Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.
It's nearing the end of the school year. High school senior Carrie White is a social outcast, largely due to being unwise to the ways of the world based on her upbringing. Her mother, Margaret White, is a religious fanatic, her extreme views primarily targeted against sex, which she believes is a sin. She even believes natural associated processes such as menstruation are a sin, about which she has refused to mention to Carrie. Mrs. White's beliefs were taken to that extreme largely because of her own failed marriage and her husband Ralph long ago having run off with another woman. The only adult authority figure who tries to help Carrie with her life is her phys ed teacher, Miss Collins, who is nonetheless warned not to get too close to go against how Mrs. White chooses to raise Carrie, Mrs. White whose beliefs are well known in the community. An impromptu event that happens among Carrie's phys ed classmates against her leads to her classmates being punished. One of those students, ... Written by
Though cluttered up with crass humor, De Palma's trashy flair and killer instincts make this a classic screamer...
When picked-on high schooler Carrie White discovers to her horror that she's been made the butt of a nasty prank, she unleashes her secret powers at the school prom and all hell literally comes loose. This sequence, filmed in split-screen, is a canny marvel of technical wizardry, twisted imagination and production design (check out that gorgeous blaze that erupts behind Sissy Spacek). The cinematographer lights everything up like fluorescent goodies in a candy-box (the continuity problems with Carrie's appearance here can be overlooked). But Carrie's anger is all encompassing--it's a high school holocaust--and some of her victims are innocents, like the gym teacher (played very sensitively by Betty Buckley). Carrie has become as bad as her enemies, and director Brian De Palma doesn't seem to understand the irony (he's also too interested in girl-peeping, although to his credit nobody comes off looking foolish). The picture is fun on the surface, but has a depressing undermining that is never quite resolved. Spacek's performance in the lead is flawless; Piper Laurie exceptional as her deranged mother (it was her comeback role, Oscar-nominated, yet it nearly typed her as a horror-movie actress); Nancy Allen, P.J. Soles, and William Katt are excellent as Carrie's classmates; Amy Irving is intriguing as schoolmate Sue who just wants to do the right thing (Pauline Kael of The New Yorker complained that Sue's role in the disaster wasn't made clear, but I disagree. I think she's conflicted and guilty and wants to help, wants to see Carrie bask in some of the glory which she helped create). Although an improvement over the Stephen King source novel, "Carrie" isn't perfect and is weighed down somewhat with dirty jokes and cheap laughs. Certainly it is a stylish picture, with beautiful (if repetitive) music by Pino Donaggio, and the final sequence is still being copied today. *** from ****
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