By Nick Durham
The fact that Scream Factory is giving Carrie the Blu-ray treatment seems like a match made in heaven. Given the fact that the film has seen many varying releases over the years on DVD and Blu-ray, it doesn’t seem like there could really be anything new added overall to make it worth picking up, but low and behold, Scream Factory has crafted a well put-together Blu-ray release. Granted there isn’t that much here you probably haven’t seen before, but it’s still a more than worthwhile pickup, and the film itself is still a classic.
If for some reason you’ve been living under a rock for the past 30 or 40 years (or if you’re 8 years old, in which case get the fuck off this site), Carrie is Brian De Palma’s (Scarface, Dressed to Kill) adaptation of Stephen King’s smash hit novel. Sissy Spacek stars as the title character: a habitually picked on teenage girl with a domineering, overly religious mother (Piper Laurie). Carrie suffers humiliating abuse at school from a bevy of assholes (including Nancy Allen, John Travolta, and PJ Soles). Unbeknownst to them though, Carrie has telekinetic abilities that are beginning to manifest themselves, culminating in an infamous prom scene in which the shit literally hits the fan. Forty years after its original release, Carrie remains an iconic film in both the horror genre, and Brian De Palma’s filmography. Granted I’ve never really thought of it as the massive kind of classic that many consider it to be, but despite that, the film still manages to be an absolute blast and one of the best adaptations of Stephen King’s work, at least to me anyway.
Scream Factory has done a pretty good job here in terms of video and audio quality. The film definitely looks better than the MGM Blu-ray that came out a few years back, and the film’s audio is outstanding. Every sound and note from Pino Donaggio’s music score sounds brilliant and chilling. This is without a doubt the best the film has ever looked and sounded. In terms of special features, this set includes two discs. The first disc includes the film itself, along with the film’s trailer, and a franchise trailer as well that features that best-forgotten sequel from the late 90s, The Rage: Carrie 2. The second disc is where the meat and potatoes of the special features are found, which include a shitload of interviews with various crew members, the film’s screenwriter, Pino Donaggio, and there’s also new interviews with Nancy Allen, Piper Laurie, PJ Soles, and William Katt. There’s a look at the film’s shooting locations, an archival piece on the infamous musical based on Carrie that hysterically bombed big time, and a handful of TV spots, radio spots, and still galleries as well. Sadly there’s no contributions from Brian De Palma or Sissy Spacek, which is a damn shame. I would have loved a commentary track from De Palma, but I guess that’s just wishful thinking.
All in all, if you’ve missed out on any of the previous home media releases of Carrie thus far, Scream Factory’s set is definitely worth picking up. Hell, even if you do own the film already on DVD or Blu-ray, this is still worth picking up just because of this edition’s video and audio quality. It’s still one of the better adaptations of Stephen King’s work, and if for some reason you’ve never seen the film before, you should probably rectify that pretty soon.