The Harbinger Online

Vintage Pick: “Carrie”

If you’ve ever felt nameless or lost in the mix of things, or if you’ve ever been made fun of, get ready for revenge. Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is tormented by all the other girls at her school; members of the faculty repeatedly call her by the wrong name and her mother (Piper Laurie) abuses her.

But Carrie’s luck begins to change when she suddenly unlocks her hidden powers of telekinesis: the ability to move things with her mind. And when the mean girls in school decide to play a little prank on Carrie on prom night, it’s Carrie who has the upper hand.

Never before, and never since, has there been a more sympathetic character created. Carrie’s overbearingly religious mother, in addition to a group of ostracizing teenagers, make her life a living hell. Sissy Spacek’s waifish form and wide eyes only further the empathy the audience feels for her character. [media-credit name=”papermag.com” align=”alignright” width=”270″][/media-credit]

Yet the dichotomy between the evil Chrissy (Nancy Allen) and reformed mean-girl Sue (Amy Irving) adds to the chaos in Carrie’s life, accentuating her attempt at gaining control of her life as she gains control of her powers.

Though not a light-hearted film in any sense, the movie has high entertainment value from the costuming alone. A true time-capsule of the hair and clothing of the ‘70s, “Carrie” successfully captures the vibe of the decade.

Horrifying in a way unlike any other movie, “Carrie” can still make an audience cringe almost 40 years after its release date. Even though this film is based on horror icon Stephen King’s novel and directed by the legendary Brian De Palma, it isn’t truly a horror film. At its heart, “Carrie” is a tragedy, the likes of which would impress even Shakespeare.

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