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"Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

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"Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Old 09-28-21, 10:21 PM
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"Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge



Carrie (1976)




Selected by rbrown498


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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

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2021 DISCUSSION | 2021 LISTS

Old 10-06-21, 04:58 PM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Re-watched Carrie (on the wrong day, but still fits today's school theme so it's a win) and much enjoyed it.
The bittersweet slowburn of Carrie is well staged with good pacing. This is Brian DePalma's film and clever direction steals the show (the slow motion announcement of the prom queen and as a continuation bookmarking the slow motion locked scene is brilliant). The musical tones and sound effects are also impactful.
The mother's over the top religious mania doesn't seem realistic to the point of detracting from the film but I do like the themes of sin revisited on the youth (themes Carrie doesn't quite earn because they're taken too much on face value) - aside from being cool or a plot device the religious themes don't seem as heavy as is usual, pop religion.
Old 10-06-21, 05:13 PM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Undeadcow
The mother's over the top religious mania doesn't seem realistic to the point of detracting from the film but I do like the themes of sin revisited on the youth (themes Carrie doesn't quite earn because they're taken too much on face value) - aside from being cool or a plot device the religious themes don't seem as heavy as is usual, pop religion.
Although the 1988 Broadway musical version is a legendary flop, the show-stopping aria "And Eve Was Weak" (performed by Betty Buckley who was also the gym teacher in the film) really nails how Mrs. White's religious mania is destroying her daughter.


Last edited by Gobear; 10-07-21 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 10-07-21, 08:12 AM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I have seen this movie probably over a dozen times over the years and never tire of it. Other than maybe a complaint over some choice camera decisions or a couple of editing techniques, it is near perfection. From the direction to the casting to the acting to the score...everything about this movie works and works well.

It is creepy on every level and truly a horror film masterpiece. The look at that Sissy Spacek gives when she gets hit by the blood and realizes what is happening will chill you to the bone. Piper Laurie is freaking scary and will keep you unsettled throughout the picture. The teens act like teens, especially from that time. You may hear some complain that the kids may look too old for the roles but I challenge them to go look at a 1976 Senior yearbook. Every kid will look exactly like the cast.

Not much I can add except this is one of the all-time greats. I haven't watched it in several years so it was a nice revisit. For those that haven't read the Stephen King book, I highly recommend it as well. It is a quick read and while many parts are different (
Spoiler:
Carrie destroys the entire fucking town
), this movie is one of the best King adaptations.

And let us not forget that this film has one of the earliest and greatest jump scares. I have yet to watch this movie with a new viewer and them not jump out of their seat at the part you know I am talking about. Even now when most people are expecting it from having seen it copied over the decades, people still jump!

My rating: ***** out of *****

Has anyone every read why the super creepy Jesus statue appears to be crucified with arrows and not nails? Just curious.
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Old 10-07-21, 09:14 AM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

It’s not Jesus, but another martyr who was killed with arrows, iirc.
Old 10-07-21, 10:12 AM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Trevor
Itís not Jesus, but another martyr who was killed with arrows, iirc.
Okay. Thanks. That sounds familiar now. Probably in the book and I just forgot it. It has been many moons since I read it.
Old 10-07-21, 10:21 AM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I first saw this movie as a small child when my older brothers watched it behind my parents' backs. It scared me to death back then. I'm desensitized now, but this is a masterpiece that no remake has ever come close to duplicating. Sissy Spacek got a well-deserved Oscar nomination for this, as did Piper Laurie.I also liked William Katt's character. Nice to see John Travolta as well. Such a great movie and that final jump scare is one of the most memorable.
Old 10-07-21, 10:22 AM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Spiderbite
It is creepy on every level and truly a horror film masterpiece. The look at that Sissy Spacek gives when she gets hit by the blood and realizes what is happening will chill you to the bone. Piper Laurie is freaking scary and will keep you unsettled throughout the picture. The teens act like teens, especially from that time. You may hear some complain that the kids may look too old for the roles but I challenge them to go look at a 1976 Senior yearbook. Every kid will look exactly like the cast.
It's funny because regardless of the horror elements, this is one of the few films that nails EXACTLY what high school looked & felt like in the 70's.
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Old 10-07-21, 10:30 AM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Like the others, I’ve seen this many times and it never fails to disappoint. De Palma is one of my favorite directors and I always love his camera work and other signatures in his films.

