25 October 2013

October 25th

Carrie (1976) directed by Brian De Palma
My friend Casey wanted to watch this and it seemed like a good choice.  We've been watching other De Palma stuff recently (we call him "BDP") and there's that remake floating out there, anyway.

Having watched this again, I'm now curious about how different the remake is.  They really don't make films like this anymore.  It takes its time to develop its characters.  Carrie barely uses any of her powers until the prom scene..  It's careful to build up the tension as the rope connected to the bucket wiggles for what seems like an hour.  As Casey remarked, the camera is calm compared to modern films.  It's not trying to fly all over the place, doing unnecessary CGI pass-throughs of fences and such.  DPB does do some split-screen shots and the famous spinning-dancing shot, but they're not pointless.  I think the spinning shot in particular brilliantly captures Carrie's feelings at the moment.

If I had a complaint, it's that their budget didn't allow Carrie to going on quite as big of a destruction rampage as you'd hope, with just a car-full of Nancy Allen and John Travolta getting blown up during her trip home.  I remember in the novel the entire town suffering quite a bit from her anger.  I wonder if the remake covers that aspect?

My daughters tell me it's time for more Lego Marvel videogaming, so I'll cut this short!

Watched: blu-ray from MGM.


  1. I watched this too. Why the hell does the footage speed up when the boys are trying on tuxes? Nonsense.

    Lots of great subtlety in the film I never picked up on before this last viewing. The gym teacher: was she once like the girls who torment Carrie and her punishment of them is an attempt to purge her own guilt? Sue Snell: does she know about the plot to engineer the voting to make Carrie the prom queen (though is ignorant of the blood in the bucket)? Why else would she sneak into the gym so eagerly?

    Would disagree on the desire to see more destruction by Carrie's hand. That instinct is likely satisfied by remakes and such, and thus diminishes the tragedy (moreso by, I'm sure, turning all peripheral characters into evil caricatures). Carrie, unable to sublimate her sadness and rage, lashes out and murders those not necessarily guilty of tormenting her. It is enough that we see only three or four people laughing at her at the prom, and everyone else is just as horrified as she is. As well enough that the burial site of her house shows the town's anguish/anger at the incident itself. More murders in the town aren't really necessary, and would probably turn the movie into revenge-porn.

  2. After rewatching it earlier this season, I've realized that "Carrie" might be one of my favorite films. There are few horror movies so longingly sad and beautifully composed. If it wasn't for Piper Laurie's over-the-top theatrics and DePalma's excesses (yes, the sped-up tux scene, for one example), it might be a perfect film. At the very least, Sissy Spacek gives a perfect performance.

    Sean, it's been years since I've read it, but I'm fairly certain the book outright states that the gym teacher was a bully in high school. It would certainly fit the "kids are assholes until they grow out of it" theme running through the story.

    As for the new remake, it does not feature much of Carrie rampaging through the town. (Though her powers are ramped up via CGI, as you'd expect.) However, the 2002 television with Angela Bettis does feature quite a bit of that. Both are probably skippable but they do resist turning the story into a revenge fantasy. That puts them about "The Rage: Carrie 2," faint praise.