/Film Showdown: Carrie White Vs. Jennifer Check
With prom season well underway, it's the perfect time for another round of /Film Showdown, the series where all-time great genre characters that would likely never meet otherwise are fantasy booked in a battle of might. As Needy Lesnicki so expertly states, "Hell is a teenage girl," and we're pitting two of the most vindictive and powerful prom queens in a head-to-head showdown to see which girl reigns supreme and which teenage dream turns into a nightmare.
One is the character that put master of horror Stephen King on the map, and the other has survived satanic rituals and entitled horror fanboys. Cover your dirty pillows and try not to be lime green jello, because Carrie White of "Carrie" fame and Jennifer Check of "Jennifer's Body" are here, and when these girls party, no one makes it out alive.
Carrie White originated in the twisted mind of Stephen King, but it was Sissy Spacek's portrayal in Brian De Palma's film adaptation that solidified her place in horror history. The telekinetic teen had been set up for failure since birth, having been born to a religious zealot who never encouraged her to develop social skills, putting an easy target on her back for bullying. Everyone has a limit, and when Carrie met hers, she burned Bates High to the ground. Meanwhile, Jennifer Check was the queen bee of Devil's Kettle High, but after a subpar softboi indie rock band tried and failed to sacrifice her to the devil, she transformed into a succubus and went on a boy-eating rampage. But of these two, who walks away the prom queen and who goes home in a body bag?
How They Could Meet
Spoiler alert: Carrie White and Jennifer Check both die at the end of their respective films. In order for these two queens to face off, we're going to have to suspend our disbelief and pretend that they ended their films (which will now take place in the same timeline, for our purposes) enacting revenge, getting away with it, and living happily ever after.
Following the massacre at Bates High, Carrie goes home to wash the pig's blood off of her, crucify her abusive mother in a doorway, and turn her childhood home into nothing more than a pile of debris. As she emerges from the rubble, she needs to get out of town. With no living witnesses outside of Sue Snell who will sound certifiable if she tries to tell law enforcement she saw Carrie White kill people with her mind, Carrie can get out of Chamberlain, Maine, scot free. She never learned to drive, so she'd likely need to take a bus or a train leading her west. With little money to her name, she gets kicked out somewhere in the North Central United States ... somewhere like Devil's Kettle, Minnesota.
Carrie is looking for a fresh start and enrolls in school at Devil's Kettle in the hopes that her experience here will be better. If teen movie logic in films like "Just One of the Guys," "Never Been Kissed," and "Encino Man" have taught us anything, we won't have to worry about the administrative office doing any sort of background check on Carrie White, or requiring a parental signature. Meet the newest student at Devil's Kettle High, Carrie White.
Why They Would Battle
As the new kid in school, Carrie White isn't doing too well adjusting to her new environment. That is, until she is befriended by perennial sweetheart Anita "Needy" Lesnicki. Her best friend Jennifer has been acting real evil lately, and not just high school evil. Needy befriends Carrie, who is elated to have someone treat her like a human being. Needy knows what it's like to be an outcast, considering half the school can't wrap their heads around a babe like Jennifer associating with a dork like Needy. The two have an immediate kinship as they're both harboring some serious secrets, and this makes Jennifer really, really cheesed off. Jennifer immediately starts sniffing around Carrie and Needy, viewing this mousy new girl as a threat to her relationship with Needy. Carrie is used to being pushed around by the popular girls in school, and after destroying all of those who wronged her, she has a newfound confidence when dealing with someone like Jennifer Check.
The two lock eyes over a library book shelf and Jennifer feels her hair blow back without any wind. She raises an eyebrow to this new Carrie White, sensing that the power is coming from her, when suddenly, books start falling off of the shelves. Students run out of the library in a panic, but not Jennifer. "I need you frightened, I need you hopeless," she says. But now is not the time. Jennifer Check is a glutton for the dramatics. If she's going to take down Carrie White, this new threat to her friendship with Needy, it's going to happen at the prom.
A Battle For Teen Queen Supremacy
Jennifer knows that in order to keep Needy to herself, she's going to have to take Carrie White out of the equation. For the sake of this fantasy booking, Carrie as the new bestie is replacing Needy's boyfriend Chip as the roadblock for Jennifer's desire. Needy elects to bring Carrie to the dance as her date, hoping to show the new girl some fun. Understandably, Carrie is less than thrilled about going to a school dance given the whole "Chris Hargensen covered her in pig's blood and everyone laughed, including her gym teacher Miss Desjardin, and so her telekinesis went haywire and she killed everyone" thing. The duo see Jennifer on her way to the dance, who upon realizing Carrie is nervous about the dance, invites them to hang out at her house instead. No need to change out of prom clothes, it'll be like a fun girls' night in.
Except the moment they arrive at Jennifer's house, things change. Jennifer lashes out at Needy for trying to "replace her," calling Carrie a freak and screaming about how she knows she has powers. It's at that moment that Jennifer reveals her true succubus form. "What the f*** is happening?!" Needy screams. "Oh my god, Needy! I have never heard you drop the F-bomb before!" Jennifer replies. Jennifer dives at Carrie, but she's stopped mid lunge by Carrie's powers. Her eyes grow wide, Jennifer smiles at the thought of a fight, and Carrie throws her across the room, knocking Jennifer into her dresser and spilling her designer makeup everywhere.
The Final Moments
The two girls continue to battle it out, with Needy caught in the middle. "That's it!" she cries. "You can have each other!" Needy rips off her BFF necklace and throws it on Jennifer's bed before storming out. Their friendship is over. Jennifer shrieks at the top of her lungs and manages to get Carrie in her grips. She immediately starts feeding on her and in one last ditch effort to save herself, uses her telekinetic powers to tear down Jennifer's house. Jennifer's mom, having seen Needy run out of the house had already run outside to see what was wrong, and the two look on in horror as the house comes crumbling down. Needy runs to the wreckage screaming for Jennifer and Carrie, but Jennifer's mom holds her back. She pulls out her phone and calls for an ambulance, rushing over to a neighbor's house for help. Needy stands in the driveway, looking at the last remnants of Jennifer's house, wondering what became of her best friend and her new friend.
As she steps near the debris, a car pulls up. Needy thinks it's the police but it's an Uber. Out steps a girl with massive curls -- Sue Snell. She had tracked Carrie to Devil's Kettle and came to try and stop her, but it was too late. "I'm sorry, I tried to stop her," Sue says. "That's okay," says Needy, "I did too." The two girls unite, without having to say another word, bonded together by befriending two girls that were cursed with something they never asked for. They grab hands when suddenly CARRIE AND JENNIFER'S ARMS POP THROUGH THE RUBBLE AND GRAB THEM! One last jump scare to let us all know that the duo lives.
This is why we mustn't pit strong women against each other.
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