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Saturday, December 19, 2009


     It doesn't get much better than Brian DePalma's masterpiece of 70's horror, "Carrie".  Sissy Spacek plays Carrie White, a shy high school girl ruthlessly taunted by her cruel classmates.  She also has to deal with her religious fanatic of a mother, Piper Laurie.  

     The movie starts off shocking- Carrie has her first period in gym class, and because her mother is such a religious wacko, she has failed to mention or explain menstruation to her daughter, who thinks she's bleeding to death.  Of course, her classmates find this terribly amusing, and led by Nancy Allen's super-bitch Chris Hargensen, commence to throwing tampons and sanitary napkins at Carrie while shrieking "Plug it up!".  It's a vicious and harrowing scene that shows just how cruel school kids can be.  Especially the girls.  Sue Snell, played by Amy Irving, feels bad for participating, and asks her popular boyfriend Tommy Ross (William Katt) to take Carrie to the prom to make it up to her.  He asks her, and she accepts.  But evil Chris doesn't like it one bit, and unknown to everybody but us, rigs up two buckets of pig blood to be dumped on Carrie and Tommy as they are announced King and Queen of the prom (which has also been fixed).  And we can only helplessly sit back and wait for the brutal climax we know is coming.  

     Carrie comes to the realization that she has telekinesis, and after years of being abused and taunted by her classmates, uses that power to "bring down the house" for a little old-fashioned revenge at the prom.  Rarely has a horror movie, (or any movie, for that matter) evoked such a range of emotions while watching- pity, tension, revulsion, and outright horror.  You feel for Carrie White, thanks in large part to her unforgettable, Oscar-nominated performance.  Sissy Spacek owns the role of Carrie- you just can't imagine anybody else in the role. It's one of horror's greatest female performances.  Piper Laurie is simply terrifying (and utterly delicious) as Carrie's demented mother, Margaret.  Let's not forget the fabulous supporting players here- Amy Irving, Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley, P.J. Soles, and John Travolta in his first starring role.  In my opinion, actually better than the book it was based on (which don't get me wrong- King's novel is sensational- it was just so magically brought to life on the screen by DePalma).  Rarely has a horror film produced such memorable performances.

 "Carrie" is a tour-de-force of acting, directing, editing, and special effects that is still one of the greatest horror movies ever made.  "Carrie" has made a huge impact on pop culture- the image of Sissy  Spacek, drenched in blood, is a truly iconic image of horror.  This is one of the most awesome horror movies of all time, and most definitely one of my all-time favorites.

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