Saturday, June 11, 2011

Carrie (1976)

One can’t help but to smile fondly when one hears the line, “They’re all going to laugh at you.” Carrie was the first, and undoubtedly the best of Stephen King’s book adaptations. What gives Carrie its staying power? The fact that underneath the supernatural overtones, this film remains to be one of the most realistic and relatable cinematic tragedies of modern day.
For those who have been living under a rock, Carrie is the ultimate tale of the cruelty of high school. Carrie White is an outcast in school (mostly due to her obscenely religious mother), and gets tortured by all the popular girls in school. The thing they don’t realize is Carrie becomes telekinetic when she gets angry (she can move objects with her mind), an anger which continues to grow until it peaks to an uncontrollable and frightening level after a poor-taste prank was pulled on her at the high school prom.
There are many reasons why this film is such a landmark of cinematic horror. First of all, it is Stephen King’s first book-to-film adaptation, and is one of the very few adaptations that was done well. This isn’t really saying much. To give King credit, his books are almost impossible to adequately adapt into a two-hour film because they are so convoluted, and editing out any plot point takes away so much from the overall story. As he is one of the few authors who has absolutely no issues with continuity or leaving all his ends tied up in the end, when his books are edited to make a film, plot holes ultimately result. This isn’t the case with Carrie because it is an unusually straightforward, relatively uncomplicated story for him, and therefore is the perfect book to adapt to film.

One can’t help but to smile fondly when one hears the line, “They’re all going to laugh at you.” Carrie was the first, and undoubtedly the best of Stephen King’s book adaptations. What gives Carrie its staying power? The fact that underneath the supernatural overtones, this film remains to be one of the most realistic and relatable cinematic tragedies of modern day.
For those who have been living under a rock, Carrie is the ultimate tale of the cruelty of high school. Carrie White is an outcast in school (mostly due to her obscenely religious mother), and gets tortured by all the popular girls in school. The thing they don’t realize is Carrie becomes telekinetic when she gets angry (she can move objects with her mind), an anger which continues to grow until it peaks to an uncontrollable and frightening level after a poor-taste prank was pulled on her at the high school prom.
There are many reasons why this film is such a landmark of cinematic horror. First of all, it is Stephen King’s first book-to-film adaptation, and is one of the very few adaptations that was done well. This isn’t really saying much. To give King credit, his books are almost impossible to adequately adapt into a two-hour film because they are so convoluted, and editing out any plot point takes away so much from the overall story. As he is one of the few authors who has absolutely no issues with continuity or leaving all his ends tied up in the end, when his books are edited to make a film, plot holes ultimately result. This isn’t the case with Carrie because it is an unusually straightforward, relatively uncomplicated story for him, and therefore is the perfect book to adapt to film.

No comments: