Carrie (1976) movie review

If you’ve never seen the original 1976 film Carrie, then you might want to skip the trailer as it gives away just about everything that happens in the movie – not that time hasn’t done that already. But, it’s still the Halloween season and I’m still feeling the scary movies, so let’s hit the spoiler discussion after the jump!

Hard R/”Plug it up!”
One thing I like about movies from the 70s and 80s was that if they felt they were going to get an R rating for one reason (in Carrie’s case, violence), you might as well throw in some other reasons you’d get an R rating – this movie mostly stays away from language, but there are plenty of boobs. BOOBS! The first 5 or 10 minutes is a total boob fest – by 21st century film comparison, it’s a bonkers amount of boobs. This movie has more boobs than Eyes Wide Shut – enough said.
Speaking of bonkers, Stephen King’s story seems to be largely centered around a girl getting her first period at an older age. That is just a weird thing for a nearing middle aged man to pick as the center point for his story. Not scary, just a weird subject for a dude – but then, I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks Stephen King is super weird. That “Plug it up!” chant is something else.

Music Cues

Some of the music cues sound so much like Psycho that it’s funny. I understand that it’s one of the most influential films of the genre, but… jeez. Violins much? And they just seem so out of place at times – it’s over the top.

Tension… I guess

I enjoyed the movie, but there are so many scenes in Carrie where absolutely nothing happens. I appreciate that the tuxedo scene establishes character, but sheesh, does it have to be so long? That’s just one example – there are several others.

Maybe this movie was scary in the 70s, but I just wasn’t really feeling it. I thought a few people died who deserved to live (Tommy, the gym teacher), but the movie didn’t give me the tension that something stupid like Friday the 13th did.

John Travolta!

Like Kevin Bacon in Friday the 13th, John Travolta makes his movie debut in a horror flick. What are the odds? …Good, I guess, since it happened that way.

Brian De Palma
Brian De Palma really classes this flick up. There are several long, lovely shots with flowing camera movement. Some of the acting isn’t great, and the film quality isn’t wonderful, but the idea is there – pure Brian De Palma!


I liked this movie. It has some problems with flow, acting and image quality (looks cheap), but it’s not a bad character study and De Palma makes it all work. Carrie is an undeniable horror classic that outclasses its genre – mostly thanks to De Palma and the performance by Sissy Spacek, who carries the movie with ease and a grace that might not necessarily fit her character but works well anyway. The movie didn’t strike me as scary, but I did have to slowly come to the realization that Tommy and his girlfriend weren’t in on it, which was interesting, and that’s what this movie has that most horror movies lack – genuine interest. It’s more than enough to make up for a lack of scares, so I recommend you give Carrie a look.

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About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on October 28, 2013, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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