Blu-ray Review: CARRIE Still Scares

Carrie is a magical entry from a master filmmaker.

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Blu-ray Review: CARRIE Still Scares

Directed by Brian De Palma, Carrie is one of the all-time greats in the canon of horror. Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie collectively scared the living hell out of America as the awkward, oppressed daughter and zealot mother duo --- and they each picked up Oscar nominations for their efforts to boot. And for a horror film to be nominated by the Academy... well, that film has to be pretty damn special.

I won't go spouting the plot of the film, because you're probably already familiar with it. If you're not, it's a fantastic piece of filmmaking --- the kind that entrances in an instant. Carrie is one of those films for me --- like The Shining or The Godfather --- that I will sit down and watch if I catch it on TV. Carrie is a magical entry from a master filmmaker. The performances are kinetic, and Pino Donaggio's score is mysterious, haunting, and strangely comforting all at once. For many of the cast, Carrie was their first big-screen role; that includes PJ Soles, John Travolta, Betty Buckley, and Amy Irving. (I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Nancy Allen is awesome in this, but this wasn't her first feature film.)

Out today from Scream Factory comes their Collector's Edition, just in time for the 40th anniversary of the film. It's hard to believe that much time has gone by since the film shocked viewers in actual theaters, but we've had several Carrie sequels and remakes --- and even a musical --- in between.

To that end, there's a Carrie trailer gallery wherein you can view The Rage: Carrie 2, the 2002 TV movie Carrie, and Kimberly Peirce's recent remake. I feel like I'm forgetting one of them, but let's just say that there's enough religious trauma to go around. There's also a look into the Carrie musical.

Scream Factory (the weirdo horror arm of Shout! Factory) delivers a blood-soaked love letter to the film in the form of a two-disc blu-ray with a new 4K scan as well as nearly THREE HOURS of bonus material. It's truly exhaustive --- and in some cases --- repetitive. For instance, there are two featurettes that interview cast members, and some of them tell the same stories from the set. While I'm not sure this is really necessary, it is interesting to see how the actors have changed in the time frame between when these featurettes were shot.

Speaking of bonus features --- wow. Again, there are A TON. It was cool to hear the screenwriter (Lawrence D. Cohen) talk about the inception of the screenplay and how the film went from idea to script to finished film. Even Carrie was stuck in development hell for a time. Of course, the film adaptation was culled from Stephen King's very first novel and he wasn't well known yet, but it's still mind boggling to consider. 

While there was some grain a lot of flickering in some places in the image, they were mostly intermittent, and these are very minor. The film sounds great and Scream Factory has done a terrific job on this screen gem. Very highly recommended. 

Interested? Check out the trailer below or head to Scream Factory here.

Bonus Features

DISC ONE:

  • NEW 4K Scan Of The Original Negative
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (HD)
  • Carrie Franchise Trailer Gallery

DISC TWO:

  • NEW More Acting Carrie – featuring interviews with Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley, William Katt, Piper Laurie, Edie McClurg and P.J. Soles (20 minutes)
  • NEW Writing Carrie – an interview with screenwriter Lawrence Cohen (29 minutes)
  • NEW Cutting Carrie – an interview with editor Paul Hirsch (25 minutes)
  • NEW Shooting Carrie – an interview with director of photography Mario Tosi (15 minutes)
  • NEW Casting Carrie –an interview with casting director Harriet B. Helberg (16 minutes)
  • NEW Bucket of Blood – a new interview with composer Pino Donaggio (24 minutes)
  • NEW Horror's Hallowed Grounds – Revisiting The Film's Original Locations (11 minutes)
  • Acting Carrie – Interviews With Actors Sissy Spacek, Amy Irving, Betty Buckley, Nancy Allen, William Katt, Piper Laurie, Priscilla Pointer and P.J. Soles And Art Director Jack Fisk And Director Brian De Palma (43 minutes)
  • Visualizing Carrie – Interviews With Brian De Palma, Jack Fisk, Lawrence D. Cohen, Paul Hirsch (41 minutes)
  • A Look At "Carrie: The Musical" (6 minutes)
  • TV Spots
  • Radio Spots
  • Still Gallery – Rare Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Posters And Lobby Cards
  • Stephen King And The Evolution Of Carrie Text Gallery
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Brian De PalmaCarrieScream FactoryShout FactoryStephen King

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