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Carrie (1976) – Arrow Video Review

Director Brian De Palma’s first big hit, an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Carrie was made in 1976 and has grown to be one of the best of the movies taken from the author’s vast library of stories and is a big fan favourite.

Withdrawn and sensitive teen Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) faces taunting from classmates at school and abuse from her fanatically pious mother (Piper Laurie) at home. When strange occurrences start happening around Carrie, she begins to suspect that she has supernatural powers. Invited to the prom by the empathetic Tommy Ross (William Katt), Carrie tries to let her guard down, but things eventually take a dark and violent turn.

The film was a first for many of the young actors involved such as John Travolta and Nancy Allen but Sissy Spacek as Carrie steals the show with a powerhouse performance, you really feel for her torment and the film has rightly been named as one of the most iconic horror films of the 1970’s.

carrie 1976 sissy spacek

The Blu Ray was released last year in the USA by Shout Factory and now Arrow in the UK have also given it a special edition release with a transfer which is virtually identical apart from a few tweaks here and there. The picture is taken from a new 4K scan and its a much finer looking transfer than the much older MGM release.

Contrast and colour are mostly great and the film grain is present without being distracting. Audio gives you original Mono and a 5.1 audio mix which adds a little to the soundstage but it is very subtle.

As usual, Arrow has done a fantastic job with the extras which are listed below:

  • 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
  • Alternate title sequence created for network television screenings
  • 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 cast interviews with Laurie, Katt, Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley, Edie McClurg and P.J. Soles
  • 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 TosiCutting 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
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and new artwork by Laz Marquez
  • Limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing on the film by Neil Mitchell, author of Devil s Advocates: Carrie, a reprint of the Final Girls 40th anniversary Carrie zine, and an archive interview with Brian De Palma

carrie 1976 poster

A superb selection which really gives you everything you need to know about the making of the film and it’s interesting to see the older retrospective and the newer one and how much the cast have aged although a lot of the facts are repeated at times. It’s also great to see the alternate TV opening which eliminates all the nudity.

Another fantastic release from Arrow. Recommended.

FILM:8 PICTURE: 9 AUDIO: 8 EXTRAS: 10

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