“Carrie” is the ultimate outlet for teenage angst and anger that I’ve ever seen. It is both disgustingly accurate to the awkwardness and pains of being a teenager, from public ridicule and making a good impression to bullies and their own anger at the world, and rewarding to see the victims get rewarded and the bullies get their comeuppance in more ways than one. I can’t remember a film where I openly despised so many characters, especially the self entitled Chris (Nancy Allen) and Carrie’s obnoxiously religious mother (Piper Laurie), only to feel giddy when they’re both put in their place.
I believe we all see a little bit of ourselves in Carrie (Sissy Spacek). Maybe a bit sheltered or shy, or perhaps we’re confused or mad at the world and don’t know any better way to release that anger. She is a teenager afterall. And that makes her horrific loss of innocence all the more impactful and terrifying. The mood so easily shifts between upliftingly pleasant and overbaringly spiteful, especially as it nears its climax, that the horror feels so genuine and heart-wrenching. It is this honest understanding of the teenage experience that makes “Carrie” such an effective horror movie.
Final Grade: B+