Quick-Thoughts: Brian De Palma’s Carrie (1976)

Screened at Harkins • 2nd Viewing

For nearly three generations, this movie was what people who were being bullied resorted to as their therapy. Hey, trash school systems will do that to ya. This was the GTA of 1976. 

I can’t help but think about the line from the beginning of the movie where Miss Collins says “I knew how they felt; see, the whole thing just made me want to shake her too”, aiming this film’s moral compass at the law of hating and demeaning being more infectious to the human individual than that of loving and comforting. Carrie’s incel of a mother almost destines her to be laughed at; she puts the idea in her head first, which obviously helps encourage the infamous disaster Carrie creates. Hate spreads faster into pure souls than does love, and it’s crucial to understand the danger in that. Recall how Carrie was raised, being taught to distance herself from others and avoid contrasting culture while secondly receiving no love from her own mother to combat the solitude too, inspiring fear of all people which is the weak link that can encourage one to resort to drastic hostility. The more things you look at as “sin”, the more hate you feel for the world; it’s that simple; it’ll eat you alive. Stephen King just decided to make an allegory for this simple yet telling idea. 

Most of Brian De Palma’s composition, color lighting, camerawork, and editing with the slow-mo and split-screening being the highlights of it — seriously, we should bring that s**t back!!! — sort of insinuates to me that King’s story is not likely going to be done any finer cinematically unless you were to REALLY change his story drastically. Yet, I will probably still live through about five crappy remakes of Carrie to come anyhow, but I do hope they can top it regardless.

Verdict: B

“Carrie” is now available to stream on Showtime.

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