Last night, 10/22/15, my dear daughter surprised me with movie tickets to see the film "Carrie." We saw the flick at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Yonkers, NY.
She knows that "Carrie" continues to be my favorite horror movie of all time. This is the1976 version, based on the book by Stephen King, directed by Brian De Palmer, with the role of Carrie played by Sissy Spacek.
Movie Poster Advertisement in 1976
There are some marked differences between the book and the film but De Palmer effectively captured the flavor of total confusion one feels during adolescence. Add the tastefully done nude scenes, Carrie’s growing telekinetic powers and of course, the horror sequences and you have a well conceived plan to lure you in and then scare your pants off.
It was noticeable that some of the “teenagers” were a bit on the older side but this was the only down side of the movie. The characters that Piper Laurie, John Travolta, William Katt and Amy Irving played are worth a mention but Sissy Spacek’s excellent rendition of the Carrie character (she is such a good actress) combined with the film's serene and haunting soundtrack, pulls you into the film’s innocence and eventual tragedy.
(As ridiculous as it might seem to run a spoiler alert for a movie that’s been out since 1976, there are those who have not seen the movie yet.
I don't want to spoil it for them).
Personal Note- This writer has always been an avid horror watcher. I enjoy the rush of a good scare. I like to laugh and joke with friends but I handle myself conservatively while in all public movie theaters. I was not prepared for what I was about to witness, the first time that I saw the movie.
At the end of the movie, there is a dream sequence that is calming for the character Sue Snell and the audience. The set up is, Carrie has killed her mother and herself. You figure this brings closure to the movie because the main character has died. Sue, being the only survivor of the high school fire is, of course, traumatized. During her dream, she places flowers at the empty lot where her “friend” Carrie has died.
The photography is hazy and the music is serene and tranquil. To me, the movie was obviously winding down, as Sue was giving her tribute to Carrie. As Sue knelt down, I was putting my arm in my jacket. My eyes were still on the screen as I waited for the credits to scroll down. Sue was about to place the bouquet on the ground, when Carrie’s bloody hand reached out from between the rocks and grabbed Sue’s wrist. I half stood up and screamed “Nooooo!!”
Soon after this, Sue woke and the dream (and the movie) ended.
I remember back in 1976 that others in the audience screamed in horror but no one screamed as loudly as I did. If anyone told me that I was going to react this way in a crowded movie theater, I would have said they were crazy. I was genuinely scared!
Eerie movie fact – Sissy Spacek was actually buried under the ground in order to do this scene.
**End of Spoiler Alert**
Horror movies after Carrie have used the “unexpected added ending” while others rely heavily on gore and special effects. Regardless of when this movie was made or how often you see it, Carrie can still bring you to the edge of your seat and then knock you off it. As my daughter, Danielle, has heard me say many times before, Carrie will always be a masterpiece of horror film making at it’s best.
I enjoy the mystery that writing a good story offers. Effective writing has occurred when the reader is forced to quickly look over their shoulder.