Carrie (1976)

"OK"

Carrie (1976) Review


I might be the only person in the world who thinks Brian DePalma's 1976 classic thriller Carrie (now out on DVD) is one of the most overrated, disappointing horror films of all time, but I stand behind my review, and I swear I can knock down just about any argument its defenders throw. This is my third viewing of the film. Every time I watch it, I find major problems in the story for all the same reasons.

Carrie is the tale of a high school senior named Carrie White, aptly played by Sissy Spacek, who spends her days at school as the center of nearly every cruel ridicule and her hours at home with a constricting, sadistic, fanatically religious mother (Piper Laurie). Let's just say the mother is like a female version of Sergeant Hartman in Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, and Carrie is the distressed Private Pyle.

The movie and the novel by Stephen King open similarly with a shower scene. Director Brian De Palma takes some major risks in this opening, filled to the rim with full frontal nudity of teenage girls. It takes nerve to begin a movie with such graphic detail, and I admire his courage. Carrie realizes she has great telepathic powers, which come in handy after her fellow students grab the final straw during the film's disappointing finale at the senior prom.

The middle of the story simply involves lots and lots of backstabbing. The audience can only assume from the implications and plot revelations that Carrie White has had a rather cloudy history as a person and student. The movie never really explores Carrie White, though. Instead, we just see the same events repeated as the movie slowly urges towards a blood soaked final act. In a story where the main character murders her fellow students and teachers because of a boiling rage and years of hatred, the audience should be able to understand her. But of course, we never do.

I like the movie more than I liked the book because it is more visual and less confusing. Unfortunately, screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen does not perform any miracles with his script. We never care about anyone in the story; when the violent climax transpires, instead of terror and amazement, we feel bored and perplexed.

Carrie is not a terrible movie. It has a good sense of style and vividly builds momentum. But the movie is not scary; it's just violent, abhorrent. It contains all the necessary ingredients to make for an appetizing, suspenseful creep show, but it never delivers.



Facts and Figures

Box Office Worldwide: $33.8M

Budget: $1.8M

Production compaines: United Artists

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Carrie White, as Margaret White, as Sue Snell, as Tommy Ross, as Miss Collins, as Christine Hargenson, as Billy Nolan, P.J. Soles as Norma Watson, as Mrs. Eleanor Snell, Sydney Lassick as Mr. Fromm, as Mr. Henry Morton, Michael Talbott as Freddy DeLois, Doug Cox as The Beak, Harry Gold as George Dawson, Nichelle North as Frieda Jason, Cindy Daly as Cora Wilson, Deirdre Berthrong as Rhonda Wilson, as Ernest Peterson, Rory Stevens as Kenny, as Helen Shyres, Cameron De Palma as Bobby Erbeter, the Boy on the Bike, Mike Towers as Vance or Towers, Glen Vance as Vance or Towers

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Advertisement
Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.