What I hated about the Carrie movie (if Jesus were Christian, he would have killed himself.)

I love Julianne Moore and Chloë Grace Moretz, and I think they were perfect in the roles of Stephen King’s “Carrie” and her crazy-religious-freak mother. But there was a lot about the 2013 movie adaption of King’s novel that was disturbing. And no, not just all the blood, violence, gore and death.

Carrie was a very Christian movie.

Of course the original story is already highly religious in nature, with Carrie being forced to pray for forgiveness by her abusive mother.

But the original is less judgmental and more open-ended. Carrie is seen as more of a tragic victim. Her wild, amazing telekinetic powers defy the neat boundaries of Christian orthodoxy. Sure her closeted, narrow-minded religious fanatic mother thinks those powers come from Satan. But there is no indication that King thought so – in fact Carrie seems to be using Carrie’s powers to criticize Christianity as backward-minded and violently judgmental.

On the surface, this appears to be the case in the movie also, which concludes with Sue Snell telling a courtroom:

“You want an explanation? Carrie had some sort of power. But she was just like me…but we pushed her. And you can only push someone so far before they break.”

So Carrie is just like everyone else. Everybody has the potential to be Carrie – so Carrie is a metaphor… but what does that mean?

It means that, through small moral sacrifices, she was taken over by Satan, and you can be too.

There are a few key indicators that we are dealing with, on a whole, a Christian universe where good gets rewarded and evil gets punished. We are dealing with characters who struggled with problems of moral complexity. The ones who make “good” choices like Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) survive. She was trying to redeem her “sin” of making fun of Carrie. She admitted her guilt.

Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday) on the other hand, was unrepentant and paid the price with her life. In case you missed what characters were supposed to be good and evil, they made it easy by giving Sue very white blonde hair and light clothing, and Chris very dark hair and black clothing. (It was reversed in the 1976 film, but today’s movie goers can’t tell right from wrong unless somebody has light hair and dark hair).

How Carrie sells her soul to the devil

It starts with little things like disobeying mother, and wanting to be liked and fit in, and be “normal.”

Then she starts thinking about boys, wearing makeup and dresses, and showing off her “dirty pillows.”

At first she says no to handsome Tommy Ross, but he wins her over. She keeps saying no, and he keeps tempting her… to the prom, for a dance, even to vote for themselves for prom king and queen.

He shrugged . ‘Let’s vote for ourselves. To the devil with false modesty.’ She laughed out loud, then clapped a hand over her mouth. The sound was almost entirely foreign to her. Before she could think, she circled their names, third from the top. The tiny pencil broke in her hand, and she gasped. A splinter had scratched the pad of one finger, and a small bead of blood welled.

And Carrie, after a moment’s pause, agrees even to this: “To the Devil.” A quiet but open acknowledgement and invitation to Satan.

Which is of course, where her magical powers come from. (God’s only play in this story is weak – she gets an immediate splinter/cut from giving into this treacherous self-voting. All sins carry consequences).

Because in a Christian worldview, even though magic and miracles and power and unnatural events are allowed to happen, when people use them they are from the devil. Unless they’re Jesus (more on that later).

Bad things happen to everybody. But Carrie let temptation get the best of her, and because of the Devil’s strong hold over her, she gave into her passion, emotion, anger and violence and let Satan’s power flow through her to destroy everything around her.

Later, when she goes home and washes off the pig’s blood (and the blood of all her classmates), her actions finally sink in and her moral responsibility starts up again and she cries, “What have I done, I’m so sorry, God forgive me” etc.

We don’t get this repentance in the book. Not only does Stephen King’s Carrie kill everybody, but she does it while giggling because they look funny as they fry.

King’s book finishes with this burnt into Carrie’s lawn:

CARRIE WHITE IS BURNING FOR HER SINS

JESUS NEVER FAILS

In the movie, the message is written on her tombstone:

CARRIE WHITE BURNS IN HELL.

The book shows characters being remorseful, “If only we hadn’t been so cruel, if only we’d have reached out.”

Carrie was a product of child abuse and poor upbringing. She was “evil” because she was raised religiously, and believed herself evil.

That’s why she had to commit suicide (in the book, she just dies from exhaustion and various wounds). In the movie, Sue offers her hand to help her; Carrie very deliberately saves Sue but brings the house down to bury herself and her mother. Carrie knows and recognized that the judgment is correct and she needs to pay.

Which is pretty dumb.

