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Carrie (1976)

Adapted from Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie made telling use of split-screen techniques to follow cause and effect as it monitored the startling telekinetic powers of Carrie White – a teenage girl passing through a traumatic puberty, in one of the most powerful and original horror movies of the decade.


The primary cause of Carrie’s trauma was the sadistic tyranny of her bigoted, sex-obsessed, religious zealot of a mother (Piper Laurie) who associates “the curse of Eve” and its attendant blood, with sin, death and crucifixion.

In sheer self-defence, her unfortunate child finally “crucifies” her with flying knives, projected by her telekinetic powers.

The movie culminates in a fiery whizz-bang of a finale in which Carrie – who has been drenched in pig’s blood at her high school prom – fries her tormentors (including John Travolta) to a crisp and the Senior Prom turns into a blazing nightmare.

Sissy Spacek was outstanding as the shy, tortured teenage girl whose burgeoning sexuality gives her a hellish time at high school.

A 2013 film remake saw Chloë Grace Moretz miscast in an almost beat-for-beat facsimile which was both pointless and bloodless. Even a bewildered Stephen King asked, “why, when the original was so good?”

The less said about the short-lived Carrie: The Musical the better!

Carrie White
Sissy Spacek
Margaret White
Piper Laurie
Sue Snell
Amy Irving
Tommy Ross
William Katt
Billy Nolan
John Travolta
Chris Hargenson
Nancy Allen
Miss Collins
Betty Buckley
Norma Watson
P J Soles
Mr Fromm
Sydney Lassick
Mrs Snell
Priscilla Pointer
Michael Talbot

Brian De Palma