Reviewed by Jan 31st, 2010

While this movie stays fairly faithful to Stephen King’s novel, it does leave out some of the interaction between Carrie and her mother (e.g., there’s no discussion of “dirtypillows.”). It’s one of the better King adaptations, but not quite as good as The Shining or Pet Sematary.

DePalma’s directing was certainly effective though. The opening scene involves a naked Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) in the gym shower, discovering that she’s started menstruating. Of course, religious fanatic Margaret White (Piper Laurie) never told young Carrie about menstruation, trusting that God would never visit the “curse of blood” upon her daughter if she was free from sin. Making it all the more stressful for Carrie is that she’s hated by everyone in school, and the rest of her class pelts her with tampons and maxipads, screaming “Plug it up!”

The teacher intervenes, but not before Carrie has been sufficiently traumatized (and blows up a lightbulb using her newfound telekinetic powers). She gets out of class for a week, and the rest of the class gets detention. Meanwhile, one of the girls launches a scheme to get her boyfriend to ask Carrie to the prom for a final showdown.

Back home, Carrie is learning more about her psychic powers. Her mother doesn’t like this, but soon learns her power over her daughter is diminishing. Carrie finally agrees to go to the prom with Tommy, leading to some bizarre scenes of death and destruction.

A pretty powerful movie, considering it’s about a high school girl with psychic powers. The characterizations are great, especially Carrie and her mother. DePalma did a superb job in pacing the film, and keeping an atmosphere of extreme discomfort going for a full hour and forty minutes. The funky crucifx was pretty cool, too.

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