Sunday, October 26, 2008

Carrie




This is Brian DePalma's movie adaptation of the #1 best selling novel by renowned author Stephen King. In fact, Carrie is the first book that King ever had published. Actually we have his beloved with Tabitha to thank for the saving of this masterpiece. You see, during the course of writing his first novel, King had no confidence in his abilities as a writer. Believing that it was a badly failed attempt, he threw the manuscript into the fireplace. His wife on the other hand (probably because of the novel's subject matter being very close and empathetic among women in general). Tabitha saved it from destruction, sent it in, a deal was made to publish it and henceforth we have the fantastic future works of Stephen King. Proving that behind every successful man lies an intelligent woman. I've read all of King's books and seen a lot of terrible screen adaptations of them, but the first film version of Carrie was pretty close to the book. A remake was later made under Stephen King's "strictly by the book" direction. Out of all of them, the remake of Carrie was very well made and adheres to the book even more faithfully than the original film version. Even though the actors were at the time unknowns, most of them have all since gone on to make many more successful movies. Of these are Sissy Spacek, who's portrayal of the lonely misfit Carrie White was truly exceptional. Piper Laurie who plays Margaret White, Carrie's overly religious maniacal mother who occasionally locks Carrie in a "praying closet". Nancy Davis who played the evil Christine Hargenson and John Travolta who plays her boyfriend/willing stooge Billy. Amy Irving who plays Sue Snell, the only person who gives two hoots about poor Carrie. Let's not forget William Katt who plays the school top jock with a sympathetic heart, he's also Sue's boyfriend. The plot is very simple and most people know the story and anyone (most of us) who were ever picked on in school and made to feel terrible, all for the amusement of other students can closely relate to it. The story begins when after being picked on all day in gym class, during her shower, Carrie White gets her first period. Since her mother never told her about it, she naturally thought that she bleeding to death. Terribly frightened she asks for help from the other girls in the class, who end up humiliating her by cornering her and throwing tampons at her. The girls who assaulted her are punished, which doesn't sit well with Christine (school hottie/total bitch) who thinks that Carrie White deserves to be picked on because she's so damned weird. The Prom is approaching and it's all anyone can talk about. Feeling horrible about participating in the tampon assault, Sue asks her boyfriend Tommy to take Carrie to the Prom. At first he refuses, but after some coaxing from his girlfriend, he agrees. Apparently he's gotten more agreeable since they started having sex. Another issue that should be brought up is that Carrie is also telekinetic and at first, strange things seem to happen when Carrie is freaked. The gym teacher slaps her and an overhead light bursts into sparks. While walking down the street, a young boy on a bike peddles by screaming "Creepy Carrie, Creepy Carrie". She glances at him and he instantly crashes to the ground. As the intensity of her mothers overly religious cruelty increases, Carrie has noticed that the objects around her are beginning to act according to her wishes. Tommy asks Carrie to the Prom. At first she refuses, but after some sweet talk she agrees. Christine still has it in for Carrie, so along with her boyfriend and a minion of teen followers, they concoct the ultimate practical joke, a prank to purposely humiliate Carrie to the extent that will satisfy Christine's hatred for her. A prank that fits the ridicule of having your first period in front of people and subsequently humiliated. They decide that it would be really fun to rig the vote for Prom Queen and King, so that Carrie and Tommy win. Once Carrie is on stage, they will dump pig blood all over her in front of everybody. The plan goes off without a hitch. The pig blood drenches her and Carrie is totally humiliated, but soon her humility is taken over by a telekinetic revenge unparalleled in human history. With her powers increased ten fold by this disastrous prank, no one at the prom survives. With the high school burning to the ground with everyone in it, Carrie walks home. While walking home, Christine and Billy attempt to run her over, only to feel the wrath of Carrie's glance. Their car goes tumbling and soon explodes. When she gets home, she is attacked and stabbed by her mother, because Carrie has gone so far astray and she "obviously" has the devil's powers that she is considered a witch, and after all, the Bible does say "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live". Telekinetically tossing knives at her mother, she is eventually pinned to a door frame in a very creepy replica of Christ on the Cross. Carrie's mind is now irreparable and her surroundings act according to her diminished condition causing the house to crumble and collapse. Like I've said, there are three versions of this story. The book, the movie, and the remake. All wonderful, I recommend the book first. Not enough time to read but could handle a two and a half hour movie that adheres to the book "almost religiously", watch the remake (after all, Angela Bettis plays Carrie with an amazing genuineness, you may remember Angela as "May", if not you can look it up here on Cultarama). Or you can sit back and enjoy the first movie at a mere hour and a half and witness one of the best stories ever told by some of the worlds foremost actors and actresses before anyone knew who the hell they were.

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