Carrie Cover Have you ever wondered, that if you had the will-power to move something with your mind, that you might be able to actually to do it? You know, just screw up you face like a squirrel, and strain for something to just happen! No? Must be me then, after I watched this film Directed by Brian De Palmer; and Starring: Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, and William Katt. It was made in 1976, and lasts for 98 minutes.


Poor Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) - what an unlucky b*tch. Her bible bashing mother, Margaret (Piper Laurie), is a right nut. Her class mates taunts her after she springs a leak in the shower. And worst still, is that she starts showing signs of a sinister telekinetic ability, when her emotions are aroused.

Still, Carries school teacher, Miss Collins (Betty Buckley), seems to like her, which is why she then subjects her class to a rigorous exercise regime the following day due to their behavior.

But is that a good thing for Miss Collins to do?

No - not to one member of the class - Chris Hargenson (Nancy Allen), because this results in her being reprimanded from going to the up and coming prom.

Though, for another of her classmates, Sue Snell (Amy Irving), she feels the need to redeem herself for being so bad to Carrie, and she does this by persuading her boyfriend, Tommy Ross (William Katt), to ask Carrie out to the prom - without her knowing that she has set this up.

Fair dues, Carrie does have some reservations about this proposition - especially due to her Mothers religious leanings. But eventually, she excepts Tommy’s offer - once inspected more thoroughly by Miss White.

Moreover, during this time, Carrie tries to do some research about  her telekinetic ability as well, whilst behind the scenes; Chris devises a dubious plan with her boyfriend, Billy Nolan (John Travolta), to get her own back at Carrie.

So how does all of this turn out then, huh? With Carrie and Tommy going to the prom, and with Chris and Billy having plans to mess this up for her?

Well, what next transpires is a rather biblical affair I am afraid to say. As demons rise - children fall - mothers weep - and at the end of the day, vengeance is a dish best served cold.

Stone cold.

For a start, you know that 'Carrie' is going to be a great film, when three of the people who are involved in it, are – Brian De Palmer, the director – Stephen King, the writer – and John Travolta, the actor. Still, saying that, once I have watched this movie masterpiece, I know that it is a great film because of three principles as well – simplicity – characterization – and the unknown.

Firstly – simplicity. Because in essence, this film tells a classic tale of an outcast young girl, who has had a very bad life. Granted, the supernatural element – telekinesis – does add an extra element to the mix. Plus, not only does it add, but it also enhances due to the uncertainty that comes along with it.

Carrie in Blood

Now this notion brings us very nicely into the second principle – characterization. Because on first viewing, you are not really sure of certain characters motivations, or why they are doing what they are doing. But as with any solid story, this builds up over time, and its overall construction is finally revealed once most of the story is told (in this case - at the prom).

Finally, the third principle – the unknown. Now not everything is spelled out clearly in this film, because as I said before, motivations are cloudy, and actions – as well as the results of actions – are not always defined. For example: (1) Carrie’s powers are not given an origin. And (2) The final end-sequence is not given a precedent, or validation, of what caused the family homes destruction, or why Amy saw Carrie’s hand.

Carrie At Prom

Personally speaking, I like this type of ambiguity in a movie – as it makes you think about what else must have been going on behind the scenes to instigate this. Is it something to do with Carries estranged father? Or even a psychic link that Carrie has now transferred onto Amy? God know? De Palma knows? King knows? But we don’t know, and that is what makes this movie so compelling to watch.

Well, its as if suspense was an meandering spectre within this film, taunting it, as well as the viewer, on the why – where – when – and how of things. Fair dues, all the actor’s, plus the director, involved, are able to convey this to us in the most delightful way – especially Sissy for her haunted goblin like looks, and Piper for her mannered biblical rants.

‘Carrie’ is a first class film for anyone who like there Americana with the satanic touch, as well as anybody who wants’ to watch a great horror story, presented in a simple yet dramatic way.


CARRIE CARRIE Reviewed by David Andrews on May 22, 2011 Rating: 5
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