USA Today - 12/02/1991
"...[The film] may be Brian De Palma's best....It's a definitive revenge piece..."
Sight and Sound - 02/01/2001
"...The opening sequence is an uncanny tour de force..."
Total Film - 01/01/2004
"Brian De Palma's best movie, his virtuoso technique meeting its match in Sissy Spacek's touching performance."
Premiere - 04/01/2004
"[A] masterful mix of horror and adolescent angst..."
Wall Street Journal - 06/03/2011
"[A] horror classic....The extraordinary cast includes John Travolta, Amy Irving, William Katt and Nancy Allen..."
Empire - 03/28/2013 5 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's all in the sheer directorial bravado. De Palma is at the top of his game."
Brian De Palma's commercial breakout, based on a novel by Stephen King, helped launch a whole slew of teen-based horror films, and Carrie the blood-spattered prom queen has taken her throne in the pantheon of modern American myth. High school girls played by Amy Irving (in her film debut), P.J. Soles, and Nancy Allen plot to avenge themselves on ostracized fellow student and budding telekinetic Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) after they get in trouble for pelting her with tampons. When they get popular boy Tommy Ross (William Katz) to be her date for the prom, the stage is set for some heart-rending cruelty and fiery retribution. De Palma expertly uses split screens, slow motion, color filters, and tracking shots to imbue the proceedings with a haunting, allegorical elegance. Piper Laurie plays Carrie's mentally ill, devoutly Christian mom; she's brilliant, as is Spacek. John Travolta has a memorable pre-SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER role as one of the girls' beer-guzzling boyfriends. There was finally a sequel in 1999, as well as a short-lived Broadway musical.
Description by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment:
Based on the best-selling Stephen King novel, Carrie "catches the mind, shakes it and refuses to let it go" (Time)! Starring Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie (in Oscar®-nominated* performances), John Travolta and Amy Irving, this ultimate revenge fantasy is "absolutely spellbinding" (Roger Ebert), "outrageously witty" (Los Angeles Times) and one of the all-time great horror classics! At the center of the terror is Carrie (Spacek), a tortured high-school misfit with no confidence, no friends...and no idea about the extent of her secret powers of telekinesis. But when her psychotic mother and sadistic classmates finally go too far, the once-shy teen becomes an unrestrained, vengeance-seeking powerhouse who, with the help of her 'special gift,' causes all hell to break loose in a famed cinematic frenzy of blood, fire and brimstone!
Carrie, a shy teenager with a fiercely religious and oppressive mother, struggles to come to terms with her emerging sexuality and extraordinary telekinetic powers. Just as she's beginning to enjoy a sudden change in her life, a cruel practical joke drives her to a monstrous act of revenge and destruction.