Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

US movie (1976). United Artists/Red Bank. Pr Paul Monash. Dir Brian DePalma. Spfx Greg Auer, Ken Pepiot. Screenplay Lawrence D Cohen. Based on Carrie (1974) by Stephen King. Starring Nancy Allen (Chris), Betty Buckley (Miss Collins), Amy Irving (Sue), William Katt (Tommy), Piper Laurie (Margaret White), Sissy Spacek (Carrie White), John Travolta (Billy). 98 mins. Colour.

Bullied by fundamentalist mother and schoolmates alike, Carrie develops psychokinetic Talents, and at her Menarche these become almost uncontrollable. Taunted beyond endurance at the school prom, she lets rip with pyrotechnic destruction and indiscriminate slaughter. Back home, mother attacks her with a knife for the sin of having gone to the prom; Carrie kills her psychokinetically, then destroys herself. DePalma is rarely a subtle director, and King rarely a subtle writer; however, C is among the cinema's best portrayals of the Vengeance of the psychically gifted Pariah Elite. It is also moving: whatever horrors Carrie commits seem considerably less vile than those perpetrated against her, and her time of joy is deeply poignant because we know how brief it must necessarily be. [JG]


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.