While the description of Carrie as an artist might sound out of left field at first, it actually makes a bit of sense when you think about it. As we see in the film, Carrie focuses on the beauty of the world in an attempt to affirm her own personhood. Her mother Margaret (Piper Laurie) considers essentially everything, including non-holy art, sinful. While it might have been silly for her classmates to be moved by something like a pollution-themed poem, it was rebellious and meaningful to her. You can also certainly interpret her methodical destruction of the prom as artistic, especially in the way that De Palma shoots it.
Even though the two initially disagreed, Spacek said that she came around to understanding De Palma’s interpretation. She even gave her own thoughts about why discussions around its meaning are still happening to this day.
“I guess it’s about all those things,” she said, “I believe that everyone at some point in their life felt like Carrie in their lives, especially in high school and I think that’s why people connected with her. It’s healthy to find catharsis through characters in film.”
No matter how you interpret “Carrie,” we can all agree that it resonates in a powerful way. It can’t be exactly about one thing or another — rather, it can be up for interpretation as long as it involves the universal feeling of teenage aimlessness. No wonder all other remakes and reinterpretations haven’t felt as authentic as Spacek and De Palma’s first iteration.