CARRIE (1976) 

Sissy Spacek
Piper Laurie
Amy Irving
William Katt
John Travolta
Nancy Allen
Betty Buckley
P.J. Soles

Brian De Palma



The Novel

Time: 98 mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Horror/Supernatural/Drama

Academy Award nominations for Best Actress (Spacek) and Best Supporting Actress (Laurie).

SYNOPSIS: A shy, telekinetic high school girl takes revenge on the classmates who brutally teased her – making their Senior Prom a night they will never forget.

BOTTOM LINE: I'm not sure how proud Sissy Spacek is of this film anymore, but I have to say, hands down, it's one of the scariest films about the difficulties of high school and puberty that I have ever seen. If you think your teen years were bad, they're nothing to the hell on Earth that poor Carrie, a shy, sweet girl with telekinetic powers – she has no idea how to control – and a cruel, loony, religious mother, has to put up with.

All she wants is to be accepted and loved. All she gets is derision, teasing and pain. So, who can blame the girl, who's own mother considers her evil, for taking a little revenge on those who made her suffer. Certainly, not this once shy girl. Though this is considered a horror movie (it's a Stephen King original), it's more about Carrie trying to understand herself and fit in then it is a bloodthirsty tale of retribution. Though it is that, too.

What makes this a classic movie, in addition to being downright creepy, is Spacek's pitch-perfect performance. Even though she was 27-years-old at the time, you believe her as a confused and vulnerable teenager. She makes Carrie a living, breathing person you come to care about and who just happens to fulfill many a battered teens ultimate fantasy. Piper Laurie is the other cast standout as one of the meanest mothers to ever be captured on film. There's not a nurturing bone in her body, which only makes you feel for Carrie more and fully satisfied when Carrie finally stands up for herself. Blink and you'll miss Travolta.

Though his films are alsways highly derivitive of other filmmakers, De Palma does know how to craft scenes for maximum impact. Sometimes his schlocky, over-the-top nature marries perfectly with the material as it certainly does here. The Prom Night finale certainly pays off and the final sequence pops into my head everytime I pass a cemetery. Every. Time. Even though I knew it was coming, it's still powerful filmmaking. If you're looking for an intelligent, heartfelt and simply scary flick with a decent plot, CARRIE is one that still delivers.

"They're all gonna laugh at you."

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