I’ll copy rbrown and post my rankings

1. Carrie
2. Road Games
3. Slither
4. Silent Madness
5. The Severed Arm
6. A Bay Of Blood
7. The Spiral Staircase
8. Cutting Class
9. Witchfinder General

Last edited by Toddarino; 10-07-21 at 10:36 AM.
Old 10-07-21, 11:04 AM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Trevor
Itís not Jesus, but another martyr who was killed with arrows, iirc.
St. Sebastian.
Old 10-07-21, 12:05 PM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

It has been long time since seeing this. Carrie had one heck of a rough existence. Makes you feel to see how she was made to feel terrible both at school and home.
Old 10-07-21, 03:22 PM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Like the tension building bomb on stage in Phantom of the Paradise De Palma effectively uses split screen again to showcase Carrie's telekinetic gaze and the resulting horror. I love the pan that follows her vengeful eyes left to right.
When De Palma began work on "Carrie," he reached out to [Bernard] Herrmann, requesting the composer's talents. Though Herrmann signed on to the project, he died shortly before production on "Carrie" ended and was replaced by Pino Donaggio (via IMDb). De Palma, however, wanted to honor Herrmann's legacy and impact. To that end, he used the four-note violin screech Herrmann had composed for "Psycho" to mark the moments when Carrie (Sissy Spacek) used her powers (via TribecaFim). The four notes are looped when Carrie reacts to her mother's refusal to allow her to attend the prom. The same notes are slowed down when Carrie lashes out at the prom.
https://www.looper.com/429269/the-ps...sed-in-carrie/

Maybe because I'm more familiar with Psycho now I noticed the similar violin screeches with this rewatch of Carrie.
Old 10-07-21, 04:24 PM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I also watched the remake and what a horrible tamed down 'too close to the original' rehash (not sure if it's technically a remake rather than separate same source but so much is so similar I consider it so); the remake has a bit more carnage at the end but too little too late. Kind of funny to watch them back to back because DePalma uses visuals much more effectively and the remake goes to this whole characters narrating what happens bit.
Old 10-07-21, 04:41 PM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Damn! This film is good! It just doesn't age (if you ignore hair and clothes LOL)! Unfortunately you can only see the end for the first time once.
Old 10-07-21, 04:42 PM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

If I have one negative nit pick that always bugs me, it’s on that tracking shot at the dance. After Pj Soles hands the ballots to the table, the camera continues on and settles on the bucket and then they announce the winners.
There’s no way they could have tallied those that quickly.
Great fucking shot though.
Old 10-07-21, 05:14 PM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

A complex story of one young woman's coming of age, her psychotic, abusive mother and a group of mean high school girls who torment Carrie. Everyone is in for a surprise because Carrie has telekinetic powers. Sissy Spacek is excellent as Carrie and the last 30 minutes are classic horror. Nobody mentions the Psycho musical score snippets.
8/10
Old 10-07-21, 10:23 PM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

It was great to watch this again after many years. I agree with those who note that this was high school in the 70's. Sissy Spacek is great, but Piper Laurie is amazing. De Palma was lucky to get both of them in roles that could have been so much less with other performers.

I think only The Dead Zone equals it in Stephen King horror adaptations.
Old 10-07-21, 10:52 PM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

For me, this film is in the top ten horror movies of all time. Hard to surpass this phenomenal cast. Sissy Spacek is so compelling as both the innocent, trembling Carrie and the vengeful, merciless one at the prom. Piper Laurie gives a harrowing performance as her mother. Nancy Allen, John Travolta, PJ Soles, Amy Irving... wow. The plot in which the ultimate underdog becomes a princess and then, after being humiliated again, exacts a horrific revenge. Hard to beat that trope. Best Stephen King film hands down. Always a pleasure to rewatch.
Old 10-07-21, 11:18 PM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

There's always at least one "I can't believe this hasn't been a subset before" and this is definitely one for me. On the rewatch: Amy Irving's great performance, Carrie's look as her date gets knocked to the floor, and the laughter from Betty Buckley at the end, which is imagined, right? she is one of the more sympathetic characters.

