Worst. Prom. Ever. Then again, Carrie White was destined for a disaster, even without the pig’s-blood shampoo. Poor girl git hit from every angle — the bullies at school, the religiously repressive mom at home, and the gift/curse from within herself.
Director Brian De Palma found in Carrie’s telekinetic power an obvious but potent metaphor for female adolescence. Even without the supernatural element, Carrie’s sexual blossoming would have made the Heathers snicker, made her mom clamp down, and mystified Carrie herself. That pained bewilderment is all over the face of Sissy Spacek (26 years old when she played the pubescent Carrie), and it complements the righteous fury of Piper Laurie as her fire-breathing mom, who, as it turns out, is horribly right about everything. (Both actresses were nominated for Oscars.)
Really, you can’t blame De Palma for camping up the material a little; he’s a showman first and foremost, and he’s out to scare you, right up until that infamous final shocker.
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