Carrie: A Taste For Terror

by SquidRich

A review of the classic horror movie, Carrie, starring Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie.

At the time of writing this review (2013), the imminent release of an updated Carrie movie was on the minds of horror fans everywhere.

Of course, this is not the first time that Stephen King's novel had been brought to cinema screens. There was an updated version in 2002, but for me, the classic take was the first one released in 1976 and starring Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie and John Travolta.

I must admit I have never read the book, Stephen King's first, so I had no idea what to expect of the film, Carrie. A little earlier in the 1970s, I well remember the hullabaloo over another religious-based horror, The Exorcist.

Carrie: Stephen King's First

From a Novel to a Movie

Was I going to be witness to more spinning heads, green puke and levitating bodies?

Well, not quite. The religious tones were slightly more subtle, but the terror was nonetheless just as unrelenting.

The advertising campaign at the time was very clever, specifically pointing to the final scenes of the movie. I remember seeing posters warning potential cinema goers to refrain from giving away the ending to their friends and family, otherwise Carrie would come after you. I found that a very enticing (and clever) way to get backsides on seats and fill movie theaters. Of course, mine became one of them.

I never did tell...

It has to be said that both Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie are perfect in their respective roles of the abused daughter and the religious zealot. They were rightly recognised by the Oscars Committee and nominated for Academy Awards for their performances. And what performances!

Spacek's socially awkward teenager embodies an undercurrent of both innocence and rage and these traits are demonstrated early on in the movie. They come together later to exact revenge on those who bully her - and that includes her mother.

Original Trailer for the 1976 Version

I Won't Tell...Still...

It seems the revenge never lets up, but it does finally. In fact, the last few minutes are quite serene compared to the previous twenty or more. That was about the time the entire cinema audience, including myself, collectively jumped out of our seats.

It's now 35 years or more later and I'll still not tell...

Guaranteed Chills

You'll have to find out the cause of my own levitation for yourselves. However, be sure to lock up your cutlery and prepare yourself for bucket loads of gripping horror. 

Carrie will guarantee you that.

A Modern Take

In October 2013, a third movie recounting the story of Carrie and her special powers was released to movie theaters.

On this occasion, the lead role was taken by Chloë Grace Moretz, while her mother was played by Julianne Moore. 

This version added little to what director Brian de Palma had interpreted of the book in 1976 - and quite probably did little to enhance the chill factor.

What you really expect from a horror movie is...well...horror. The modern take seemed to dwell more on the bullying and parenting aspects, although it was interspersed with some surprisingly effective thrilling moments.

Consequently, it's worth watching to make comparisons and to experience some chills, but don't expect a unique retelling of the story.

Watch Carrie (2013) on Amazon Instant Video

Carrie (2013)

Carrie: The Original Novel

Carrie (Movie Tie-in Edition): Now a Major Motion Picture


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Updated: 11/12/2014, SquidRich
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sandyspider on 01/15/2015

I still like the original movie with Sissy Spacek. I am sure that within the next 10 years there will be another Carrie movie. Always redoing the same movie.

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