This is one of my favourite horror movies ever made and also a story that I have actually read in its original written form, a rare occurrence, so this shows you how long ago I read it, I was still a kid!
The story is a well known one these days, but at the time, hadn’t been done much. It centres around a teenage girl called Carrie played by the brilliant Sissy Spacek in this instance who possesses telekinetic powers (the ability to move things with the power of the mind) and is pushed a little too far on what should have been the best night of her life with terrifying results. We get insight into her home life, what its like at school for this loner and the people that know her and ultimately destroy her.
There were not many actors in this movie that were known at the time. Nancy Allen who plays the part of Chris Hargensen would go on to appear in movies like Robocop and also Blow Out which also starred someone from Carrie, one John Travolta in his first Hollywood movie in which he played the part of Billy Nolan.
The movie is a very tense affair which builds up throughout just as the tension and frustration builds up inside Carrie regarding her school life, her over-bearing religious mother and her coming of age. Then just as she thinks that she things have taken a turn for the better, it is all snatched away so cruelly and that tension turns to rage and fury that is let loose swiftly, but systematically and also without mercy.
The rights for the movie were bought from Stephen King for a mere $5000. The movie itself was made on a very modest $1.8M. It would return a massive 18 times that in the box office. I think you can call that a success story. Its easy to see why, its very well acted and was directed by one of the masters Brian De Palma who has also made films such as Scarface, Mission Impossible and Casualties Of War.
If you ever want to see one of the best horror movies ever made, watch this one. Spacek plays the psycho superbly and I personally prefer this movie to Halloween. Yes its much more violent, but the story is just so much better and I can relate to the characters much more easily. The only unfortunate thing about the movie is the ending which was just invented purely for the big screen, it plays no part in the original novel and it does sour it a little for me, but I can ignore it enough to still give this movie 9/10.
A sequel was made in 1999, but was truly awful by comparison. There was also a mini series made just as was the case with The Shining, and I have yet to see it. I haven’t been able to get a hold of a copy of it and I would very much like to just to see how it compares to the original. Here is the trailer for the 1976 version, enjoy…