Brian DePalma and Stephen King both made their names from this title,
and its easy to see why.
Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is a misfit kid, outcast in her class. Shes
such a "loser" she doesnt even know anything about the facts of
life, so when she gets her first period while showering after her high
school gym class shes mightily freaked out. The other girls, being
the worldly sophisticates that high school girls are, make horrible fun
of her and generally exacerbate the situation until kindly gym teacher
Miss Collins (Betty Buckley) gets involved.
The reason Carrie is such a misfit is because she has a mother whos
an all out whacko. As marvelously portrayed by Piper Laurie, shes
a totally demented Christian kook who believes that everything is a sin
including her own life and, therefore Carrie's as well. This woman is
dangerous, and she has ruined Carries life up to that point.
Fortunately, not all the high school kids are totally self absorbed,
and two of them (Amy Irving and William Katt) conspire to help Carrie
out by inviting her to the senior prom. Over her mothers highly
vociferous objections (which are only silenced by force: Carrie has telekinetic
ability and uses it to make her mother to back off), Carrie goes
to the prom, the most exciting and happy moment of her miserable life
Unfortunately, one of the leading high school girls (deliciously played
by Nancy Allen) wants to ensure Carries coming out will also be
her going back in again, and she enlists the help of her boyfriend
(a young John Travolta) to make it happen.
And boy does it happen! Carrie is totally humiliated and, at the end
of her rope, unleashes her extra abilities. Havoc is wreaked on the school
and on the people inside it as the movie suddenly shifts into high gear
and races to its violent and gory conclusion.
DePalma sticks to building suspense during most of the film, but when
he decides to bring out the buckets of blood he unleashes them unabashedly.
Spaceks performance as Carrie is wonderful, totally believable,
and Lauries demented mother is positively frightening.
Better have lots of popcorn around!
The special edition DVD is presented in anamorphic widescreen (16x9 TV
compatible), with very well re-mixed Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Picture
and sound quality are excellent.
Extras include Acting Carrie, a documentary with Sissy Spacek,
Amy Irving, Betty Buckley and other cast members, and a Visualizing
Carrie feature with director DePalma and others. Theres also
a featurette on the short-lived Carrie Broadway musical production,
an animated photo gallery, and a print outline of Stephen Kings
genesis of the original story. Oh, you also get the original trailer.
In all, while Carrie may never be known as a horror masterpiece, it has
definitely earned its place in history, and the DVD does it justice.
Carrie, from MGM Home Video
98 min, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 TV compatible, Dolby Digital
Starring Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, Amy Irving, Betty Buckley, and Piper
Produced by Paul Monash
Written by Lawrence D. Cohen, Directed by Brian DePalma.
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