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Note: The original Carrie was also written during the beginning of the Satanic Panic – the mass hysteria that Satanists were lurking everywhere; a reaction probably to Anton LaVey founding his Satanist religion in 1966. Books like the mega bestselling Rosemary’s Baby (1967) by Ira Levin, which turned into a the 1974 movie by the same name, warned of the violent dangers of secret Satanists living among us. William Peter Blatty published The Exorcist in 1971 and it was made into a horror film in 1973. King published Carrie in 1974 – so the belief and terror in Satan was at an all-time high. In fact King’s Carrie was really just cashing in on an already popular mass-culture phenomenon and morbid curiosity of Satanism. LaVey and his Satanists didn’t actually believe in any Satan, but were more like Humanistic Atheists just trying to be controversial, so the Satanic Panic, while being the backbone of contemporary exorcist/demon possession horror flicks, is all a bunch of hot air and bullshit. I’ll explore this history in more detail in my next book.

There are only two kinds of supernatural thrillers

Most of our literature and movies are about people with amazing powers. Twilight for example, made vampires not evil, but cool and misunderstood. This “humanizing” of monsters has been going on everywhere – zombies, werewolves, monsters, etc – have all become our heroes, going on journeys of self-discovery and learning to use their amazing powers.

Supernatural powers are awesome.

Unless it’s a horror movie, in which case, they come from the devil.

We’re either in a “normal” movie with “normal” contemporary morals, and supernatural powers are as common as they are in Xmen, or we’re in a Christian movie, where all powers are evil and everybody’s either going to heaven or hell.

Because there’s only one Jesus.

Which is why it’s more than a little strange that Jesus didn’t kill himself.

Jesus grew up Jewish but surrounded by pagan culture. Like Carrie, he was told he wasn’t and couldn’t be “normal.” He was special, loved by God, had to be kept apart, practice different cultural norms like what clothes to wear. He wasn’t allowed to “mix” with the others. But he saw and was probably tempted by all those relatively happy and charming (and unusually educated and intelligent) Romans and Greeks.

Jews believed in demons and in magic and witchcraft, and some of them believed you could control the demons by using their names and get you to do stuff for you. In fact, King Salomon used a magic ring to summon the Lord of the Demons and have him and his demon hoard build the first temple.

This was OK because the Old Testament is a pre-Christian text without clear dualistic principle deities of Good and Evil.

There were multiple gods, but the Jews were only allowed to worship one.

So when Jesus first realized he had magic powers, like Carrie, he probably would have been scared and confused.

Although Christians will rebut that Jesus always knew his true role, there are many places in the Bible where Jesus needs to think, plan, or appears to doubt, fall into anguish, or be confused. His last words according to Matthew 27:46 are: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew portrays him as a human who suffers. John portrays him as a superman who feels no pain and is omniscient. No wonder it took over 1000 years of church councils to agree on what percent of Jesus was a man, and what percent a God…)

If Jesus was a Christian – say if Jesus was a regular guy like me who had supernatural powers – he’d probably want to kill himself (or die somehow or be killed… suicide may be a sin). He might think he deserved to go to Hell for killing people (there are apocryphal stories of the Child-Jesus killing people, and older Jesus killing people).

If Jesus was in a very strict religious family, like Carrie he wouldn’t be able to accept realities which don’t fit into the neat boxes of pre-established belief systems. Fortunately, Jesus was born in a time of unprecedented religious freedom, where a whole bunch of religions were coming together from all over the world and sharing knowledge, where people were open minded and tolerant and prayed to whichever God was closest (or to none at all if they chose). And were practically everybody practiced magic tricks and believed in supernatural power.

Jesus was allowed to be Jesus because he lived in a tolerant society. Carrie became Carrie because she lived in an intolerant, Christian one.

Why it’s all a publicity stunt and propaganda

The thing that bothers me the most about this whole “Horror movies based on Demonic possession” genre is that they make Satan a puppet. What does Satan get out of taking over poor Carrie, killing a high school full of kids and burning down a town? He manufactures fear and loss, which drives people to believe in and accept God.

We are led to believe that Satan is intelligent, but that he keeps interrupting our happy lives to scare us with gore and violence and fire. Who benefits? God and religion. Satan never benefits from stories of demonic possession. Which makes it likely to assume, that IF Satan exists, and IF he’s intelligent and trying to oppose God, what Satan is REALLY doing is trying to make us happy.

He’s getting rid of trauma and problems. He’s stabilizing our emotions, our economies, our nations and culture. He’s decreasing intolerance, racism and injustice. He’s trying to feed the poor and heal the sick. Because that’s the only way to make people stop believing in God – when they have no problems and are perfectly happy and can create everything they want out of life, they won’t let themselves be controlled by fear.

