Saturday, October 3, 2009

HORROR EPICS: Carrie (1976)

This is how disappointed I was with the conclusion to Prom Night, to where I watched this immediately afterwards to get the proper fix. There was a time when I actually used to really hate this movie. Having read the book a shitload of times when I was in my early teens, I felt like Brian De Palma’s take on Stephen King’s first novel didn’t exactly measure up. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. Plenty of time has passed since my unhealthy obsession with the book to where I can watch Carrie and enjoy it for what it is: a damn fine rendition that has certainly earned its status as a horror classic. Sissy Spacek was born to play Carrie White, the repressed doormat of the quintessential ‘70s stuck-up teenage bitches who plot her ultimate humiliation on prom night. No real reason, just because they can. Piper Laurie is unforgettable as Carrie’s religious nutjob mother who locks her daughter in a closet for the crime of menstruating, forcing her to pray for forgiveness. You know, because if Carrie concentrated more on her relationship with God, she wouldn’t have started bleeding down there in the first place. See how it works, sinners? You wouldn’t have had to spend all that money on tampons if you’d gotten down on your knees to pray instead of…never mind. Anyway, both Spacek and Laurie’s performances were strong enough to receive Oscar nominations, which is the kind of credit horror movies get only once in a while. Spacek actually won Best Actress from the National Society of Film Critics, which probably doesn’t happen for too many horror movies either. The supporting cast includes a pre-Saturday Night Fever John Travolta, plus Nancy Allen, P.J. Soles, Sidney Lassick, and even Edie McClurg. Amy Irving reprised her role as Sue Snell in The Rage: Carrie 2 twenty years later, which led to an interview where Stephen King begged Hollywood to refrain from making any further sequels. Someone also thought it’d be a good idea to do a remake for television, which was apparently done to introduce a Carrie TV series that never got off the ground. But none of that can ever take anything away from the original, which should stand tall and proud as a classic for as long as tormented high school misfits continue to exist.

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