"A GRAND COMIC OPERA"
A.O. Scott at the New York Times posted a Critics' Pick Video essay this week about Brian De Palma's Carrie. Stating that the film "is like the combination of an after school special and a horror movie," Scott praises Carrie as "a grotesque, scary, comical, psycho-sexual tour de force." Elaborating, Scott continues, "Sometimes in the space of a single scene, the film pivots from B-movie exploitation to profound and disturbing insight. Brian De Palma is a master of both. None of the technical tricks or stylish flourishes feels at all superfluous. The feverish color scheme matches the lurid theme. The musical cues wiggily summon the ghost of Alfred Hitchcock, and together with the editing and the pacing, keep us in a perpetual state of uneasy suspense. And there's an artificial quality to the camerawork that makes everything feel more nightmarish than real." Scott then goes into a discussion of the acting performances in the film before concluding, "Gothic and extreme as it is, Carrie is fundamentally a coming-of-age story. Stephen King, for all his sensationalism, has an acute understanding of human psychology, and Carrie captures both the emotional volatility of the world of female adolescence, and the terrifying power of female sexuality. This is not a simple horror movie or revenge fantasy. It's a grand comic opera about innocence, shame, and anger. And it's exactly because Carrie is so small, so innocent, so helpless, that her rage inspires such awe."