Carrie is a 1976 American supernatural horror film directed by Brian De Palma and written by Lawrence D. Cohen, based on the novel Carrie by Stephen King. The film and the novel tell the story of a socially outcast teenage girl, Carrie White, who discovers she possesses latent psionic power which seems to flare up when she becomes angry or otherwise distressed. Carrie's powers become apparent after her humiliation by her peers, teachers, and abusive mother, eventually resulting in tragedy. The film stars Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Betty Buckley, Amy Irving, Nancy Allen, William Katt, John Travolta, P.J. Soles and Priscilla Pointer. It was the first of several Stephen King novels to be made into movies for screen and TV: it also introduced young stars who would later be famous, except for Piper Laurie, who had already made several films. The film was a major success for United Artists, grossing $33.8 million at the U.S. box office, on a budget of $1.8 million. It received a mostly positive response from critics. The film spawned a failed sequel The Rage: Carrie 2 and a fairly well-received made for television film, released in 2002, neither of which involved De Palma. During a survey taken in October 2008, it was revealed that Carrie was considered one of the most popular movies teens watched on Halloween. Spacek and Laurie were nominated for Academy Award for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively.
Carrie White is a shy, friendless teenage girl abused by her unstable Christian fundamentalist mother, Margaret. The girls at Bates High School also harass Carrie, with Chris Hargensen being especially cruel. Carrie experiences her first period while showering after gym class, and, because of her sheltered life, becomes hysterical, thinking she is dying. Popular girl Sue Snell notices Carrie's horror, leading to the other girls throwing tampons and sanitary pads at her before Miss Collins intervenes. As Carrie becomes more frantic, a light bulb bursts just before Miss Collins tells the other girls to leave. Miss Collins brings Carrie to Principal Morton's office, and while consoling her, the principal repeatedly calls Carrie "Cassie", unintentionally emphasizing how overlooked she is. When Carrie corrects the principal and exclaims, "it's Carrie!", an ashtray from the principal's desk flips onto the floor. While Carrie is walking home, a neighborhood boy crashes his bicycle immediately after taunting her. Margaret, who walks from door to door "spreading the gospel of salvation through Christ's blood", receives a call from Miss Collins about the locker room incident and tells Carrie that the "curse of blood" is punishment for sin. She locks Carrie in a closet and forces her to pray. In her bedroom that night, a miserable Carrie stares at her mirror until it shatters. The next day, English teacher Mr. Fromm reads a poem to the class, written by Tommy Ross, Sue's athletic boyfriend. Fromm invites the class to critique Tommy's work, but mocks Carrie when she calls it "beautiful", which irks Tommy, who defends Carrie. Sue, feeling guilty for teasing Carrie, convinces Tommy to take Carrie to the prom. Carrie suspects she may have a telekinetic gift, and researches it in the library. Tommy asks Carrie to prom but she flees, fearing another trick. After a pep talk from Miss Collins, Carrie accepts Tommy's invitation when he approaches her at her home. Carrie tells her mother that she is going to the prom, and Margaret declares the prom an occasion of sin, refusing to let her attend. However, Carrie causes the windows of the house to slam shut, revealing her telekinesis. Margaret believes this is Satan's power, but Carrie insists she will go to the prom, and Margaret reluctantly lets her. Miss Collins berates the girls who tormented Carrie, subjecting them to a week-long boot-camp-style detention, threatening them with suspension from school and the prom if they do not attend. All the girls show remorse except for Chris. After Chris throws a fit, Miss Collins smacks her in the face and bans her from the prom. Chris tells her delinquent boyfriend, Billy Nolan, that she wants revenge on Carrie and Miss Collins and goes with Billy and other kids to a farm where Billy kills a pig. After draining the pig's blood into a bucket, Chris has Billy place the bucket above the school's stage. Chris makes a deal with her friend Norma Watson and Billy's friend Freddy to rig the election of prom king and queen so Tommy and Carrie win. As Carrie gets ready for the evening, her mother tells her that everyone will laugh at her. Carrie defies her mother, leaving with Tommy. Though her classmates are surprised to see Carrie at prom, they treat her as an equal. Sue, who was unable to attend due to lacking a date, sneaks into the prom to ensure everything is going well for Carrie. To Carrie's surprise, she and Tommy are named prom king and queen. As the couple approaches the stage to be crowned, Sue discovers Chris hiding behind the stage holding a rope attached to the bucket of pig's blood. Miss Collins forces Sue out, believing she is there for mischief. As the crown is placed on Carrie's head, Chris pulls the rope and Carrie is drenched in pig's blood. As the crowd looks on in silence, Tommy is knocked unconscious by the bucket and Carrie sees the whole room laughing and jeering at her, when it is implied that only a few of Chris's friends are doing so in reality, while everyone else is horrified. Carrie's telekinesis takes over, closing the doors to the gym and turning on a fire hose. Norma is knocked out by the fire hose along with many other people, and Carrie kills Miss Collins with a falling rafter. Principal Morton and Mr. Fromm are electrocuted, which then causes a fire in the gym. Leaving her classmates inside the school as it burns, Carrie walks home, covered in blood. Chris and Billy, who got out of the gym but witnessed what happened through a window, catch up with her, intending to run her over with Billy's car, but Carrie uses her powers to flip the car over, killing Billy and Chris. At home, Carrie breaks down in her mother's arms after taking a bath. Believing the devil has taken over Carrie, Margaret brings the girl to her knees and stabs Carrie in the back. Carrie falls down the stairs and is cornered in the kitchen by her mother, but sends kitchen knives flying at her mother, killing her in a position reminiscent of the shrine to Saint Sebastian kept in Carrie's punishment closet. Overcome with guilt and grief, Carrie uses her telekinesis to collapse the house upon her and her mother. Some time later, Sue, the only survivor of the prom, dreams of visiting the plot where Carrie's house stood. As she places flowers on the ground, a bloody hand reaches out, grabbing Sue's wrist. Sue wakes up screaming in her mother's arms.