Sunday, September 6, 2009

#57 - Carrie

Carrie (1976)
Moderately Trashy

Directed by: Brian de Palma. Written by: Lawrence D. Cohen based on the novel by Stephen King

Plot: About the suck-ass life of a teenage girl (Sissy Spacek) - her mom (Piper Laurie) is a religious weirdo, she doesn’t really have any friends and when she gets her first period in class, all the girls make fun of her. On the plus side, her sexual frustration seems to manifest as telekinesis, which makes for lots of fun…

Review: This is actually a very interesting movie - it’s pretty good, but it operates on a few different levels. Tons of horror films have female leads, but not a lot of them really go into the built in horror of actually being female. Not only do we fucking bleed once a month and have the potential to get pregnant (ugh), but we're also a bunch of backstabbing bitch-monsters so there's that. This movie really goes into that, but it’s also really smutty, which cancels out any points it got for being chick-horror.

Confusing. But very interesting. And still sort of good chick-horror, despite the smut. Although also hard to write about without going on a weird, pseudo-feministic tangent, but bear with me here.

Despite the fact that the movie is really sleazy (as one would expect from any good Brian de Palma movie), it actually gets into the relationship between Carrie and her demented mother - even though Piper Laurie is a fucking psycho, it’s hard not to sympathize with her on some base level. She’s had a hard time of it and she’s trying to prevent her daughter from making the same mistake she made. She’s just getting way too zealous about the whole thing.

It also goes into the sort of general relationships between women, and particularly teenage girls (I have five years of experience as a teenage girl so I know what I’m talking about), and, though it is occasionally unrealistic, for the most part it does a pretty good job of portraying said relationships. At times it’s hard to believe that the movie was directed by a man, written by a man and based on a book by a man.

Not to say that men can’t write decent female characters (and, based on what little of Stephen King’s work I have read (I haven’t read Carrie, you may have noticed), he can write pretty good characters in general), but typically they don’t - and the same goes for women writing male characters - because, as I have noticed more and more lately, women and men are very, very different. They operate in entirely different ways and, speaking as a mediocre writer, it’s frigging hard to get into that. I always write men like women.

Aaaaaaaanyway, time to move back to the rational universe. This movie is pretty good. I liked Sissy Spacek also… um… this is what happens when you try to write a review over two days (note: all these reviews were written two to three months ago - even this parenthetical so, technically, I’m writing for you in the future, from the past. Holy fuck, it’s like The Terminator).

Although, the constant Psycho music was a little irritating. I don’t like it when movies use music from other movies. It bothers me deeply.

Can’t think of anything else I particularly want to add. Sorry.

Favourite Part:
I love the bloody climax.

Other Versions: Made for TV flick from ‘02 with Angela Bettis and Patricia Clarkson.

Sequels: Carrie 2: The Rage - have not seen.

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