Blu-Ray Review: Carrie

There must be very few authors who have had more of their work adapted for film and TV than Stephen King. I can only think of William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and of course God. Indeed, 2017 has been a bumper year for him. Along with the stylish new version of It, there’s also been films made of Gerald’s Game, The Dark Tower and 1922. However, most of the best adaptations came some decades ago, with the likes of The Shining, Stand by Me, Misery and The Shawshank Redemption. Carrie is undoubtedly one of the best.

Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is a shy 16-year-old who is bullied at school and doesn’t have any friends. Much of this can probably be attributed to her fanatically religious mother (Piper Laurie) who has prevented her daughter from having a normal upbringing. With the Prom coming up, Sue (Amy Irving) takes pity on Carrie and persuades Tommy Ross (William Katt) to take her as his date. However, Chris (Nancy Allen) hates Carrie and is determined to spoil the big night.

Director Brian De Palma mainly relied on a cast of unknown actors to make Carrie and his persistence and patience in taking his time to film scenes paid off. The visual design is beautiful and it boats two of the most iconic scenes in horror cinema; which look better than ever in the new 4k restoration. Sissy Spacek is phenomenal in the lead role, portraying both vulnerability and malice equally impressively. She’s abetted by a great cast of young supporting players, including Betty Buckley and John Travolta in his first role. Carrie remains a genre classic, but is much more than that.

Limited Edition Special Features:

  • 4K restoration from the original negative
  • High Definition (1080p) presentation
  • DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio and uncompressed 1.0 mono soundtracks
  • Optional subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Commentary by Lee Gambin, author of Nope, Nothing Wrong Here: The Making of Cujo, and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, author of Cultographies: Ms. 45 and Devil’s Advocates: Suspiria, recorded exclusively for this release
  • Brand-new visual essay comparing the various versions and adaptations of Carrie across the years
  • Acting Carrie, archive featurette containing interviews with director Brian De Palma, actors Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt and others
  • More Acting Carrie, additional interviews with the cast of the film
  • Visualising Carrie: From Words to Images, archive featurette containing interviews with De Palma, writer Lawrence D. Cohen, editor Paul Hirsch and art director Jack Fisk
  • Singing Carrie: Carrie the Musical, archive featurette on the stage musical adaptation of King’s novel
  • Writing Carrie, an interview with writer Lawrence D. Cohen
  • Shooting Carrie, an interview with cinematographer Mario Tosi
  • Cutting Carrie, an interview with editor Paul Hirsch
  • Casting Carrie, an interview with casting director Harriet B. Helberg
  • Bucket of Blood, an interview with composer Pino Donaggio
  • Horror’s Hallowed Grounds, a look back at the locations of Carrie
  • Gallery
  • Trailer
  • TV spots
  • Radio spots
  • Carrie trailer reel
  • Limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing on the film by Neil Mitchell, author of Devil’s Advocates: Carrie, and numerous reprints and interviews

Carrie is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video on 11 December.

Previous Incoming: A Matter of Life and Death
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