Brian DePalma's Carrie has one scare that holds up to this day: Sissy Spacek's blood-covered face when she wrecks havoc at the Senior Prom. It's chilling. The rest of it is less a scarefest than a really well-done psychological character piece. Carrie's relationship with her mother, the amazing Piper Laurie; the sweet relationship between Carrie and William Katt's character, Tommy, and her relationship with the gym teacher, Miss Collinas (Betty Buckley) are what brings the film home. Plus, DePalma's direction, which has the elan and flair you would expect from one of his film's from this era. It's always a joy to watch, with surprising moments of humor and insight into high school life - although most of these high schoolers are played by actors that were probably closer to 30 years of age than 17.
MFA, directed by Natalia Leite and written by Leah McKendrick, is sort of an updated version of Carrie. Noelle, played beautifully by Francesca Eastwood, brings the right amount of edge and sensitivity to her character. You feel for her as her artwork is torn apart by her classmates and her professor. But when she gets date raped, instead of withdrawing and wanting to push it away, she gets on the offensive and seeks revenge. Not just for her rapist, but for others on campus. She becomes a vigilante. I feel the movie sort of goes off the rails in the last twenty minutes, but that can be forgiven because the story is so well-told and acted, that I can forgive some of the over-the-topness of the climax.
This is one of those movies out there streaming that shouldn't go overlooked. Both Leite and McKendrick did a great job, and I look forward to their next projects.
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