What is there to say that hasn’t already been said about this film? Not much. I’ll just go through some items. And I guess, spoilers? Look, if you haven’t seen it by now or don’t know anything about it then I don’t know what to tell you.
· The evil mother was a nice touch. She was over the top and therefore fun to watch. This character also gives you a hint as to where Carrie’s telekinetic power might have come from. It’s a good theory that Carrie was abused so much by her extremely religious mother that she developed this thing to defend herself. Or she could’ve been born with it. Whatever.
· No less than five slaps are handed out in this movie. Three of them are delivered to Nancy Allen too. I don’t understand all the slapping. Sometimes the folks in this picture act like it’s a big deal and other times they don’t care.
· The split screen towards the end doesn’t really work. They didn’t use it earlier in the film to help set it up (like it would’ve made sense to employ this technique whenever Carrie uses her telekinesis) so it abruptly comes out of nowhere for a few moments and then goes away. The split screen didn’t look cool enough in my opinion to warrant using it for a brief minute.
· This is one of those movies where it feels like it should’ve ended a bunch of times. There were several points where I thought they were gonna wrap it up but the thing kept going. I don’t think that’s a good feeling to have while watching something. The length and real ending should all seem appropriate and not tacked on.
· It’s pretty edgy that Carrie kills just about everyone that attended the prom (except the one survivor). It’s kinda crazy that they all burn up or get killed some other way. I was pretty shocked that they went for it. Good for them.
· Actually, now that I’m thinking about this there were probably other survivors of the school. There must’ve been a whole slew of people that didn’t even go to the prom. So they probably felt pretty good that they didn’t get caught up in that mess. Or wait, no they felt awful because almost everyone that went to that school died in a horrible fire. Uhh…yea, they felt bad about it and not good.
· When Carrie crashes the car I chuckled to myself. It looks very cartoony and they should’ve found some other way of shooting that instead of speeding up the film.
I can see why this is a classic. It’s really all about that iconic prom scene with the blood and the fire and the hoozy whatsy, etc. That was definitely the best part of the movie but of course you need all that build up for it to payoff. The shot of Carrie walking out of the burning gym covered in blood with that bug eyed expression on her face is some fantastic imagery.
But overall it was just ok for me. Some of the emotional points are a little off I think. For example, some high school kids kill a pig just for its blood (they probably could’ve gotten it easier ways or even used fake blood which would’ve been just as devastating), the overuse of slapping and the entire thing with Tommy asking Carrie out to the prom. I think Carrie knows what’s going on but she goes along with it anyway. It’s a bit confusing. Does she think that this is just a one off date that’s supposed to make her feel good or does she think that this guy is really going to be her boyfriend?
It’s strange that the asking-Carrie-out-to-the-prom joke is uncovered immediately. Wouldn’t it have made more sense if no one knew what was going on? Carrie should’ve gone out to the prom with no knowledge that Tommy was asked to by his girlfriend and the gym teacher shouldn’t have gotten wind of it. It would’ve been clearer that way. But then again, did Carrie actually not know? I don’t know.
What it really comes down to is Brian De Palma kinda stinks. Sure Scarface and Carlito’s Way are fun and the first ten to twelve minutes of Snake Eyes is great but man, he’s made a lot of movies that don’t work very well. The only picture of his that I like a lot is The Untouchables which I can chalk up to being a fluke because none of his other films came together as well as that one did. Carrie falls in with most of his pieces. It has some cool moments and interesting camera work but in the end not great.
Is it worth checking out? If you’re a horror buff like me then yes, at some point you should see it. I’m a little ashamed that it took me this long to get to it. It’s still a classic whether I like it or not. If you’re more of a casual fan or you don’t care for telekinesis horror films then this might not do much for you.