Brian De Palma Pauline Kael - Essay

Pauline Kael

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Carrie is a terrifyingly lyrical thriller. The director, Brian De Palma, has mastered a teasing style—a perverse mixture of comedy and horror and tension, like that of Hitchcock or Polanski, but with a lulling sensuousness. He builds our apprehensions languorously, softening us for the kill. You know you're being manipulated, but he works in such a literal way and with so much candor that you have the pleasure of observing how he affects your susceptibilities even while you're going into shock. Scary-and-funny must be the greatest combination for popular entertainment; anything-and-funny is, of course, great—even funny-and-funny. But we come out of a movie like Carrie, as we did out of [Steven...

(The entire section is 624 words.)