Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned

Deviating slightly from the novel, which was Stephen King's first and is utterly amazing, Carrie (1976) still remains an excellent adaption and is utterly terrifying, matching the book in terms of a really high eerie level and being just as unflinchingly bleak as the book managed to be. Carrie and her mother's utterly horrific relationship is depicted in the same fashion as it is in the book, and the scene where she is utterly humiliated by her classmates in the shower is fully intact. While I am not a particularly big fan of the movie's ending, the rest of the movie remains completely engaging, a horror classic that is still relevant. And which has been remade a few times, with a 2013 remake coming up that has great potential, even if it fails to live up to the Brian DePalma's version.

 One of my favorite moments in this movie however is Carrie's rage manifesting itself when a kid taunts her: she responds by causing the kid to fall off a bike. Rather simplistic, yes, but also serving as a chilling reminder of her ability. We feel sorry for her while also at times forgetting that Carrie has powers beyond hers or our understanding. The film even goes beyond the obvious lesson of "Don't mess with a teen capable of moving objects with her mind," turning life into a tragedy, something that the book also did so incredibly well. The fact that a few bad apples stop Carrie from true happiness (along with her evil fundamentalist mother) is rather sad, yet a cold reminder that life does not often result in happy endings. Small towns breed small minds, and Carrie's oppressors are indeed fools who only too late realize what they have unleashed.

When it comes to the film's ending my main beef is that the book's ending is far superior. Its more odd and creepy, residing in the land of matter of fact and is thus more pleasing. Yet this does not detract from the fact that DePalma's version is near perfect, and manages to channel King's words about a girl who possessed a gift that turned out to be a curse, concluding in tears even though it did not have to be this way. Poor Carrie White, a victim of circumstance of sorts, never able to move on to a better life and a less cruel place. Times may have changed, but high school unfortunately has not. 95

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