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Cult Cinema

Looking Back at 1976’s Carrie

A timid high school girl struggles with the physical and mental abuse of not only her peers, but her obsessive religious mother. Gifted in telekinesis, which is triggered during great stress, she tries to overcome her shyness and just fit in with all the ‘cool’ kids. With a prom date secured and a virginal white dress has her wish come true? Cue a crowning that she will never forget, a little spilt blood, and one hell of a vengeance party. This is a prom you will never forget.

The opening scenes bring every girl’s worst nightmare to life – shower, period, and the nasty ‘popular’ girls making fun. This scene is more horrendous due to Carrie having no idea what is happening to her body. Her overbearing mother denies Carrie any basic menstrual information. Blood, the most visceral part of horror, becomes a stain of adolescence and sexuality that will haunt Carrie White. The infamous ‘plug it’ chant would whisper through locker room’s forever.

Carrie is a cult classic horror film which transfers universally by the high school experience of cruel and bullish peers. The oppression of sexual awakening and the prudish sensibility of religion creates the tension and drive for the epic final 20 minutes. Carrie’s character is beautifully executed as we witness Sissy Spacek‘s frail and innocent demeanour. As dignity dies, possession consumes her identity until all that remains is channelled rage. Yet despite this, our fondness for her and the sense of unjust cruelty echos our own experiences of the pack like teens, who always have the ability to hunt down the weakest in the class. Carrie was not only Stephen King‘s first novel to be published, but was also his first novel to be adapted into a film. Director De Palma also plays a sly homage to Hitchcock in the name of Carrie‘s school: Bates High School.

Carrie is a must watch for any horror fan, or for anyone looking to find a cult classic to watch during the witching month of October. It is a dramatic and erotic horror film set on the background of teenage angst and the pressures of growing up as an outsider.

Life lesson: Know your exits, and don’t throw tampons.

‘There all going to laugh at you!’ – but then they screamed.


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