Carrie (1976)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
Genres: Horror, Supernatural Horror, Teen Horror
Carrie White, a shy and troubled teenage girl who is tormented by her high school peers and her fanatically religious mother, begins to use her powers of telekinesis to exact revenge upon them. --TMDb
Brian De Palma Brian De Palma
Sissy Spacek Sissy Spacek
Piper Laurie Piper Laurie
Amy Irving Amy Irving
William Katt William Katt
John Travolta John Travolta
Movie Connections:
> Carrie (1976)
> The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)
> Carrie (2002)
> Carrie (2013)

7.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: March 27, 2011
My not so encouraging thoughts on Stephen King's works shifting from novel to film has been well documented on this site, but I've always made sure to use some kind of "usually" qualifier; because sometimes, however rarely, the transfer works beautifully. Carrie is one of those times.

We all know that girl. No friends, no charisma, the only reason people know she exists is to bully her around. Carrie White is that girl. Combine this with her mother being uber-religious, not to mention batshit insane, and the girl doesn't stand a snowball's chance in Hell at making it through high school. Things come to a head when she gets her first period in the shower after gym, and since mommy dearest never saw fit to tell her that's a normal part of a woman's life, she naturally assumes blood pouring out of her vag is cause for panic. And kids being the rotten little shits they are, her classmates respond with torment, pelting her with tampons while chanting "Plug it up." When she asks her mother about it, she merely responds, "You're a woman now" and begins beating her senseless with a bible, recites scripture about Eve's sins, and locks her in the broom closet with a statue of the scariest Jesus I've ever seen and forces her to pray until bedtime. And so ends a typical day in the life of Carrie White. However, this tortured soul has a dormant power that years of pent up rage is about to unleash, and all those people who spent a lifetime harassing her are in for a reckoning.

I'll be honest, the first time I watched this movie, I absolutely hated it. In short, it bored me to tears, so I'm sure over the last seven years, I've talked vast amounts of shit about it. Shit that needs to be retracted. The plot line is free of fluff and moves along a nice pace, but it's the characters that give Carrie its strength. Piper Laurie gives zealotry a whole new name as Carrie's mother, picking up an Oscar nomination for her efforts, and none of our secondary stars slouch either. Betty Buckley in particular brought her A game as Miss Collins, a teacher that's the closest thing to a friend, and perhaps more importantly a protector from the viciousness of the other girls, that Carrie has. Then there's Nancy Allen as Chris, who pulls that stuck-up, I'm-the-queen-and-my-shit-doesn't-stink cheerleader bitch we all remember from high school to perfection. Even at the tertiary level, we have John Travolta in an early role as Chris' boyfriend, and Amy Irving as Sue, a repentant schoolmate who convinces her boyfriend, Tommy (the charismatic William Katt), to take Carrie to the prom to add some fun into the girl's life. All three leave absolutely nothing to be desired.

When it comes to great acting in this movie, indeed the main reason this movie is as strong as it is, the conversation begins and ends with Carrie herself, Sissy Spacek. Throughout the film, Carrie's personality shifts several times, and she handles the transitions like silk. From the bullied plain Jane to the slightly more confident girl just beginning to break out of her shell thanks to Tommy's kindness to that chilling climax, Spacek is pure gold. There's a reason that image where she's covered in blood is such an iconic sight, and in full motion, that scene is an absolute masterpiece, as Spacek's wide-eyed, emotionless stare (personally, those scary fucking eyes are what truly makes the scene for me) sells it perfectly. Sissy Spacek also earned an Oscar nomination, making it one of the few horror films to get multiple nods from the Academy; how she didn't win is completely beyond me.

Stephen King may not have the best track record on the big screen, but don't let that dissuade you from hunting this down. Carrie is amazing. 9/10.
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