Carrie (1976) is one of those films that makes one feel bad for the outcast types in school. In this case the outcast is taken to a bit of an extreme with this extremely shy and sheltered girl. Even though in many scenes, especially the opening scene, one would consider Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) a woman. The problem is she does not know how to handle herself as well as her other classmates do in regard to her newfound womanhood. Carrie realizes over the duration of the film that she has a power that most other teens her age do not though. She has the power of telekinesis. While this is something that might not seem scary to most by name, by the end of the movie it is perfectly clear why one should not mess with the quiet girl who appears harmless.
With that in mind, the film is about a young girl by the name of Carrie White who is abused by her mother, Margaret White (Piper Laurie), physically and mentally and is not informed of anything a young teenage woman should know when they enter high school. The opening scene reveals a terrified young woman who gets her period but has no idea that she has in fact gotten her period. A fellow onlooker, Sue Snell (Amy Irving), then proceeds to talk her boyfriend, class hunk Tommy Ross (William Katt), to take Carrie to the senior prom. Chris Hargensen (Nancy Allen), a young woman who is banned from attending prom due to her behavior toward Carrie as well as other classmates, plans a sinister attack with her delinquent boyfriend (John Travolta) to take place at prom. Once the attack is set into motion, the group of friends realize they are dealing with a lot more than they ever could have bargained for from Miss White.
In regard to the acting within the film, Spacek and Laurie were brilliant. As this writer began to type up this review, I could not help but think that their performances were academy worthy. Upon looking up award information about the two roles, I discovered they were both nominated for academy awards in their respective categories. In many ways, knowing the two women did not win is quite shocking. Not only did the two women portray their role individually well, but the dynamic that the two actresses brought together on screen was impeccable. However, not for one moment does this writer feel all that bad for the mother. Spacek is the only character besides Tommy and Sue within the film that makes me take pity on them at the end of the day. The rest of the characters do not deserve redemption in any way.
Therefore, while some people might consider that a harsh verdict, this writer suggests you watch the film before judging my statement. Through all the events that take place in Carrie’s life there is no wonder the film ends on the note Carrie does. In this film, audiences learn of a girl as if we are examining a case study and what happens as result to her mother’s actions. The film shows this is what happens when a mom is an extremist in religion and punishes a girl constantly based on her insane views. The reason Carrie is sheltered is in part because if Carrie were to have made a friend, this surely would have been a social service case of the decade for the assigned social worker.
As a result, Carrie is a complicated and complex story and should not be viewed by anyone that is not of appropriate age. If a child younger than fifteen desires to view the film, either watch the film with your teenager or view the film first to make sure your teen can handle the strong themes and situations. This film is not for the faint of heart. The sad part is how most audiences will probably dub the film as mild and not the least bit scary. In all reality this is one of the scarier horror films out there if one ponders the situations and events within Carrie. Keep in mind, if one is of appropriate age, I would definitely recommend this version and the television remake of the film by the same name, Carrie (2002). Despite the given similarities, the remake is handled a bit differently. The ending is a bit more optimistic than the original film even. The additions do not bother me, but to me this film definitely takes into consideration a post Columbine world.
If you are interested in renting Carrie, make sure to check out this title through Netflix, your local Austell Blockbuster, Videodrome, Movies Worth Seeing, or movie channels based upon your cable or satellite provider. To purchase any Blu-rays or DVDs mentioned in this review please check out your local Austell Best Buy, Walmart, Target, or Kmart.