Sissy Spacek gives a remarkable central performance in this enduringly disturbing horror, one of the greatest Stephen King adaptations ever.
Carrie (Spacek) is a shy, naive teenager with a crazy zealot mother (terrifying played in an equally powerful performance from Piper Laurie) who endures endless taunting at her high school.
Following a particularly nasty incident, popular girl Sue Snell (Amy Irving) feels guilty, and in a well-intentioned gesture tells her dreamy boyfriend Tommy (The Greatest American Hero's William Katt, sporting the best white boy afro ever) to ask Carrie to the prom.
Carrie can't believe her luck after Tommy asks her, but her mother tells her such activities are evil and they'll all laugh at her.
Meanwhile, super vindictive bitch Chris (Nancy Allen - Robocop) doesn't like anyone being nice to Carrie, and along with her boyfriend Billy (John Travolta, in an early film role) plots a nasty prank that plays out with excruciating tension at the prom.
Oh and did I mention Carrie has latent telekinetic abilities which are manifesting with her late-arriving puberty?
Masterful director Brian De Palma lends Carrie a dreamlike quality coupled with tension that builds and builds to an unbearably taut finale. Laurie and Spacek both give magnificent (Oscar-nominated) performances that take you into deep into their respective worlds. The scenes between them are truly frightening.
And the film's depiction of the evils of the high school caste system are unrivalled with Nancy Allen portraying quite possibly the biggest bitch in the history of cinema. She'd eat one of those Mean Girls for breakfast. She went on to marry (then later divorce) De Palma.
It must also be mentioned that Carrie features a serious kicker of an ending that has gone down in history as one of the all time greatest frights. It more than lives up to this praise.