Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1hr 34m
Over 40 years after its first release, Brian de Palma’s barnstorming adaptation of Stephen King’s first novel (beginning his now-enormous list of contributions to horror cinema) is no less energetic or frightening with age.
Due to a mercilessly cruel and sheltered upbringing at the hands of her violently repressive fundamentalist mother (Piper Laurie), Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is an extremely timid and unworldly girl, tormented even further by her classmates. One sympathetic student, Sue Snell (Amy Irving) attempts to improve Carrie’s life by getting her a prom date, just as another girl, Chris Hargensen (Nancy Allen) schemes to ruin the event for Carrie. At the same time, Carrie’s sense of powerlessness takes on a strong and dangerous form -she is suddenly able to manipulate the world around her with her mind.
With both committed performances and vivid editing (rather than distracting special effects), De Palma carefully builds tension by convincingly capturing the discomfort and hysteria of an especially downtrodden teenage girl, and then releases it in famously spectacular and visceral fashion, more than justifying the film’s position as a horror landmark.
This very special screening will have a short introduction from Dr Darren Elliott-Smith.