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Cruel Beauty Part 1

The synopsis of the character and the film is much longer than I intended. I felt all the details were very important in this day and age when bullying is a subject with a raised awareness, so this particular column will be in two parts. This two part column is especially for parents and is dedicated to anyone who has ever been bullied.

Christine Hargensen is a very smart, pretty and well liked 17 year old. She is probably the most popular student at Ewin High School. Her best friends are Sue Snell and Tina Blake. Her daddy is a lawyer and I believe a single parent. He indulges his little girl in her every whim. She has a beautiful home, a killer wardrobe and a life most teenage girls would kill for. On the flip side Christine is narcissistic, spoiled and mean. She is the ringleader in the her group and no one dares to cross her. She enjoys tormenting a shy girl they go to school with named Carrie White. Chris is about to make it her life’s mission to destroy Carrie. What Chris is not aware of is she just picked on the wrong girl.

Welcome to Movie Bad Girl of the Week! This week we explore the life of Christine Hargensen, the meanest of the mean girls out there. The movie of course is “Carrie”. For this column I am using the 2013 version of the film.

Portia Doubleday plays Christine Hagensen the ultimate movie mean girl in "Carrie" (2013)

Portia Doubleday plays Christine Hargensen, the ultimate movie mean girl in “Carrie” (2013)

We meet Christine during gym class. The girls are playing water volleyball. The gym teacher pulls Carrie White into the game and tells her to serve. Christine gives Carrie mock encouragement. Carrie serves and the ball hits Sue Snell on the back of the head. Christine erupts laughing. The other girls join in. Carrie starts to laugh with them until Christine turns and insults her. You can see the hurt on Carrie’s face.

Carrie slips into the showers after the other girls are done and gets her first period. She is terrified and goes to the other girls for help. She grabs Sue smearing blood on her shirt. Chris realizes it is menstrual blood. She tells Carrie “It’s just your period.” and she tries to give Carrie a tampon telling her “Just plug it up.” Christine discovers with malicious glee that Carrie has no idea whats going on. The girls with a mob mentality begin pelting the teen with tampons and pads. Chris gets all the girls to start chanting “Plug it up” while the assault goes on. Christine pulls out her phone and films the incident. Their gym teacher Miss Desjardin breaks it up and approaches Carrie. The girls watch on with a mixture of fascination, revulsion, confusion and fear as they realize that Carrie actually believes she is bleeding to death and is going to die. The girls are startled and shocked when the teacher slaps Carrie across the face to calm her down. She makes the girls leave the locker room.

After the frightening incident Carrie’s mother is called and told about what happened. She comes to pick her daughter up. When they are going to their car Carrie looks over and can see Christine and her friends watching the video on her phone and laughing. She takes the phone to her boyfriend Billy who is standing there looking tough. For whatever reason Carrie makes a mental note of the sunglasses he is wearing

Later that night Christine is with her boyfriend Billy and her girlfriend Tina. Tina asks aren’t they going to get detention because of the locker room incident. Chris assures her they won’t. She says all she did was get Carrie a tampon, no big deal. She then decides to download the video on YouTube.

The next day the girls find out that their punishment for what they did to Carrie is non-stop exercise in gym class for one week. Miss Desjardin is reprimanding them before they begin and Chris shoots her mouth off. Miss Desjardin says thanks to Miss Hargensen the girls will be running suicide and if they stop before she blows the whistle they will be suspended an won’t be allowed to attend prom. Partway through the period Chris stops and argues with their teacher saying it is “child abuse” and that it is not her fault is Carrie got her first period and was too stupid to know what it was. Miss Desjardin tells Chris she is suspended. Chris tries to get the girls to revolt saying the school can’t suspend all of them. She finds herself standing alone for the first time and discovers it is a lonely place. None of the girls in her class are going to risk being kicked out of prom, not even her best friend Sue. She claims it isn’t over and stalks off.

Christine stands stunned as she realizes none of her friends are going to walk out of detention with her.

Christine stands stunned as she realizes none of her friends are going to walk out of detention with her.

Christine gets her father to come down to the school. He wants his daughter’s prom privileges restored. He claims that Miss Desjardin is abusing her power and used profanity at his daughter. The principal Mr. Morton tells Mr. Hargensen that they have repeatedly had problems with Chris and now this is too much. Chris’ father says Chris told him she didn’t do it. It is all half-truths and they can’t prove anything. Miss Desjardin chimes in and says there is a video of the incident and she believes Chris took it. She says that they should check her phone and if it is not there she owes them a huge apology and Chris should be allowed to go to prom. Chris says she is not going to give them the phone, she has personal things on it. Her father says if she wants to go to prom to give them the phone. Chris says no and storms out of the office.