  • MadMarchHare3

    I always wondered at the idea of Satan being the Lord of everlasting torment in Hell for sinners. If Satan is such an opponent of God, wouldn’t he rather be shaking your hand and saying, “welcome to the team, have a martini”? What better way to poke Sky-Daddy in the eye than to make hell a big ol’ party where his rejected children are having a blast without him? The Christian leaders didn’t really think out their myth out very well did they?

    • Guest

      She was not evil in my mind her mom planted the evil thoughts into her head And what’s wrong with voting for yourself

      You not actshely voting for yourself you vote for the guy your dating and he votes for you.

      Ps do I look like Carrie

  • Carrie

    I don’t think Carrie was evil her mom planted those thoughts in her head her mom sined

    • Carrie

      I agree

  • Carrie

    thoughts into her head And what’s wrong with voting for yourself

    You not actshely voting for yourself you vote for the guy your dating and he votes for you.
    Do I look like Carrie

  • Jenna

    Actually, the book is very clear that Carrie is a female version of Christ that has come to eradicate evil, as Jesus does in the Book of Revelation. Have you ever read the Book of Revelation? It’s horrifying.

    Here’s an excerpt from an analysis I did for my English class. (By the way, Stephen King admitted to the story being an allegory for the feminist movement; so I also mention that here.):

    “Being elected prom queen as a joke reflects the mocking that Jesus endured at his crucifixion, having been crowned in thorns and crucified under the sarcastic title of “The King of the Jews.” (Carrie was earlier described as having had “endless nightmares [all her life] in which a mutilated Christ chased her[…] both hands drenched in blood[…] holding a mallet and nails, begging her to take up her cross and follow him”. And before Carrie had went off to the prom, her mother said “I wash my hands of it,” to which Carrie responded, “That’s what Pilate said.”) Despite being an innocent person who never used his powers to harm anyone, Christ was made to suffer at the hands of sinners who wanted to suppress his power, and so was Carrie. They were both subject to mockery and humiliation as a technique to suppress their powers, but this degradation only served to empower them. See: The Devil thought that he had defeated Jesus when Jesus was hanged upon the cross, but he did not. Though humiliating at the time of the crucifixion, the crucifixion ended up giving Jesus even more power, and the same is true for Carrie. The utter degradation of their “crucifixions” is what allowed both of them to “rise again.” Like the people thought they had defeated Christ, everyone believed that they had finally defeated Carrie, but they did not: after the societally induced shame and embarrassment of the incident wore off, Carrie “was filled with the huge knowledge of POWERS, and of an ABYSS” (emphasis Stephen King’s). In the Bible, “the Abyss” is the bottomless pit in which Jesus’s angels trap the Devil following the apocalypse, putting an end to evil once and for all. Particularly interesting is that according to the prophesy contained within the Book of Revelation, when Jesus, “the King of Kings” (just as Carrie is Queen) returns to “smite the nations…and tread the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” during the apocalypse, he will be “clothed with a vesture dipped in blood”, just like Carrie is (Rev 19). In essence, what is happening is that Carrie has become a female version of Christ that has come to eradicate evil[…]

    When Carrie returns home after the incident, “she hears the plaster plaques in the living room (CHRIST, THE UNSEEN GUEST, WHAT WOULD JESUS DO, THE HOUR DRAWETH NIGH; IF TONIGHT BECAME JUDGMENT, WOULD YOU BE READY) explode one after the other, like plaster birds in a shooting gallery.” The massacre has officially been likened to the Day of Judgment described in the Bible in which evil is defeated and all sinners are damned to death by Christ[…]

    Carrie tries to be the bigger person and make amends with her mother, but her mother tries to kill her (again). As her mother recites the Lord’s Prayer, once her mother reaches “God’s will be done”, Carrie interjects: “My will be done, Mama”, thus affirming her role as God, before stopping her mother’s heart, effectively destroying her mother before her mother could destroy her.

    Further supporting the connection of prom massacre and the Biblical apocalypse is that the destruction is continuously described as though Carrie is on some sort of divine mission. For example, it is stated that “there was something she was supposed to do. Something about – roadhouses, parking lots, and the Angel with the Sword. The Fiery Sword. [She had] to destroy the roadhouse where the doom of her creation had begun.” The Angel with the Fiery Sword is the angel who blocks the Garden of Eden and banishes the sinners from eating from the Tree of Life. Carrie ventures to destroy the roadhouse where she was conceived via marital rape, effectively erasing all remaining fragments of patriarchy – damning patriarchy to its final death, never to live and breathe again.

