Here we are, middle of October, two weeks shy away from Halloween. Tonight we talk about one particular movie that was fairly frightening not by the horror but by the overall environment. Tonight I will be talking about “Carrie” directed by Brian De Palma (the same De Palma that will direct “Scarface”) from the same novel written by Stephen King.
The story takes place in a small suburban town, with an opening sequence in a high school girls shower room. Here stands Carrie, a 17-year old girl, an outcast and an scapegoat of her classmates. As Carrie takes her shower, she experienced her first period leading her to be scared of hell about it, believing she is bleeding to death. As expected, the other girls make fun at her, by throwing at her tampons and protective pads and laughing hard enough to bring the attention of the female coach, Ms. Collins, ousting the other girls and giving an helping hand to Carrie. As Carrie recovers, a light bulb bursts in the shower room.
Back home, we better understand how Carrie never got a sexual education as we witness with Carrie her mother’s reaction to the news, claiming she has sinned and is a sinner, locking Carrie inside a closet improvised as a tabernacle and asking her to pray the Lord to expiate her sins.
As the movie goes, we slowly discover that strange phenomenons occurs to Carrie as she shows the ability to move items or displace persons without touching them, all when she is experiencing an outburst of anger. We discover that indeed Carrie carries telekinetic powers.
As the end of high school is nearing and of course the prom evening, Sue, one of her classmates decides to have her boyfriend Tommy Ross be her prom girl. The movie takes a bit long to start until the climatic scene that will twist the whole movie and turn into a red hell.
The story is very powerful by the sense it has several symbolism and metaphors. Starting by the name Carrie White, with the known symbol of white in Western civilization (the symbol of purity). This is clearly contrasting with the opening sequence in which Carrie experienced her first period, meaning the loss of purity associated to childhood but also bringing it to the notion of the original sin.
The same original sin that Carrie mother may have transgressed herself as we never know what happened to Carrie’s biological father (widow, divorced or out of wedlock). The telekinetic powers of Carrie maybe a symbol on teenage emancipation and rebellion, as Carrie only display it once she is under an important emotional stress.
It is a great movie to watch if you can grab your hands on, you can see Sissi Spicek or John Travolta in their prime age, as young actors yet to become famous.