Ah, Carrie! Carrie, my girl. I think she may have been (in part) the inspiration for Mallory, the protagonist of my second novel (Turnstone Press, 2005):
(Buy it today!)
Except that this gal really knows how to get her revenge.
I watched it for the second time a couple of weeks ago, and this time it struck me not so much as a horror or suspense film as a comedy. A very black one, to be sure. From the first time we see the "popular girl" Amy Irving plotting to humiliate Carrie and pound her into the ground, we know some awful vengeance is brewing. Carrie is already "making things happen". When the bucket of blood lands on her and her eyes turn to stone, we know we're in for a real treat.
I'll SHOW those people. And I won't even need to commit suicide to do it (too often, the tragic result of extreme bullying). Her eyes fly open into that blank wallpaper stare, her fragile little body becomes as menacing as a space alien's, and she Walks Among Us, wreaking havoc at every step.
This is the ultimate revenge fantasy for every high school nerd who ever suffered humiliation at the hands of the social powerbrokers. She even burns a whole lot of people to death and blows up John Travolta (always a cherished fantasy of mine), but not before rolling his car about seventeen times.
Toying with them, she is. What she does to her mother is even more excruciatingly funny, and she ends up like that saint in the painting, what's his name anyway, with all the barbs and arrows in him. But what I like is that little screech, like something out of Psycho, every time she unleashes another lethal projectile.
This movie is based on a story by Stephen King that he supposedly dumped in the garbage during a moment of frustration. It reminds me of the story of J. K. Rowling writing Harry Potter on a napkin in Starbucks while living on welfare. In other words, it didn't happen, but it SHOULD HAVE because it will give all unpublished writers a sort of hopeless hope.
There's a sequel called The Rage: Carrie 2. Don't bother. It istars a completely unknown actress with no charisma whatsoever (and who remained that way), unlike Spacek who went on to do Coal Miner's Daughter (won an Oscar for it, I believe) and a multitude of other things. Her acting chops are obvious here, as she appears to be ignoring everyone. She inhabits another level of reality, the level of Get Those High School Bitches and Bastards And Annihilate Them For What they Did To Me.
Watch this, it's a hoot, and it's just in time for Halloween.
(Look at this, too, then buy one, or two.)