Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My 50 Greatest Movies: No. 49: Carrie

"They are all going to laugh at you! They're all going to laugh at you"

Very rarely does a movie outperform the book it was based on. Brian De Palma took Stephen King's best selling novel and it turned it into one of the most haunting movies ever made. Carrie builds slowly and patiently, until the final twenty minutes, when the title character finally snaps in dramatic, memorable and violent fashion.

Carrie is your classic high school victim. She is extraordinarily shy, plain and is frequently picked on by other girls. Her mother is a religious fanatic who punishes Carrie for speaking out by locking her in a closet. As Carrie hits puberty she begins to realize she has telekinetic powers(She can move things with her mind). 

 The movie begins with an incident in the girls locker room that sets the stage for the rest of the movie. The girls involved are punished in a clever way by the P.E. teacher, she prohibits them from attending the senior prom. Their reactions, both positive and negative, set the stage for the final prom scene sequence.

Carrie's reaction after she is humiliated at the Prom is one of the great revenge sequences I've ever seen and leads to some iconic shots that still creep me out.

This is, in my opinion, one of the better horror films ever made. Great and clever filmmaking and a great story.

Here are the ratings:

Sound: 3/5: Nothing really special here, but nothing really bad either.
Cinematography: 4/5:  They did a real job of shooting the movie in a creepy, toeing the edge of insanity way. They actually made someone cutting up a carrot frightening.
Entertainment Value: 7/10: You have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy this movie. But when you feel like a good horror flick, Carrie unquestionably delivers.
Rewatchability: 7/10:  The old show MonsterVision used to wear this movie out, and I never got tired of it.
Acting: 8/10:  Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, John Travolta(In his first movie), the boyfriend, P.E. Teacher and the classic popular girl all do a great job. Piper Laurie is haunting and maniacal as Carrie's mother, and her demise is, in a word, poetic.
Great Scenes: 8/10: From the opening scene to the last, there are many scenes in Carrie that have been ripped off, copied, and referenced for the last forty years. This movie has been remade, a horrible sequel was made,but none has recaptured the power of the original.

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