    One classmate, Sue, finds Carrie, feeling terrible about how mistreated Carrie had been throughout life. She apologizes, and Carrie reads her heart, realizing that her apology is genuine. She forgives her, and just like God allows the good people to live in the Book of Revelation, allows her to live.

    After completing her destruction of the town that oppressed her and sparing the ones who were innocent, Carrie dies, escaping the corporeal body within which she was oppressed and shamed all her life. Shortly after Carrie’s death, Sue “realizes that something has begun to happen[…] her rapid breathing slows, as she feels the slow course of dark menstrual blood down her thighs.” Thus there is another symbolic connection, this time between Carrie and Sue, and by extension, womankind. Though Carrie herself had died, the menstrual blood obviously represented her power, and as Sue’s menstruation confirmed, this phenomenon was something shared by other women as well…

    Then there’s a happy ending: as with the Biblical apocalypse, and as with Jesus’s resurrection after his own crucifixion, Carrie’s death is followed with rebirth. The final part of the book is a letter from a woman to her sister about her daughter, who is described in ways quite similar to young Carrie. She shows a lot more love towards her daughter, and is even intrigued by her daughter’s power. This could be seen to represent the rebirth of “Woman” into a happier, more accepting, egalitarian environment after the destruction of patriarchy, putting an end to the battle of the sexes.”

    Here’s something I forgot to mention; I only noticed it after I finished my report.

    Carrie’s mother was planning to kill Carrie after the prom, as a “sacrifice” to God, just like Jesus was sacrificed. “The only way to kill sin, true black sin, was to drown it in the blood of a repentant heart. She must be sacrificed. Surely God understood that, and had laid His finger upon her.” So, essentially, she was a martyr, just as Jesus was.

    But the thing was: although she was sacrificed, she also took the patriarchy down with her.

    (By the way: “sacrifice” etymolygically means “to make sacred.”)

  • Sarah Jones

    God gives us forgiveness out of love. He doesn’t force anyone to believe in him, or live a life based on his word. People only have themselves to blame for the choices they make. The reason why we can’t ever live in so called perfect utopia is because of sin because the actions of another person destroys another life. We will all be accounted for the sins we do. Satan, and the fallen angels knew what humans did not know therefore they can not make a mistake. Satan tempted Eve, and caused humans their downfall. He is angry at us because of our existence which he believes caused his downfall. Giving people what they want is the old trick he used with Eve. He knows once he has you in his grip it is hard to break free. You can sell yourself for anything on this planet you are no different from a prostitute that sells her body to men. All sin reaps more sin, Jesus made it possible through the grace of God to be free from those evil desires which the world has to offer. There really is not any freedom here or peace this world has become a prison. A prison to your mind, and the evil entities which use your weakness to control you. They will give you what you want, but for a price. The moment you don’t do what the system wants they want to kill you. Satan takes the Bible, and twists it backwards what the Bible says he does the opposite. Just like thing one, and thing two once you let evil out the box it is hard to put it back in.

  • Guest

    This article is insane. ‘Carrie’ was written by an Atheist named Stephen King who is seemingly obsessed witches and even married a witch. The ‘religious’ aspects are told from HIS point of view as he does not understand God, if He really exists or Christianity. This is a blasphemous article.

    Jesus is GOD so Has no NEED of salvation. He IS salvation and also has no need to follow HIMSELF. If Jesus were Christian He would understand the difference between REAL Christianity and Hollywood’s own twisted false portrayal of it.

    Christianity is not some off balanced religion simply because those who run and work for Hollywood love portraying it that way because they despise the things of God that deal with morality.

    Try writing an article about how liberals need to stop molesting innocent children, sponsoring snuff parties, making snuff films, sacrificing other people’s children to the Devil, ENCOURAGING drug use among youth, ENCOURAGING eating disorders and pushing gay marriage and the LGBTQ lifestyle in order to abolish the human life cycle as we know it.

    These are the REAL LIFE characteristics of liberals that no one could ever make up or MISREPRESENT in ANY movie. Yet Christianity which stands for the total opposite is constantly bashed. Why is that? SMH

  • GuestGirl

    Jesus DOES NOT encourage Christians to be ‘tolerant’ of ANY sin. Especially not the God named abomination called homosexuality. This is a lie and a blasphemy against God Almighty. Jesus encourages us to love one another and ‘Be a partaker in NO MAN’S SINS.’ He came to earth to seek and save the lost and to ABOLISH sin, not PROMOTE it.