Critic Reviews



Based on 14 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The reason Carrie is still held in such high regard as a horror classic is very simple: it's all in the sheer directorial bravado. De Palma at the top of his game.
One of the most important movies of my life. It’s one of the two films, the other being Robert Altman’s Nashville, that made me want to be a critic. And that’s because Carrie did more than thrill, frighten, and captivate me; it sent a volt charge through my system that rewired my imagination, showing me everything that movies could be.
The New Yorker
The best scary-funny movie since "Jaws" - a teasing, terrifying, lyrical shocker, directed by Brian De Palma, who has the wickedest baroque sensibility at large in American movies. Pale, gravel-voiced Sissy Spacek gives a classic chameleon performance as a repressed high-school senior.
Slant Magazine
Carrie, on the other hand, is frighteningly feminine, a slap in the face of those charging De Palma with misogyny as fierce as the one Betty Buckley whales across Nancy Allen’s face.
Carrie's ultimate triumph is spectacular beyond anything one is used to in this antique genre. Brian De Palma's sure and powerfully individual style, blending romance, darkish satirical humor and suspenseful spookiness, transforms what could have been dreary stuff. From its first shot, Carrie catches the mind, energetically shakes it and refuses to let go even after the end credits have rolled.
Brian De Palma's Carrie is an absolutely spellbinding horror movie, with a shock at the end that's the best thing along those lines since the shark leaped aboard in "Jaws."
A voluptuously shot horror movie, with Piper Laurie (as Carrie's fanatically religious mom) and some nasty teens played by Amy Irving, Nancy Allen and John Travolta.
Were there Richter scales for measuring the degree of terror induced by movies of this kind, De Palma's "Carrie" would register only 2.2 in terms of actual shock value, but it would score well on the laugh meter. This satiric examination of the American high schooler turns out to be scathingly funny.
Mr. de Palma has ordered universal overacting. Piper Laurie does it with considerable grace—the wicked witch in a children's pantomime. The marvel, though, is Sissy Spacek. She makes us perfectly aware that she is overacting, and yet she is very effective. Her hysteria is far too hysterical. Her delight in being taken to the prom is far too radiant. But it moves us.
Brian De Palma demonstrates the drawbacks of a film-school education by overexploiting every cornball trick of style in the book: slow motion, split screen long takes, and soft focus abound, all to no real point...He's an overachiever—which might not make for good movies, but at least he's seldom dull.

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