Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1976. Red Bank Films. Screenplay by Lawrence D. Cohen, based on the novel by Stephen King. Cinematography by Mario Tosi. Produced by Paul Monash. Music by Pino Donaggio. Production Design by Jack Fisk, Bill Kenney. Costume Design by Rosanna Norton. Film Editing by Paul Hirsch. Academy Awards 1976. Golden Globe Awards 1976. New York Film Critics Awards 1976.
The first Stephen King novel adapted to the big screen has results that are still exciting today. Brian De Palma does a terrific job of providing thrills, chills and even a few laughs with this ridiculously over-the-top horror story, centering around a misfit girl (Sissy Spacek) who is picked on mercilessly by her classmates. Her home life isn’t that much better, what with her religiously obsessed mother (Piper Laurie) keeping her locked away from the world and what she considers its wickedness, but Carrie has a few things up her sleeve to combat even the worst authority figure. She has discovered that her worst feelings of frustration can be channelled into telekinetic powers, and she uses these to combat the people who would do her harm. Her grand opportunity comes when she goes to her High School Prom and a group of nasty cheerleaders embarrass her without realizing what they’re going to get back. It’s the best revenge story, with Spacek and Laurie giving memorable, larger-than-life performances and John Travolta and Amy Irving appearing in very early screen roles. Turn off the lights and stay up late, this one’s fun!