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Carrie (1976)

Carrie – Special Edition

If you’ve got a taste for terror… take Carrie to the Prom

Directed by:

Brian De Palma

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 98 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: United States

Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) might be a schoolgirl with telekinetic powers, but ‘Matilda’ she ain’t. Bullied by her classmates and virtually ignored by all but one of her teachers (Betty Buckley), this girl needs help – and, I might be taking a wild stab in the dark here, but I blame the parents.

Dad, you see, did a runner years ago, whilst mum (a laughably OTT Piper Laurie) is two bricks short of a bungalow. A fanatical God-botherer, she locks Carrie in the cupboard with a life-size model of Jesus, calls absolutely everything under the sun a “sin” and, worst of all, incessantly pesters the neighbours (who’ve clearly not yet worked out that they could hide behind the sofa and pretend not to be in whenever she rings the doorbell). Yup, Old Mother White is well and truly off her rocker.

It looks like things could be looking up for young Carrie when burst sofa look-a-like Tommy (William Katt) asks her to the prom – but little do they know that a pre-‘Saturday Night Fever’ John Travolta lurks in the background armed with a bucketful of pigs’ blood. The swine!

Yes, this is 1970s horror in all its full-blown crapness. Director Brian De Palma replaces aspects such as shock and tension with pointless split-screen visuals, unintelligible camerawork and a tedious slo-mo build-up to the downright ridiculous finale. While Spacek’s performance in the lead role is a good one considering the circumstances, not a single character in the film seems to have any sense of either perspective or reality.

Based on a novel by the hit-and-miss Stephen King, ‘Carrie’ is considered in many circles to be a horror classic. So by all means give it a whirl and make up your own mind – but, personally, I cannot think of a single reason to recommend it.

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It's Got: A teenage tantrum taken to extremes.

It Needs: For each and every character to be given a good shake.

DVD Extras An animated stills gallery, original trailer, and a whole bunch of featurettes including ‘Acting Carrie’, ‘Visualising Carrie’, ‘Singing Carrie’ and ‘Cash and Carrie’ (actually, I made that last one up). DVD Extras Rating: 8/10

Alternatives:

Carrie (2002 version), Halloween, Halloween, The Exorcist

Summary

Over-acted over-directed tripe

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