Kelly's February Pick
The story of a sweet and sheltered young girl in high school with telekinetic powers and an immensely devout mother is an infamous one. Originally a novel by famed horror author Stephen King, Carrie is a tale as old as time: if you bully the timid girl in high school after she gets her period and humiliate her in front of the entire student body by dousing her with a bucket of pig's blood, you’re gonna burn!
Carrie White is in good company when it comes to coming of age horror: Ginger from Ginger Snaps, Justine from Raw, Jennifer from Jennifer’s Body, Dawn from Teeth and more. Frankly, many of these movies have become some of my absolute favourites and I highly recommend them. The transformations that these young women go through, whether provoked or not, are hugely transgressive and often empowering for women of all ages.
Carrie is beautifully done while being an incredibly unsettling and creepy film. The portrayal of Margaret White by Piper Laurie as Carrie’s disturbing religious mother remains one of my favorites of all time. It’s intense and unnerving- her creeping around behind doors, shouting gospels and locking Carrie into a tiny room as punishment are just a few examples of her eerie presence. Margaret White is my favourite of the monstrous mothers in horror.
I can’t discuss Carrie without bringing attention to the theme and fantastic score by the very talented Pino Donaggio. It’s sweet and playful while also being tragic. Pino Donaggio is an Italian born musician, singer and composer who has worked regularly with Brain De Palma. Pino Donaggio has created the scores of many Italian films but also some horror films like The Howling, Tourist Trap, and Piranha.
There are many memorable scenes in Carrie that still have an impact on me today and the eyes of the Jesus statue in Carrie’s prayer room is the main one! Those glow - in -the - dark, mournful eyes in the pained face of our Lord and Savior is one to keep you up at night. The final scene with that massive jump scare had me almost wet myself when I first saw it as a teenager.
And of course, I can’t forget to mention the prom scene with Carrie covered in blood as it is terrifyingly iconic and has had a widely known impact on popular culture. Her bright blue eyes are wide open as she destroys her school and those who degraded her.
Carrie addresses themes about the monstrous feminine and menstruation, the supernatural, religious authority and oppression, even the uncontrollable woman and the dangers of female maturity. If you haven’t yet watched Carrie, or revisited it in a while, I urge you to do so for this Women in Horror Month, as your life might depend on it.
PS: I don’t recommend the Carrie (2013) remake but DO recommend The Rage: Carrie 2.
Happy Women in Horror Month!