Re-watched this 42 years later and I am giving it 4.5* Piper Laurie and Sissy Spacek both amazing and I had forgotten all about Travolta in full Sweat-hog mode. When I was 14, I thought cinema was all about Wertmuller, Bunuel, Truffaut and Altman, and had trouble appreciating this as anything more than teen-oriented entertainment. I was a film snob. Now I realize that it is finely-crafted teen-oriented entertainment.
Still one of the best written Stephen King books and adaptations. Brian dePalma directs excellently the person gallery and the use of split-screen in the final moments of the film are gripping and full of surprises and sad moments. Sissy Spacek is perfect casting as Carrie White and Piper Laurie as religious crazy mum is disturbing. The shower sequence still packs a punch too.
Rewatch. I don't think it's one of BDP's best but I get why people love it: it's structured like a powder keg that explodes in the end, and the viewer can sublimate vengeful/violent thoughts in the film's climax (this was my mom's all-time favorite movie and I think she enjoyed watching bitchy girls get it in the end). De Palma hates teenagers. Still incredibly sad and tragic. Donaggio's score is amazing.
European softcore stylings introduce the film but once Carrie gets her first period, her newfound womanhood unleashes a crescendo of telekinetic horror. DePalma creates a strangely realistic and relatable depiction of high school bullying, stylising it as a soft-focused, cathartic daydream and dropping into weird sex-centric religious horror territory when necessary. The entire prom scene is a cinematic feast.
Not De Palma's most formally ambitious, and the fact that Carrie is waylaid out of narrative suggests that he'd also rather spend time with the cool kids. Spacek sells it though, both in her alienation and the speed with which she shows she's willing to adapt. It's in this conflict that the film prevails, the accident of nightmare-fulfillment when some try to break tradition. It's all in those final shots of Spacek.