2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
sensitive and heartbreaking,
This review is from: Carrie (Special Edition) [DVD]  (DVD)
Stephen King's first novel was also his first work adapted for the screen and, with the exception of stand by me; I think this is the best I have seen so far. I am not an expert on Stephen King, I have not read any of his books and I could probably count his film adaptations that I have seen on one hand. So me saying that Carrie is the best is based on a pretty ignorant opinion, but I think I am right to make the claim because this IS a good film. I would say that this is thanks largely to a remarkable performance from Sissy Spacek as the title character, Carrie White; and a surprisingly subtle, intelligent presentation by the director.
The director wisely doesn't focus on Carrie's strange power to move objects with her mind in the first half of the film. Instead, he emphasizes her miserable existence as a high-school outcast with a remarkably awful home life, and Spacek's performance brings Carrie to painfully vivid life.
Carrie White personifies every high-school student who didn't fit in (something I can really relate to) and Spacek makes her sympathetic without making us wonder why people pick on her; when Carrie finally takes her revenge, Spacek transforms her into a monster with a strange dignity, all at once terrifying and heroic.
The story is presented in a clear, well-paced fashion, avoiding distracting visual trickery, letting the cast and the screenplay do the work.
The runtime is a little short coming in and just over 1 and half hours. After browsing through the DVD extras I noticed that a reasonably significant amount of the story had been trimmed from the novel for the screenplay. I would have easily have sat through another half hour if it meant a bit more character development, as the lack of this was one of the films flaws.
Often regarded as an icon of mainstream horror, Carrie is at the same time one of the truest and most painfully perceptive films about high-school life. Even though I am male, and can't really relate to "girl problems" it really takes me back to how cruel teenagers can be. Any film that evokes such powerful feelings in its audience, can not be too shabby can it?