“Carrie” one of the most overrated films of all-time!
November 6, 2013
Through american pop culture I have heard many references about Stephen King’s novel “Carrie” and the film has managed to become one of the biggest classics in the horror genre, and me being a big fan of horror movies surprisingly never got around to seeing this. I think for some reason it just never appealed to me; it always seemed very simple, straightforward and predictable, therefore never piqued my interest…
But since the remake came out a few weeks ago and there was a lot of buzz circulating, I decided to go ahead and finally watch this old classic I had been neglecting for so long; so on Halloween night I decided to give it a go…and now since seeing it, I feel like I need to learn to just follow my own instincts instead of paying attention to what’s popular b/c this movie was an utter mess that had me laughing at how far-fetched and dare I say “lame” it was…
First, I do want to say I think Sissy Spacek’s performance was amazing, and her Academy Award nomination was totally justified; but aside from her performance I cannot think of a single positive attribute…
I mean seriously, let’s think about this for a minute…
From the opening scene EVERY girl in Carrie’s PE class HATES her guts! I don’t mean just 2-3 mean-girl types. I mean every single girl in the class feels a boiling, unquenchable hatred!
Because she sucks at volleyball?
When did girls in PE class become so ultra-competitive? When I was in high-school during PE the only thing the girls wanted to do was sit and gossip amongst themselves on the bleachers; when they were forced to participate in whatever sport we may have played, just about every one of them sucked, and they couldn’t care any less…
So, now we’re to believe that these girls care so much about a game of PE Volleyball that they are going to become enraged with Carrie White when she botches the game-winning return? Okay, obviously they hated Carrie long before she loses the game. But why? It’s never really explained.
Then the opening credits roll, and we hit the girls locker room after the big PE volleyball match and the camera pans a little too slowly over a slew of naked women that we’re supposed to believe are “teenage” girls. And the camera moves so S…L…O…W…it becomes annoying to watch. *JUST START THE MOVIE ALREADY!
As the credits continue to roll, we move over to the showers, and are treated to another stretched-out sequence, this time it being Carrie White taking a shower all alone – and then at 17 years old has her first period. LOL. Okay.
She then freaks out b/c she thinks she is dying. So, she runs in the locker room with the other girls who vehemently despise her, and they taunt her and all start tossing tampons at her while chanting “Plug it up!” (or something) and they don’t just throw one tampon at her, but more like an endless supply. Who was paying for all those tampons? It looked like a 5 year supply just going to waste.
So, then Carrie goes to discuss the matter with the principal who continuously calls her by the wrong name b/c we’re supposed to believe that Carrie White is so alienated by the world that the principal not only calls her by the wrong name once, but multiple times, and when he is corrected and told her correct name, he prefers to continue calling her by the wrong name…
So then we meet Carrie’s mother who is so one-dimensional it feels like a bad “Saturday Night Live” sketch. All she does is repeat some religious mumbo-jumbo over and over and over. And Piper Laurie’s performance was supposed to be iconic? It was more laughable. I mean, who talks like that all the time non-stop? I could see if she spoke that way at times she got excited or angry about something, but this woman spoke like she was from a different planet. And I guess that’s the point they were going for, which was to make her look crazy, etc. but you can still be crazy and a little more subtle at the same time.
Aside from Carrie, all of the characters are black-and-white and no time is spent developing them at all; there are absolutely no shades of gray. The characters seem to have no motivation for their actions and the audience is just supposed to simply buy it. I don’t. Maybe you do. But not me.
Then we have another odd and stretched-out scene that takes place in a classroom, where like the locker room scene drags on way too long, this one does, as well. The teacher recites a poem that was supposedly written by a very popular boy, who was played by the 25 year-old William Katt. The teacher’s odd mannerisms feel pointless and out of place as he discusses the poem with the class. The scene should now be over – but no, we continue on; we then focus the camera on William Katt’s face and for some reason he just starts smiling like a weird freak for no reason.
Then shortly after, William Katt (let’s just call him “Will” for now on b/c I don’t remember his name) is at football practice and his girlfriend approaches and asks him to ask Carrie White to the prom. Why? I’m not sure. I don’t think it was ever clarified since it appeared at the prom that she was not in-fact in on the prank pulled on Carrie…
So, then shortly after this scene we now have the popular girl Chris, who hates Carrie with a passion, riding in a car with her boyfriend played by John Travolta, who is in his 20′s. This scene also dragged on. John’s driving. Chris is riding shotgun. No conversation. Just a smirk from John Travolta like he’s a real cool cat. A moment later, a car passes by with some friends of his in the next lane. They toss him a can of beer through the window and drive away. John takes a sip and spots a police car beside him when he dumps the can and it gets on Chris and she calls him a “dumb shit” and he goes ballistic “Don’t you call me that!” and a minute later she calls him a dumb shit again and so he decides to slap the shit (pun intended) out of her across the face…
Then they talk for a minute. Then they argue. Then they talk. Then she is about to give him a BJ and then they abruptly start fighting again. John Travolta’s character comes across very calm, cool and collected – and then she simply calls him a “dumb shit” and he’s suddenly insecure and angry and shouts like a needy housewife. (sigh) Okay, these characters have lost me.
