FEBRUARY 23, 2008
For some reason, even though I've never seen the sequel to Carrie, I always think of it whenever I see a veterinarian office. This is because my friend called me after he saw it (I had better things to do I guess), laughing about how the movie featured a 24 hr veterinarian place. He thought it was funny, but I think it's pretty awesome! If one of my cats eats a damn nail and begins choking or bleeding at 2 am, I would like to think that I didn't have to wait 6 hrs to get him looked at.
Anyway, that has nothing to do with the first film, which doesn't even HAVE pets of any kind. I saw the film once, when I was like 16 or 17, and on TV to boot. I remember not being particularly impressed by it, though that opinion has changed. I still think it's a bit oddly structured (I've never read the book, so I'm not sure if it plays better in written form, or if it's even the same), but I can't deny that it's a solid piece of filmmaking from one of the best technically inclined directors (Brian DePalma) of all time. Back in the 70s and early 80s, DePalma was in his prime, so Carrie benefits quite a bit from his standard "gimmicks" - the long unbroken shots, use of bifocal lenses, and of course, the split screen sequence. Not to say that the film wouldn't work without them, but even if you're sort of blasé on the story, you can still admire the craft (something probably not likely with Carrie 2).
The cast in this one is pretty impressive. Most of them were no names at the time, but it's great to see future stars (or at least, 80s icons) like John Travolta, PJ Soles, Nancy Allen, Amy Irving, and William Katt all in one movie. Also, the only friend Carrie has is named Collins! Yeah! Collins is a common name in real life, but not often used in films for whatever reason. Also, Pino Donaggio's score is fan-fucking-tastic (not a big surprise), and even though I knew it was coming (thanks to myriad "50 best scary moments" type TV specials, that final scare is STILL capable of providing a bit of a jolt.
The effects are minimal, but impressive (and more importantly - believable). One thing I liked about the movie (again, not sure if this is the case in the book) is that it spares us from scenes of Carrie moving shit around for no reason. The idea that it's almost out of her control entirely is much more interesting. Incidentally, the movie screened with Zapped, an 80s comedy with Scott Baio as a kid with telekinesis. That film DID suffer due to such superfluous scenes, and ironically kind of made Baio less sympathetic than Carrie. Carrie couldn't really help freaking out and breaking mirrors and shit when people insulted her, but Baio used his own free will to terrorize a total stranger (who wasn't bothering him) with a model airplane. Asshole.
The print was quite nice too, though the sound was a bit muffled. DePalma's films deserve big screen (and more importantly, widescreen) viewing, so even though it's not exactly my favorite film of the subgenre or the King adaptations, I loved seeing it "again" in this manner. There's another week to go of the Eli Roth festival, and I for one couldn't be more... well, broke. But also sad, it's been a great lineup so far. Luckily the New Bev shows good stuff more than just once or twice a month, so Roth or not I'm sure I'll be back there enough until the next festival comes along.
What say you?