Carrie (1976)

“Carrie” has a special place in my heart. I’ve read the 1975 Stephen King novel at least a dozen times, and I’ve seen the movie probably twice as much. This is one of the few horror movies that functions just as strongly as a drama as it does horror: Brian De Palma focuses on Sissy Spacek’s titular character and the painful abuse she receives from both her classmates and her mother, keeping the horror element almost hidden but never too far, which helps underscore how shocking the climax is. Spacek is perfect here: Vulnerable, likable and (by the final reel) absolutely terrifying, while she’s supported by a terrific supporting cast that shares remarkably strong chemistry with each other. Particular note should go to Pino Donaggio’s haunting score, which sets the tone effectively and is judiciously employed by De Palma to highlight the movie’s themes.

Rating: ★★★★★ (out of 5)

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