So, for some reason even though Chris is an attractive and popular girl the only thing she thinks about in life is plotting against Carrie. That’s it. Nothing else. So, Chris asks John Travolta to help her carry out a prank on Carrie White.
Shortly after, Will finally asks Carrie to prom per his girlfriend’s odd request, but Carrie rejects him b/c she doesn’t feel pretty enough. Then the PE coach tells Carrie she is pretty. So, Carrie then accepts Will’s invitation.
Carrie then tells her mom she is going to prom, and her mom typically freaks out and tells her she cannot go, and then Carrie releases some of her telekinetic powers and the mom realizes she has no control, and can merely watch as Carrie does in-fact walk out of the room to go to prom.
Carrie and William show-up at prom. Shortly after we arrive at the prom we cut to a scene of Will’s girlfriend having a casual dinner with her family. The girlfriend blurts out, “What time is it?” and her mom says “8:00″ and so the girlfriend gets up and says she “has to go” and her mom asks what she “has to do” and the girl is like “Nothing much” or something.
Okay, so we’re to believe that this popular girl has this popular boyfriend and forfeited her senior prom so he could take Carrie – AND – that her mom never even asked her why she wasn’t going to Senior Prom that year? LOL. Okay. This scene is just terrible.
So, then we cut back to the prom, and the date between Carrie and Will is just awkward; then the PE teacher approaches Carrie and talks with her a minute and as she walks away from Carrie gives her a big hug. Then Will pretends to be jealous – or maybe he’s not pretending and is a psycho, which would explain why he was looking so weird in class that day.
So, then Will takes an apprehensive Carrie on the dance-floor and after some initial hesitation Carrie decides she loves dancing and is now having the time of her life. Will now seems like he may genuinely be into her – or is it part of the prank?
So, then moments later it’s time for the students to vote for Prom King & Queen. And since Carrie is with the popular boy, she is automatically on the ballet. LOL. Okay.
So, of course Carrie wins Prom Queen – and then of course after Carrie is given her crown, Chris and John Travolta drop the bucket of pig’s blood over Carrie that completely covers her from head-to-feet.
Carrie’s date seems surprised by the prank and the bucket lands on his head and knocks him out cold…I admit this left me baffled b/c I had been under the impression he and his girlfriend were in on the prank. But after seeing this it made me think maybe him and his girlfriend weren’t in on it, after all. So, if they weren’t in on the prank then WHY would the girl ask her boyfriend to take Carrie? Like I said, this movie was an utter mess.
So, as Carrie stands humiliated and completely drenched in blood, she finally snaps and locks all the doors to the gym and teaches everyone a lesson…by using her telekinetic powers to spray everyone in the room with a water hose! LOL. That’ll teach ‘em!
Oh, but then she smashes some light-fixtures that causes the gym to catch fire. She walks out unscathed while everyone else is left to burn. So, I guess she did teach them a lesson.
So, then Carrie walks home and suddenly a car comes speeding straight at her – and guess who it is!? Chris and John Travolta! LOL.
So, not only does Chris HATE Carrie for no explained reason, but now she is going to KILL her! LOL.
But, Carrie flips the car and it blows up and kills Chris and John.
She then goes home where her overacting lunatic mother stabs her in the back with a big butcher knife…
But Carrie is then forced to use her telekinetic powers and pins her mother to the wall and stabs her with multiple knives. I like the way Carrie stands right up and doesn’t seem to be affected after being stabbed with a butcher knife and rolling down a flight of stairs. This movie is aces.
Okay, now I am sure Stephen King’s novel is much better than this drivel; they f’d up on the screenplay here, big time! I like the premise of the story, but the execution here was just terrible.
Which leads me to ask WHY IS THIS MOVIE SO DAMN POPULAR?
This was just horrid! And it’s not b/c of the time. “The Godfather”, “Halloween”, “The Exorcist”, “Rocky” and “Jaws” all came out around the same time and were all excellent and very well-executed. “Carrie” was not in the same league and should not be mentioned in the same breath…
In fact, I am tempted to watch the remake now. After hearing so many people say they loved the original, but hated the remake, I am starting to think that maybe the remake will be good, after all. I honestly don’t see how the remake can be worse. It can’t be executed much worse. I admit I am interested to see how Chloe Grace Moretz plays the character and the new interpretation of the role.
If I was handling this material and writing the screenplay I would devote more time focusing on Carrie and developing her character. What are her religious beliefs? What are her likes and dislikes? What are her fears? What does she want to do with these rare telekinesis powers she has attained? Does she want to do good, or bad? What are her passions?
The film should have spent more time focusing on character development instead of spending outstretched scenes on minor characters; especially since those scenes were so poorly executed, anyway.
I’m sure the novel addressed some of the above issues, but the movie should have, as well. I know many of you will disagree and may feel I’m speaking blasphemy, but De Palma missed the mark on this movie. Good thing “Scarface” is on his resume.
This was poorly directed, edited and adapted; it was choppy, confusing and about as clear as “Pig’s Blood”.
*UPDATE: I just got back from the “Carrie” remake and pretty much every issue from the original I address in this entry was rectified in the remake. It was much better executed. I think Kimberly Peirce did a great job. Definitely looking forward to her American remake of “With A Friend Like Harry”.