I've heard people make the claim that Stephen King got lucky with his unparalleled success. I could not disagree more. Stephanie Meyer got lucky. E.L. James got lucky. King has worked at his craft with dedicated ethic, and while he has returned to various themes in his fiction, he continues to challenge himself by taking chances and trying new things.

That said, Stephen King has seen good fortune in his career. He got very lucky indeed by having Brian DePalma direct the movie adaptation of his first novel.

Of course I've seen Carrie. It's obviously a classic, and Sissy Spacek's performance is renowned. It's been quite some time, and I think I always watched it while enjoying adult beverages. I always enjoyed a few beers while watching movies, and often it was more than a few. Now that's all in the past, and I am getting more enjoyment from seeing movies with a clear head. Not that I recommend watching Z-Grade schlock like Shriek of the Mutilated or The Undertaker and His Pals while cold sober. The damage could be permanent.

We have been enjoying some of the Fathom Event classic movies at local theaters. We could watch them at home, but nothing tops the enchantment of seeing something out in public with the best sound and picture available.

Brian DePalma practically owned the seventies. Jesus, look at some of the movies he made. Sisters, Phantom of the Paradise, Obsession, Dressed To Kill. I even like Home Movies. He outdid himself with Carrie. I think a fair case could be made for it being the finest picture he ever directed.

The cast is extraordinary. Spacek is rightly revered for her role as poor Carrie White. She is breathtaking. Every nuance of her physical performance defines her character. Every expression on her face is heartbreaking. Sissy Spacek is every bit as good as Julie Harris in The Haunting or Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream.

Carrie was John Travolta's first movie role, but he hadn't quite shaken Vinnie Barbarino from Welcome Back, Kotter. Piper Laurie is suitably terrifying as Carrie's deranged mother. Nancy Allen is excellent as a nasty teenage femme fatale. I didn't realize Edie McClurg was one of the high school girls. It's always good to see P.J. Soles in anything. I well remember the local girls gushing over William Katt with his Peter Frampton hair and dreamy smile.

The cinematography and editing are as stunning as the performances. The scenes leading up to and after the horrific event at the prom are electrifying.

I had no idea about this sort of thing back when the movie came out, but today I see Giallo influences in Carrie. Most American horror and thriller directors were taking cues from the Italians. They even had Pino Donaggio compose the score.

I would have cut out the scene where the guys are buying prom duds and the film is speeded up for comic effect. That sort of thing always makes me cringe. The split screen footage is, however, marvelously effective.

It's good to re-access Carrie after all these years. I consider this movie to be a classic to rival anything in the genre. DePalma tried to make lightning strike again with his next film, The Fury, based on the bestselling John Farris novel. The Fury isn't a bad film, but it isn't in the same league with Carrie.

There was an inevitable sequel, even if it came twenty-three years later. I never bothered with Carrie 2: The Rage. Carrie was remade in two-thousand thirteen. Chloe Grace Moretz played Carrie White, with Julianne Moore as her mother. Good casting, and they both give excellent performances. The movie is perfectly enjoyable and perfectly forgettable. And wasn't there a musical?

Written by Mark Sieber

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