Carrie

You only can push someone so far before they fight back. Carrie kept taking it and taking it until one night all bets were off—she retaliated. As part of Horror month, Women Who Wow Wednesday salutes Carrie White, Stephen King’s bullied hero.

Sissy Spacek as Carrie White

Sissy Spacek as Carrie White

I’ve spoken before about what goes on in the schoolyards in North America with my post Bully. It’s not fun. Kids picking on kids. Teens beating other teens. These bullies grow up to become superficial abusers of the system unaware the system will eventually catch up with them someday.

* spoilers ahead *

Carrie is an ordinary 17-year-old growing up discovering she no longer is a little girl anymore. She learns from the popular kids in class that her period is a natural phase in her development to womanhood. Although, they don’t really make her feel all that special given they throw sanitary napkins at her telling her to “plug it up” in the girl’s shower. When she returns home, her mother having received a call from school, she runs upstairs. But her mother has other ideas. A radical Christian, she punishes Carrie for reaching that stage in her life in order to remove any impurities introduced by the flow.

If you’re thinking her mother’s an oddball, you must have seen this 1976 feature.

Carrie White

Carrie White

What I find interesting about this movie is some of the actors playing the leads go on to become big stars after this film. John Travolta’s star shined bright in Saturday Night Fever, becoming an overnight sensation dancing disco. Sissy Spacek won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Coal Miner’s Daughter. Virtual unknown, Amy Irving, starred in a bevy of small roles, then married Steven Spielberg only for the marriage to last a short time.

Carrie’s bullying started at home with her mother. A restrictive woman, her mother always dictated what Carrie could and couldn’t do. That is, until one night Carrie reveals a secret to her mother. Thing is, she’s never really told anyone about her secret, which leads her mother to fear her daughter’s doing the devil’s work.

Throughout the story, Carrie blossoms from a fragile teen with very little self-confidence to a beautiful young woman dating one of the hottest guys in school. To watch this wondrous transformation from ugly duckling to beautiful swan makes the story all the more enchanting to enjoy. Of course, when she’s crowned queen of the prom, things don’t go quite as expected.

And this is where I have to stop since I don’t want to give away the whole story.

Carrie White proves bullying doesn’t work. She also rises from her insecure stoop to dominate those who’d teased her over the course of the school year. Yes, her determination for retribution flies in the face of conventional justice. But who’s to say it doesn’t?

How does that saying go? Oh, yes, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

Have you seen the 1976 version of Carrie? What did you think of it?

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13 Comments

  1. Good review Jack. Just gave this another watch a couple of weeks ago and realized it was a lot better than I had originally imagined. Then I watched that remake last week, and oh lordie, was I ever so right!?!?

    Reply
  2. I’ve never seen this one. It has lots of actors I like. Guess I should check it out. They interviewed Stephen King AND his SON (new author) Owen King on “Q” today. Did you hear it? He sounds like such a regular guy. Pretty amazing.

    Reply
  3. I’ve never seen the flick, but I really enjoyed the book. The POV was all eyewitness accounts.

    Reply
  4. soneascissorhands

     /  October 23, 2013

    One of kings novel that ‘turned out great as a movie’ adaptation, and ofcourse aclassic favourite of mine. she really is a fighter throughout the movie, and not just due to her powers. She has a crazy mum! she reminds me of myself (aside the awesome telekinesis she possesses). Shy somewhat, dealing with my own Satan ical religious mother but determination to fight through life. (lets hope it has a better ending..ahem).

    Reply
  5. Catherine Johnson

     /  October 23, 2013

    I’ve only seen the last five mins of Carrie so I ought to watch the rest I’m intrigued. That was such a funny night. I came back to Uni digs drunk and called in on a girlfriend upstairs who was watching it. It freaked me out so much I had to stay right there till morning lol.

    Reply
  6. Great choice this week. The origninal (not the multiple remakes) is one of the better horror movies of the time. The casting, the build and development, and one of the more famous climatic scenes in the genre has mad ethis movie a must see.

    -jb

    Reply
    • I re-watched it last night to ensure I got all the facts straight. I can’t believe how much things have changed since the 70s yet still remain the same. Great movie!

      Reply
  7. Great film and definitely one of the best Stephen King adaptations. And Sissy Spacek is brilliant in this.

    Reply
  8. I have heard mixed reviews about the remake, but one of the things that makes the original so special is the casting of Sissy Spacek. She nails the awkward teen with hidden beauty and violence so perfectly. This article could have easily been about her just as much as the character she plays.

    I really like this Women Who Wow series.

    Reply
    • I’m glad you enjoy the Women Who Wow Wednesday series. I hope you have fun catching up with some of the back posts, as well!

      Reply
  9. Excellent post, I always felt sorry for Carrie and thought the scene when she snaps and gets revenge both chilling and heartbreaking.

    Reply
  10. Important life lesson: Never piss off the telekinetic. I heard the remake didn’t stack up to the original though.

    Reply

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