Friday, October 21, 2016

Seventh Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series #11: Carrie (1976)

Ah, a classic: Brian De Palma's 1976 retelling of Stephen King's Carrie!  This movie really needs no introduction or discussion but because I've suffered through so many dogs this October, I wanted to revisit it just briefly.  Because this one is a really good one.

First of all, Carrie is chock-full of now-recognizable names who were just fresh faced babies in 1976:  Sissy Spacek (Carrie White), Amy Irving (good girl Sue), William Katt (popular boy Tommy, and later The Greatest American Hero), John Travolta (bad boy Billy), PJ Soles (mean girl/tomboy Norma), Betty Buckley (Miss Collins, later the mom on Eight is Enough) and Piper Laurie (Carrie's mom, Margaret White).

Second, I'm not going to recap the story because we all know the story (and if you don't, you should fix that right away).  But here are my notes from watching it:

  • Piper Laurie as Carrie's mom is TERRIFYING
  • Was that English teacher in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest?  [he was]
  • William Katt has AMAZING hair
  • Everyone is soooo skinny
  • Travolta's accent is so bad
  • srsly William Katt's hair
  • When Tommy is nice to Carrie at the prom, it's really quite lovely
  • The prom starts out so pretty and sweet that when the HELL finally breaks loose, it's all the more shocking
Looking back on this iconic movie now, I find it hard to watch it with a critical eye because I love it so much.  All of it.  The seventies of it, Sissy Spacek really selling how terrorized she was by her mother, the tiny moments of people being nice to Carrie, the brutal bullying by the mean girls.  I do imagine, however, that back in 1976 it was fairly shocking - especially to those moviegoers who weren't familiar with the book - the horrible dousing with the bucket of blood and Carrie's subsequent transformation into a vengeance demon.  Up until that point, Carrie is really the victim and even afterwards, after everyone dies a bloody and/or flaming death, it's still hard to blame her.

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