Carrie (1976) - Rotten Tomatoes

Carrie (1976)



Critic Consensus: Carrie is a horrifying look at supernatural powers, high school cruelty, and teen angst -- and it brings us one of the most memorable and disturbing prom scenes in history.

Movie Info

This classic horror movie based on Stephen King's first novel stars Sissy Spacek as Carrie White, a shy, diffident teenager who is the butt of practical jokes at her small-town high school. Her blind panic at her first menstruation, a result of ignorance and religious guilt drummed into her by her fanatical mother, Margaret (Piper Laurie), only causes her classmates' vicious cruelty to escalate, despite the attentions of her overly solicitous gym teacher (Betty Buckley). Finally, when the venomous Chris Hargenson (Nancy Allen) engineers a reprehensible prank at the school prom, Carrie lashes out in a horrifying display of her heretofore minor telekinetic powers. Many films had featured school bullies, but Carrie was one of the first to focus on the special brand of cruelty unique to teenage girls. Carrie's world is presented as a snake pit, where the well-to-do female students all have fangs -- even the reticent Sue Snell (Amy Irving) -- and all the males are blind pawns, sexually twisted around the fingers of Chris and her evil cronies. The talented supporting cast includes John Travolta, P.J. Soles, and William Katt. One of the genre's true classics, the film was followed by a sequel in 1999, as well as by a famously unsuccessful Broadway musical adaptation that starred Betty Buckley, the movie's gym teacher, as Margaret White. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovimore
Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Lawrence D. Cohen, Larry Cohen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 29, 1998
United Artists


Sissy Spacek
as Carrie White
Piper Laurie
as Margaret White
John Travolta
as Billy Nolan
Amy Irving
as Sue Snell
William Katt
as Tommy Ross
Betty Buckley
as Miss Collins
Nancy Allen
as Chris Hargensen
Sidney Lassick
as Mr. Fromm
P.J. Soles
as Norma Watson
Sydney Lassick
as Mr. Fromm
Stefan Gierasch
as Mr. Morton
Doug Cox
as The Beak
Harry Gold
as George
Cameron de Palma
as Boy On Bicycle
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Carrie

Critic Reviews for Carrie

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (11)

With each new movie, [De Palma] comes closer to mastering Hitchcock's trademark of teasing suspense and tongue-in-cheek horror.

Full Review… | November 3, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

A voluptuously shot horror movie.

Full Review… | October 6, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

More superpowers from Brian De Palma, this time in high school, in a screen version of a Stephen King novel that's become a horror classic.

Full Review… | June 4, 2011
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

An exercise in high style that even the most unredeemably rational among moviegoers should find enormously enjoyable.

Full Review… | October 13, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Carrie is a modest but effective shock-suspense drama about a pubescent girl, her evangelical mother and cruel schoolmates.

Full Review… | October 7, 2008
Top Critic

This 1976 thriller, about a high school outcast (Sissy Spacek) who uses her telekinetic powers to massacre the graduating class, contains a number of interesting ideas. But as with most of his films, De Palma can't keep track of them.

Full Review… | September 25, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Carrie


De Palma surprises us for his splendid choice of making a very delicate and emotionally involving drama from King's novel - with a magnificent direction, even if not so well edited - and he leaves the horror only for the tragic climactic explosion of blood and fury in the end.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer


One of the best horror films out there to date! Although "Carrie" has a slow start and the first half is all build up, the pay-off is much more worth it than you would expect. As a teenage girl is bullied in her senior year, she discovers an odd ability she has to levitate and move certain things with her mind. It's less of a jerky horror flick than a bone-chilling creepy one. I felt myself gulping by the end of the film at how eerie they were able to pull off her abilities and how many symbolic moments came from this film. It may not have all the tense moments you want, but the last 25 minutes will absolutely blow your mind. The camera techniques are very questionable, but commendable, the editing is done perfectly, and this film could not have been directed better. "Carrie" is one of those rare treats that doesn't come around very often! Its terrific!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

I tend to remain largely unaffected by most horror films, but "Carrie" (while not quite 'scary') manages to be consistently creepy in that mysterious, unsettling sort of way. It's a triumph of suspenseful storytelling as well as a strange commentary on youth that still feels shockingly relevant today.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

Carrie Quotes

– Submitted by Scott Andrew L (2 months ago)
– Submitted by Steven V (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Fanya R (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Tony S (3 years ago)

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