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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Carrie (1976) - Chilling Coming-of-Age Tale

Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5/5 stars)

Released 11-16-1976

Watched 05-18-2024

Reviewed 06-12-2024

Watched on MAX




"It has nothing to do with Satan, Mama. It's me. Me. If I concentrate hard enough, I can move things."


Brian De Palma’s “Carrie” (1976) is a chilling adaptation of Stephen King’s novel that brilliantly combines horror with the painful realities of adolescence. Sissy Spacek’s portrayal of the titular character, Carrie White, is both haunting and heart-wrenching, making the film a timeless masterpiece in the horror genre.


The story follows Carrie, a shy and introverted high school girl who is relentlessly bullied by her peers and controlled by her fanatically religious mother, played by Piper Laurie. Spacek’s performance is nothing short of phenomenal, capturing Carrie’s vulnerability and the terrifying power she discovers within herself. Laurie’s portrayal of Carrie’s mother is equally compelling, adding a layer of psychological horror to the film's supernatural elements.


De Palma’s direction is masterful, using split-screen techniques and slow-motion sequences to heighten the tension and horror. The prom scene, in particular, is iconic, blending suspense, tragedy, and terror in a way that leaves a lasting impact on the viewer. The film’s score, composed by Pino Donaggio, complements the eerie atmosphere perfectly, enhancing the overall sense of dread.


“Carrie” isn’t just a horror film; it’s a poignant commentary on the cruelty of teenage life and the destructive power of repression and abuse. The film’s exploration of these themes resonates deeply, making it more than just a tale of supernatural vengeance.


While some special effects may feel dated by today’s standards, the film’s emotional core and psychological horror remain as powerful as ever. “Carrie” is a must-watch for horror enthusiasts and a testament to De Palma’s skill in creating a terrifying and profoundly human narrative.


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