many other innocents, including some truly kind-hearted folk end up on the business end of Carrie’s murderous powers. It’s easy to root for the villains to get theirs, but it’s a tougher pill to swallow when the people you invest time into go bye bye. And then Carrie herself is a whole different monster. Do you let her off the hook? Hold her accountable? She like a bull in a china shop. One wrong move and the whole place gets smashed. But is that really her fault? I’ve seen this film several times overall and I’m still not sure. Another reason why I love it. It presents such tough questions to the viewer, none of which have simple answers.
Bottom line, Carrie is a phenomenal film that deserves every accolade that has ever been bestowed upon it.
Lesson learned: Don’t mess with teenage girls. They be scary.
Snore Factor: ZZZZ’s