Will admit, the ending had left me with a couple questions but once they were answered, everything made sense.
It works as a high school film, with the titular character being tormented by students, puberty, and an honest-to-god evil mother and the film stays grounded within this environment which perfectly builds suspense up to the final act where the film explodes into an intense thriller.
The rays of hope for poor Carrie only make the climax of the film all the more gut-wrenching because unlike most cliché horror films, time is spent with these characters that populate the school and to see what happens to them is quite unfortunate.
Spacek is brilliant at portraying the tormented young soul while DePalma's direction channels Hitchcock. I don't know if Stephen King wanted to have his debut novel portrayed as an Alfred Hitchcock film, but you can take that as a big compliment. "Carrie" is a knockout.
The story of a girl bullied at High School & comes from an over religious home that slowly realizes she has telekinetic powers. Despite being bullied things take a turn for good & she is invited to the prom by the cutest guy at school.
However things take a dramatic turn at the prom & you truly have it to see it to believe it. Incredibly intense but powerful filmmaking that really showed the world the skill & craft of DePalma. Not for the faint hearted this a sledgehammer of a film.
One of my problems with many horror films is the loss of grounded characters who are easy to root for. I feel like many films in this genre focus too heavily on the antagonistic presences in the films that they forget to build out likable and realistic main characters. Carrie doesn't necessarily suffer from that particular problem, but it chooses to surround Carrie, a bullied and reserved girl, with stereotypical one-note characters. Sometimes it works, but I will always desire characters with understandable motivations.
So even though there is basically no one likable in the story, Carrie succeeds in that it's an important tale of the damage that bullying can do and the lengths that the victim could go to get revenge. With a limited budget, due to it being the first adaptation of Stephen King's work, Brian De Palma does more with less. And even though you pretty much know what's going to happen, the execution is nonetheless very effective. Sissy Spacek kills it, as she did a whole lot in the 70's and 80's. She's complemented by an equally creepily eerie turn by Piper Laurie, who plays her mother. Yikes. Yes, It's definitely dated, but Carrie is a fun product of its time, and a story/message that should be remembered.
+Exploitive in the best ways
-A few too many unlikable characters
It's all the more impressive considering that not one of the remakes or sequels can hold a candle to the original, in my opinion.