Directed by: Brian De Palma
Written by: Stephen King (novel), Lawrence D. Cohen (screenplay)
Starring: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie and John Travolta
Horror classic Carrie takes the traditional story of the high school misfit and turns it into a spooky spectacle that remains to this day one of the most stylistic effective and memorable films of all time. Based on Stephen King’s novel (which the author claims is not even a horror novel), Carrie triumphs in its self-assured direction and captivating performances.
Loner Carrie (Spacek) – raised by a religious single mother and berated by girls and boys alike at high school – discovers she has telekinetic powers. Just when she thinks her adolescent dreams are coming true, the cruel and vengeful actions of one classmate breaks her completely – unleashing her powers in an act of blind anger that causes absolute devastation.
Springing off the all-too familiar high school setting, Carrie plays with equal measures of horror, romance, and dark humor to explore the adolescent pains of love, rebellion, and revenge. With Brian de Palma’s masterful direction, images of Roman-Catholicism are contrasted to unsettling, sexualized scenes of the female body, the ritualistic slaughter of a pig hangs above innocent teen triumphs, and split screens revel in the chaos of Carrie’s powers. Carrie may be set in high school, but it is most certainly experienced and wise beyond its years.