When discussing must-see Halloween films, it’s a crime not to mention the iconic thriller “Carrie.”
Of course, I’m referring to the 1976 adaptation of the Stephen King novel. I don’t even want to get into the 2013 movie. Let’s just stick to discussing the tragedy of the character, not the tragedy of trying to remake a classic.
The original star-studded cast featured scream queen Sissy Spacek, who owned the role of Carrie White, and John Travolta, who played trashy Billy Nolan. William Katt played the dreamy Tommy Ross, Amy Irving played sweet Sue Snell and Piper Laurie played Carrie’s crazy mother Margaret White.
Carrie White is known as Creepy Carrie in her school and neighborhood. She’s picked on by students and even teachers for being different. Due to her mother’s need to push her beliefs on Carrie, she never was able to feel like a real teenager.
Margaret didn’t want her to become a woman because women sin, which she felt she had done when she had Carrie. Pushing her regret and blame on her daughter, Margaret would lock Carrie in a dark room and force her to pray for forgiveness for things she didn’t know she was doing wrong.
Carrie’s gym teacher, Miss Desjardin (Betty Buckley) was one of the few people who were nice to her. After mean girl Chris Hargensen (Nancy Allen) bullied Carrie, Miss Desjardin punished them with a week’s worth of detention. If they missed, they would not be allowed to go to their senior prom, the event of the year.
Sue then gets the idea of having Tommy go to the prom with Carrie instead of herself. Tommy, Margaret and Miss Desjardin all saw this as a bad idea, and boy were they right.
Ignoring all signs and using her newfound telekinesis powers to take control of her life, Carrie said yes to Tommy. Chris, not happy about this, decided to get pay back by getting Billy to help pour pig’s blood on Carrie at the prom when she falsely wins prom queen. This has to be one of the most iconic scenes in film history.
You will never forget seeing it for the first time and imaging how Carrie felt as her first time feeling like a real teenager is ruined as everyone laughs at her.
It’s hard to imagine someone having as much hatred for someone as Chris did for Carrie, to go out of her way to do something like that to someone else.
Carrie gets back at everyone by burning down prom and murdering Chris and Billy. Later, Carrie’s house also burns down with her mother inside. Both of them end up dead. Sue is the only survivor of the night and we finally see the classic final scene of her going to the grave that said, “Carrie White burns in Hell” and then seeing and feeling Carrie’s bloody hand grab her.
This movie has more tragedy than horror, showing the nightmare of high school and how devilish some people are. Carrie wasn’t the true villain of this film . It’s scary to think how far someone can be pushed to their limits and do scary things with or without powers.
Ultimately, this is one of my favorite Stephen King adaptations and a must-watch every spooky season. It also brought me one of my favorite musicals and both get better every year.
If you’re looking for a movie to watch before the season is over watch “Carrie,” it will be a night you’ll never forget.