mag·nif·i·cent/magˈnifəsənt/ (adj.)

1. Impressively beautiful, elaborate, or extravagant; striking.
2. Very good; excellent.

Synonyms: splendid - gorgeous - grand - superb - glorious

WARNING: Some spoilers may be bound but I try to keep them light.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Carrie (1976)


     "They're all going to laugh at you. "


Carrie (1976) is a supernatural horror film based on Stephen King's first published novel Carrie. It's directed by Brian De Palma and it stars Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie & John Travolta.

Carrie is a High School senior who just got her first period, then gets made fun of by all the other girls in her class. But that's not the only thing that's developing inside Carrie. Those other kids are going to be sorry they picked on her.

The acting in this film is really great. You really feel for Sissy Spacek as Carrie in the first half of the film, which is a very crucial part to why this film works so well.

And Piper Laurie is amazing as Carrie's relgious-nut mother. She evokes the most emotion out of me personally when watching this. The fact that some people still in the world today act this way sickens me inside. Ugh it's a bit hard to watch at times.

Since Carrie has a (then) contemporary setting and involves and has a focus on popular culture in the 70s' it can seem a little bit dated when viewed today (not that I think a remake will be half as good...). This is not to say that the film's meaning and point are lost, but I found myself constantly distracted by fashions and the way some of the high school kids acted. And a lot of the dialogue is some very cliché, high school dialogue (again, probably what they were going for but still annoying and nothing noteworthy). Regardless the film is an interesting time capsule into high school in the 70s'.

The film has these moments where focuses on somethings a little too long, the scene in the shower at the very beginning seems to go on forever! And maybe I'm missing the point, but I feel like any other director would have shown less blatant nudity in that scene, it's so unnecessarily erotic!

I don't love the ending resolve with Carrie, it seems like the film didn't know where to go with the story and to me this seemed all-together too simplistic (I'm talking about the the house caving in part) though the last scene at the very end almost makes me not care about how I didn't like that haha.

One of the things I really like about this film is some of the more subtle points of the story. I like how through the entire film it leaves you with some uncertainty to why Sue is having Tommy take Carrie to the prom, and you think she must be in on the other girls' plan until she gets to the prom and she discovers the rope and the bucket. It's a very delicate combination of things and I feel like another director wouldn't have been as successful with this very critical story point.

I absolutely love the direction in this film. Brian De Palma is a beast, he just knows how to toy with your emotions and play with your heart strings. But that being said, it doesn't stop him from being very "experimental" and trying new things with shots either. Some of these experiments are unsuccessful in my option, like there's a spinning shot while Carrie is dancing at the prom that I absolutely hated. However, often than not this experimental camerawork works very well, for example the split frame shots during the massacre are brilliant and add so much to the heightened mood of that scene!

You really can get a feel for his ability? No better example than with the scenes right before the blood drops. They seem to stretch on forever just toying with your emotions and making you cringe. Do you feel that? It's suspense done well.

Today Carrie (1976) is considered a horror classic and even almost 40 years later you can see why. It's very unique when compared to most other horror films but yet still deals with a lot of the classic horror themes you go in expecting. And from a technical standpoint, horror films this good are very hard to come by.

4/5 Stars.

Happy watching!

Do you like H.P. Lovecraft? The 31 Nights of Macabre Movies continue tomorrow with the first ever film adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story. Tune in tomorrow for Roger Corman's The Haunted Palace (1963).

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