Carrie – 1976 – Stephen King Adaption

CarrieYou can laugh at me all you want but the fact is that I never saw this classic until now. I can argue that there are so many movies and so little time but it wouldn’t be entirely true. The fact is that I feel that most Stephen King adaptions fail on one or more levels. Why should Carrie be any different? And even if I hadn’t seen it, I knew what it was about and since supernatural events are the usual thing that ruins the adaptions, I was afraid to not be satisfied by it. I Mean, films like Apt Pupil and Misery are the best Stephen King (horror) adaptions for a reason. There are no supernatural elements in them.

But since I got the movie on Blu ray format I finally felt forced to watch it. You know, sometimes you just don’t know what to watch and that’s usually when I’m taking the first unseen movie from a certain shelf to watch. I pushed it in the player and I was immediately impressed with what I saw. A simple volleyball game but with a storytelling point the really got to me. If you have some experience of being bullied och being left outside of the “gang” it’s probably even stronger. This is, however only the beginning. In the next scene, which takes place inside the locker room, some of the girls are naked and furthest in the room, there’s this little girl taking a shower. Suddenly she gets her first period and she is petrified! Of course, once the other girls notice this they that to make fun of her. I almost couldn’t take it since I was overwhelmed with feelings. I was feeling ill from the imagery. How can people taunt a person so bad?

There’s great action in Carrie. Best of all is Sissy Spacek. I think she really deserved the Oscar she was nominated for. She didn’t win though. Piper Laurie was also nominated for best supporting actress. She plays Carrie’s mother and I must say she does a very charismatic impression too. They balance each other very nicely. But that’s not all. The whole cast, who was then more or less unknowns, does a very good job. I didn’t realize John Travolta was in this for instance. He doesn’t have a big part though.

I must say that for almost the whole movie, I absolutely loved it. I wasn’t so worried about it being spoiled by supernatural events. Brian DePalma is a great filmmaker and will see to it that it will be made in such a way that it will work in the film format. Because the film format and the book format is not the same at all. What works in a book, don’t necessarily work in a film. I was hoping that he would be able to keep the suspense on all the way through.

But no… As soon as the supernatural events start. The film starts to get ridiculous. I have seen worse examples to be sure but I was disappointed anyway. I thought this would be different. The Hitcockian suspense goes away and Carrie becomes another populistic flick in the end. Sure, it’s way better than more Stephen King adaptions, but it could have been so much better!

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Tommy Snöberg Söderberg

Autodidact film scholar and music-loving thinker who reads the occasional book.

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