Chris goes to the gymnasium where the prom committee is. She let’s her friends know she is out of prom. She confronts Sue for not standing up for her. Sue says she feels like she deserved it. She also asks Chris what did Carrie ever do to her. Chris reminds her she was throwing tampons with the rest of them. Sue says she stopped (she did) and Chris asks why she didn’t walk out then. Chris verbally attacks Sue saying she doesn’t “give a shit about Carrie” but rather has been dreaming about the perfect prom her whole life and that is the only reason she kept running. It hits home because Chris is right. Her friendship with Sue is ended at this moment. Sue in an act of contrition is about to try to do something that matters for Carrie. She is going to have her boyfriend Tommy ask Carrie to the prom and this is going to set off a chain of events that will be devastating.

The story about Tommy and Carrie travels fast. It is confirmed for Chris when she is downtown shopping with her girlfriends and sees Carrie going into a gown and fabric store. She goes to her boyfriend Billy and says she wants something to happen to ruin the prom for Carrie. Billy comes up with an evil plan. They will make sure Carrie is elected prom queen and they will dump a bucket of pig’s blood on her.

Billy, Chris and two of their friends go to a pig farm to get the blood. Billy hits a pig on the head with a sledge hammer and calls Chris over to cut the animals throat. We see a darker side of Chris here. While Billy is explaining how to do it Chris cuts him off in mid-sentence by violently reaching forward a slitting the animal’s throat. She pulls the knife up and stares at the blood dripping off the blade.

The night of the prom Chris and Billy stand on the catwalk above the stage. With the help of her friends she is assured that Carrie will be crowned queen. She texts Sue’s phone with the message: “Your girl looks good. She won’t for long” Sue rushes down to the prom to try and stop Chris. When she arrives she (without knowing) boxes Billy’s car in. She goes into the prom looking for Chris. She sees the bucket above the stage and tries to tell Miss Desjardin who will not listen to her and forces her out. The bucket is dumped and Chris is elated with sadistic joy.  As she and Billy are slipping out the back door the bucket falls striking Tommy in the head killing him. There is remorse in Chris’ voice when she says “Tommy”. This was not part of the plan.  Carrie cradles Tommy’s head upset that he is dead because he was kind to her. She looks up and recognizes Billy’s sunglasses that have fallen off him and are hanging from the catwalk. She knows Christine did this to her and it is going to be the last time. Then all hell breaks loose as Carrie strikes out with her power.

It takes time but Billy gets out of the cluster of cars. He and Chris are driving by the front of the school as Carrie comes out and she sees them. She follows like an animal stalking prey. While they are at a stop light Chris who is now terrified tries to text her father to come get her. Billy stops her and says they are leaving town and never coming back because they are in deep trouble for what they did. As the light changes and they pull away Carrie is almost upon them. She uses her telekinesis to create a break in the road causing them to turn around and head back her way. Chris sees her in the road and tells Billy to run her down and kill her. He tries but the car stops like it has hit a brick wall. Billy goes into the steering wheel shattering his nose and sending fragments into his brain killing him. Carrie circles the car staring at Chris. Christine knows she has totally fucked up and is truly scared. Carrie blocks Chris’ attempt to get out of the car. As a last effort Chris pushes Billy’s body aside and tries to run Carrie over. Carrie lifts the car off the ground. She and Chris lock eyes one last time. The expressions on Carrie’s face says “Why did you hurt me?” and “It’s over.”  Chris’ expression is one of fear and sadness. She can see how evil what she did was and she knows her time on earth is up. She revs the engine and Carrie steps aside letting the car go. It hits a gas pump and Chris crashes through the front windshield. Her face is stuck in the windshield with shards of glass embedded in her young flesh. Her beauty is destroyed and the last thing she sees as her life flickers out is Carrie White.

Preview of Part 2:

Carrie White covered in pig's blood. The last thing Chris Hargensen will ever see.

Carrie White covered in pig’s blood. The last thing Chris Hargensen will ever see.

What can we learn from Christine Hargensen?

Chris is one of, if not the meanest girl ever captured on film. What makes her terrifying is she is only a teenager in high school and has an evil and black heart masked by beauty and personality.

She is pretty, smart and popular. This is okay. She would however make fun of a fat girl eating a doughnut. She is spoiled and has a mean streak in her. She is a bully picking on those weaker that herself which shows a large amount of insecurity. The pleasure from tormenting others makes her feel better about herself. It also makes Carrie a perfect target. She has a mother with extreme religious beliefs, she is painfully shy and awkward and she wants nothing more than to be like the rest of the kids. Where Christine could have been a friend she instead opts to be a thug towards the hapless girl. This is not okay.

To be continued next week…













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