Carrie (1976)

10/30/2017 18:57

Film: Carrie

Year: 1976

Director: Brian De Palma

Writer: Lawrence D. Cohen

Starring: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie and Amy Irving



This film starts during gym class. The game is lost when the ball comes to Sissy Spacek. Everyone is mean to her as they go into the locker room. We then see Spacek while she is in the shower and she starts her period. She doesn’t seem to know what to do and has blood all over her hands. She grabs one of the popular girls, played by Amy Irving. Spacek is pushed back into the shower and they taunt her, saying things like ‘plug it up’, throwing tampons and sanitary napkins at her. The other girls involved are Nancy Allen, P.J. Soles and Edie McClurg. Their teacher breaks it up; she is played by Betty Buckley. During this, a light explodes while Spacek is screaming.

She is taken to the office where Buckley talks with the principal, played by Stefan Gierasch. It is decided she will be allowed to take the rest of the day off and go home. Gierasch keeps getting her name wrong and Spacek yells. An ashtray on his desk explodes and flips off the desk.

During her walk home, she is taunted by a boy on a bicycle. He is the nephew of the director and played by Cameron De Palma. He calls her creepy Carrie and she uses her mind to knock him over.

We then meet Spacek’s mother. She is played by Piper Laurie. She goes over to Priscilla Pointer’s house to try to spread the gospel. Pointer isn’t having it and tries to pay her off to leave. Laurie is bothered by it and leaves. Pointer is also the mother of Irving, in real life and in this film.

When Laurie arrives home she gets a phone call from Buckley, explaining the situation of what happened. Laurie blames Spacek for the change in her body. She starts to hit her with a book and reciting scripture to her. She then locks her in a closet where she is forced to pray.

Later that night she is allowed to come out and go to bed. In her room she tries to focus on using her telekinetic power and breaks her mirror. Laurie hears that and comes up to check on her. Spacek pretends that nothing happened and is told to go to bed.

Buckley then gets all the girls that were bullying Spacek into the gym. She tells them that her recommended punishment was to keep all of them from going to prom. She was overruled and everyone was given detention. The problem is detention is with her and if it is not completed, then they will be barred from prom. The girls reluctantly agree. During it though, Allen refuses to continue with it and loses her right to go prom. After it is over, Irving comes up with an idea to have her boyfriend, William Katt, to take Spacek to prom. He reluctantly agrees.

It takes him some time, but he does get her to agree, much to the displeasure of Laurie. Allen then comes up with a way to embarrass her. She enlists the aid of her boyfriend, John Travolta, his friends and Soles to put this into motion.

Will Spacek have the ideal night that Irving is hoping? Or will Allen be able to ruin it? Is Laurie right that everyone is going to laugh at her and that what she is doing is a sin?

I saw this film for the first time around when I realized I was into horror and wanted to watch things from Stephen King works. From what I’ve gathered is that everyone knew the ending due to the trailer and even I knew what was going to happen before the first I time I saw it. That doesn’t matter, because that to me isn’t the most horrorific part of the film, but it is great. The climax is very satisfying. What is worse in this film to me though is how Laurie and all of the girls in school treat Spacek. She is told wrong things by her mother and belittled. The girls at school, aside from Irving and the date of one Katt’s friends treat her bad and bully her. It is satisfying to see her getting her revenge, even though she kills the innocent in the process as well. This doesn’t have the most complex story, but it really doesn’t need to be. There are a couple of style choices that director Brian De Palma did in this film that I thought weren’t needed, they were comedic in nature.

The acting I found to be really good. Spacek is a little too pretty to be Carrie from what the novel describes, but she did style choices that make her awkward. She is also amazing at the end of the film and looks terrifying when she is using her powers to get revenge. Laurie is horrible as a mother and I thought she played this role great. I was highly impressed. I believed Irving, Katt, Allen and the rest in their roles. I thought they did a solid job and were well cast.

I thought the effects were solid. They were done practically and I thought they looked real. The blood which is corn syrup, as told to us by the film Scream, did really look like blood. Making things fly through the air looked realistically done as well. I thought the editing for the most part was really good. I kind of touched on that I had issues here for a couple of points where they sped up Katt talking to his friends to make it comedic. I wasn’t a fan of that. I did like the choices in editing for the climax though. The score of the film is a great blend of using the Psycho soundtrack as well as using music you would find during the era as well. It definitely helped to build the tension and set the tone of the film.

Now with that said, I would highly recommend seeing this film. It is a classic. The story isn’t complex, but it doesn’t have to be. The things we see at the climax aren’t even the most horrorific in the scheme of things. The acting is very good in this film. The effects are all practical and looked real. The editing of the film does have some issues, but for the most part is good as well. The score of the film is solid as well, helping to build the tension and the mood of the scene. I feel this film is great and deserves to be seen if you aren’t a fan of horror.


My Rating: 9 out of 10