The two shower scenes at the beginning and end. At each point, the calm before/after the storm. And Carrie's "Mama, please hold me" hit in a way I'd never felt before.

Last edited by Shack; 10-07-21 at 11:38 PM.
Old 10-08-21, 03:54 AM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Here are my comments, duplicated from my post in the List thread:

I can’t heap enough superlatives on Brian DePalma’s version of Carrie to do it justice. I saw it for the first time in a theatrical re-release that occurred after the film was nominated for two Oscars (for Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie’s performances), and it absolutely terrified me. (It apparently also terrified a guy sitting a few rows in front of me, who leapt up after the “gotcha” shot and loudly proclaimed to his girlfriend that he was never going to let her drag him to another one of these horror films again. His exact description of the films in question was decidedly more…colorful.) After that first viewing, my terror was replaced with awe. DePalma, using practically every film-making trick in the book (fast motion, slow motion, split diopters, split screens, etc.), pulled out all the stops on this one, giving it an almost operatic grandiosity. It’s Spacek’s performance, however, that places the film in the pantheon of great horror films. All of its performances are spot-on, but it’s Spacek who makes Carrie truly the most heartbreaking of all horror films.

I'll also add that probably the second or third time that I saw the film, it hit me hard, and I broke down in tears afterwards. Even on my re-watch today, I teared up a little. Carrie was let down by everyone that she knew, but most especially by her mother. It reminds me a bit of the very end of the first part of Nabokov's Lolita, after Lolita's mother has died (but before Lo has found out about her death) and she's been taken off on a cross-country trip by Humbert. After they've slept together, Lolita threatens to call her mother and tell her, and Humbert says that she can't because her mother's dead. Lolita flees to her room in the motel they're staying in, but comes back to Humbert's room in the middle of the night, sobbing. She's forced to seek solace from the person who's hurt her the most, because, as Humbert writes, "You see, she had absolutely nowhere else to go." Carrie's in the same predicament; after the carnage she's caused at the high school, she returns, looking for safety and protection, to the one person who should show her unconditional love...and that one person, the one who should be able to comfort her but is in actuality her worst tormentor, instead tries to stab her to death. But, like Lolita, Carrie had nowhere else to go.

My subset film rankings for the Challenge thus far:

1. Carrie (1976)
2. Slither
3. Witchfinder General
4. A Bay of Blood / The Spiral Staircase (averaged together)
5. Silent Madness
6. Road Games
7. The Severed Arm
8. Cutting Class
Old 10-08-21, 08:55 AM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Man, this challenge has really highlighted how crappy some people can be to others. It has been a very long time since I originally watched Carrie. I seem to remember it was one of those movies that really scared me as a child, and it wasn't until I was in my 20s that I sat down to watch the entire movie. I remember William Katt as being the hero from The Greatest American Hero, and here he was playing this really unlikable character. Sissy Spacek is really phenomenal and beautiful in the lead role. This had to have been the role that got her noticed for Coal Miner's Daughter, which is a favorite of mine.

The pacing here is fantastic, and the movie just flew by.
Old 10-12-21, 04:36 PM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

More movies should start in the women's locker room.

Also this movie is really good. I really like the split screen during the prom rampage.
Old 10-25-21, 09:51 PM
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Re: "Carrie" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Enjoy this film more each time I see it, and DePalma overall is becoming more of a favorite.

Stealing rbrown’s ranking idea:

The Phantom Carriage, 8/10
Carrie, 8/10

The Spiral Staircase, 8/10
A Bay of Blood, 7/10
The Frighteners, 7/10

Road Games, 7/10
Slither, 7/10
Witchfinder General 7/10
Cutting Class, 6/10

Silent Madness, 5/10
The Severed Arm, 4/10

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