« Stephenie Meyer | Main | P2 »

Stephen King: Carrie

This is the first in a series of reviews of various Stephen King movies and books. I know a lot of people who don't like Mr. King, and I do understand the reasons behind this dislike. But I guess I enjoy his books and (some of) the movies based on them because he uses such weird ideas and makes them believable. Plus he follows the horror-with-heart method that I love so much.
I also know a lot of people who don't like Carrie because it's "too old" and "that bitch is ugly." Not only do I hate people who dislike a movie just because it's old, I think that older movies are better because they don't rely solely on special-effects and handsome, well-groomed actors. Carrie is a great film because it shows a horror that has some basis for being. I think that Carrie as a character is very easy to relate to. We see in her not only the horror of her powers but also the horror of being a high school student in a world where popularity is the most important quality. It's almost funny in a horrible, I'm-going-to-Hell kind of way, to cheer Carrie on during her rampage, because I honestly don't know one single person who wasn't teased badly in high school. But maybe I just hang out with a bunch of nerds.
I first saw this movie in seventh grade, and I never forgot certain scenes, they always stuck out in my head whenever I thought of true horror. The water hose killing the annoying pseudo-lesbian with the baseball cap. The blood falling and the bucket killing Carrie's prom date. The face of the statue that Carrie prays to. The scissors going into her mother's hand. And of course the little jump at the end. (I won't ruin it for those of you who aren't yet allowed to watch rated R movies. Because I honestly can't think of any other reason to have not seen this movie. Shame on you.)
The scariest things in films are not the horrible, unbeatable, masked serial killers or the beasts and demons that stalk the night. The most horrifying ideas for me are those that are almost understandable in reasoning. I can't watch Carrie without feeling sorry for her, or empathizing a little bit. The audience puts itself in her shoes, they cheer her on because in some sick way, they wish they could do what she does. Not realistically, but in their minds, without acknowledging it, they give in to the darker emotions of human society. But then they remember she just murdered all those people, without batting an eye. That to me is terrifying, because she's just done something so morally insane, yet you can almost see her point-of-view. I sometimes even feel like the bad guys deserved it.
And that's why Carrie is so effective as a horror movie. It makes us face our own aggression and baser human instincts. And we don't always like what we see.