"Carrie" (1979) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #48 Gem Mint 10.0
Director: Brian De Palma
Writer: Stephen King (novel), Lawrence D. Cohen (screenplay)
Starring: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt, John Travolta, Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley
Rated: R for sexual references, strong nudity, strong violence and language
Runtime: 1h 38min
Genre: Drama, Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Horror, Thriller
“Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.”
You might like this if you like: Stephen King, horror movies, thrillers, science fiction, high school movies, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, William Kat, John Travolta, Nancy Allen, comic books, graphic novel, "Stranger Things", "Elfen Lied"
Sissy Spacek (left) & Betty Buckley (right) in "Carrie" (1976)
"Carrie" was always my favorite Stephen King novel. I might've been attracted to its length in comparison to King's other work as I was pretty young when I came across it initially. I saw the film before I read the book. I usually like to do that as I tend to find I set myself up for less disappointment.
What I love about the story, regardless of the interpretation, is through all its supernatural elements it's one of the most relatable high school stories I've ever seen.
Piper Laurie (top) & Sissy Spacek (bottom) in "Carrie" (1976)
Sissy Spacek's opening shower scene where she can barely make out her words as she has blood all over her hands still haunts me to this day. It's her face, it's the sounds she makes. It's horrific. It's real. It feels real. She's so incredible in this film. I just want to save her through the whole movie from all the abuse and chaos she endures. De Palma knows how to get some outstanding performances out his actors.
Piper Laurie's performance still terrifies me to this day. One of the most memorable characters of the horror genre; the manipulation, abuse and how set she is in her ways still gives me chills. I had the lovely pleasure of getting to see her speak and meet her afterwards with my friend/screenwriter Peter Bellwood ("Highlander" 1986) at a screening of her film "The Hustler" (1961) on March 11, 2017 presented by Women in Film and the Ojai Film Festival.
Piper Laurie being introduced before a screening of "The Hustler" (1961) in Ojai, CA on March 11, 2017. Video by Sam Gall.
Peter Bellwood (left) & Piper Laurie (right) at a screening of "The Hustler" (1961) on March 11, 2017 in Ojai, CA. Photo by Sam Gall.
I'm a huge fan of the remake as well starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore. I love both but the "1976" version holds a special place in my heart. I read the book and watched the film close together and just loved how the complimented each other so well and were able to give two incredible experiences in the universe of "Carrie".
Sissy Spacek as 'Carrie White' in "Carrie" (1976)
"Carrie" (1976) remains one of my favorite horror films. The duo of Carrie White and Margaret White are unlike any other. It's one of the closest films to capturing high school bullying (at least when it came out), in my opinion. It still feels like it is. Not many horror films/stories can make me well up like this one does. I think we can all relate a little bit to Carrie White.
Written by Sam Gall on 09/17/20
CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0
"Still disturbing, it still creeps me out and makes me dread it. It's unsettling, incredibly brutal, and satisfying by the end." - Brandon Collins, Medium Popcorn
"It opens with an insidiously brilliant update of Psycho's shower scene and ends with a jump scare that Hitchcock would have envied; in between, it's merely the tenderest and most affecting movie ever made out of one of King's novels." - Adam Nayman, The Ringer
"Carrie's climactic empowerment is all at once the tragedy and triumph of a young woman trapped between Biblical regression and a secular coming-out." - Anton Bitel, Little White Lies
"The real horror of Carrie does not lie with the vengeful, telepathic teenager of the movie's title, but in the endless stream of abuse she endures for the majority of its runtime." - Austin Trunick, Under the Radar
"One of cinema's ultimate operatic teenage melodramas. I have seen "Carrie" more times than I can count, and yet it never loses its uncommon heartbreak and blood-curdling dramatic power." - Dustin Putman, TheFrightFile.com
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