Film / Carrie (1976)

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High school can be rough, especially when you are the school outcast. Carrie White has spent her entire life as the town pariah, rejected by her peers and regularly abused by her religious fanatic of a mother, Margaret. However, Carrie has a secret: she has telekinetic powers. When heartthrob Tommy invites Carrie to the school prom, her whole world will change for the better... and for the worse.

Carrie (1976) is the first and best-known adaptation of the Stephen King novel Carrie. It was directed by Brian De Palma and stars Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, and Nancy Allen.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Beta Bitch: The '76 film upgrades Norma to this, and the '02 and '13 films do the same with Tina, giving Chris a female partner in crime. Neither was actually evil in the book, though Tina was friends with Chris.
  • Big Damn Kiss: In a horror movie about what jerks can be, there's a nice kiss that offers a breather, in the '76 version. When Tommy gets Carrie on the dance floor, he gives her her first and only kiss. Doubles as a Crowning Momentof Heartwarming, and a nice moment before all the awful destruction to come.
  • Disappeared Dad: The book version of Carrie's father died in an accident before she was born. In the 1976 film, though, it is made clear that Ralph White left Margaret for another woman, acting as a Sequel Hook for The Rage: Carrie 2.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The final scene, where Sue is grabbed by Carrie's arm coming out of the ground while laying flowers at the ashes of her house. Thankfully, it turns out to be All Just a Dream. This shock ending wound up having a major influence on many pioneering Slasher Movies, particularly Friday the 13th (1980).
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Billy's Chevelle explodes soon after rolling over. Justified, though, in that it's made clear that Carrie caused the car to blow up with her mind.
  • Feedback Rule: During the climactic scene, principal Morton and instructor Fromm tussle over the microphone about what to say during the crisis at the prom. The resulting microphone squeal brings them to Carrie's attention; she disposes of these goofballs by electrocuting them with the mic wiring.
  • Final Girl: Well, kind of. In the 1976 film, Sue fits this pretty fairly well, except the fact that she never confronts the killer... except in her nightmares.
  • Ironic Echo: Carrie crucifies Margaret and stabs her stomach with sharp kitchen tools, and she is positioned to look exactly like the figure of Saint Sebastian in the confessional.
  • Kick the Dog: The English teacher making fun of Carrie for saying Tommy's poem is "beautiful". It shows that even the teachers are assholes to Carrie.
  • Kill 'em All: In the original film, Sue is the only major character who survives to the end.
  • Mutual Kill: Margaret stabs Carrie, Carrie uses Margaret's knives to crucify her, and then Carrie is done in when her My God, What Have I Done? reaction leads her to burn down her house with her inside.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The gym teacher is one of the few characters to defend Carrie by punishing her tormentors. Unfortunately, this leads to them plotting far more horrific revenge, leading to the iconic scene at the end.
  • Precision F-Strike: Miss Collins refers to the prank orchestrated by Chris as "a very shitty thing" twice in succession. This elicits a few giggles from the gym students.
  • Psycho Strings: Heard whenever Carrie uses her powers.
  • '70s Hair: Most of the cast in the '76 film, with the biggest example (in more ways than one) being William Katt's massive blond 'fro.
  • Shout-Out: The film, being directed by noted Alfred Hitchcock fan Brian De Palma, has tons of shout-outs to Hitchcock's movies. The two biggest ones are probably the use of the "shower" music from Psycho, and the fact that the school is renamed Bates High School.
  • Slasher Smile: Margaret in the '76 version, while she's coming after Carrie with a huge kitchen knife and making the sign of the Holy Cross with it. Right into the camera.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Pino Donaggio is a master of this, scoring some very disturbing scenes in the '76 version either in a very inappropriately sexy or sweet fashion.
  • Token Romance: The 1976 film adds a kiss scene between Tommy and Carrie, implying he has fallen for her. In the original book, this never happened since Tommy was in love with Sue. You then realize that Tommy cheated on Sue. The book states he only thought of Carrie as a friend.
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