A teenage girl with nascent telekinetic powers is ruthlessly picked on and abused by her psychotic classmates and deranged mother. Until one day she just can’t take it anymore...
1.5 / 5 Unfit parents
1 / 5 Buckets of blood
Should you watch it?
I think the scariest thing about this movie is the realization that growing up (especially in small town America in the 70s) has the potential to be a truly horrifying experience. Sure there’s a whole supernatural angle at work in the story, but the vast majority of the film is just focused on a poor girl trying to do whatever she can to make it through a life where everyone has it out for her and she has no agency of her own. Until one day things get so bad that she breaks and she turns to the only power she can find in order to stop everyone from hurting her again.
And yet there are numerous times that the direction left me feeling really uncomfortable . I don’t think you can watch this movie and not start wondering at some point about whether or not the director was abusing his power. ESPECIALLY the first scene. Well...okay, technically the first scene is a very brief one of people playing volley ball during gym, so I suppose the SECOND scene, set in a high school girls’ locker room, being about 5.5 minutes of constant nudity, a fair bit of which is highly sexualized, is the one I have the most issues with.
I know Sissy Spacek was 27 when this movie was filmed, but she was playing a high school senior and thus that scene (and the way it was shot/scored/etc) makes me incredibly uncomfortable. Sexualizing underage kids (even fictional ones) is not something we as a society should be doing.
In spite of the film’s gratuitous use of nude adult “teenagers,” there’s actually a number of things to like about Carrie. The film has some really fun acting, memorable moments, and at its heart is a really interesting story.
Although I should also warn you that, as always seems to be the way with Stephen King stories, the ending gets really silly, really fast. I’m not talking about the famous bloodbath scene that you don’t need to have seen the movie to know about, but about what goes down after that. I swear, Stephen King’s go-to writing escape hatch is to just throw in a supernatural deus ex machina and wrap things up quickly.
So, in summary: Really inappropriate beginning, really stupid ending, and yet some pretty great stuff inbetween.
“It has nothing to do with Satan, mama.”