Brian De Palma’s commercial breakout, based on a novel by Stephen King, helped launch a whole slew of teen-based horror films, and Carrie the blood-spattered prom queen has taken her throne in the pantheon of modern American myth. High school girls played by Amy Irving (in her film debut), P.J. Soles, and Nancy Allen plot to avenge themselves on ostracized fellow student and budding telekinetic Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) after they get in trouble for pelting her with tampons. When they get popular boy Tommy Ross (William Katz) to be her date for the prom, the stage is set for some heart-rending cruelty and fiery retribution. De Palma expertly uses split screens, slow motion, color filters, and tracking shots to imbue the proceedings with a haunting, allegorical elegance. Piper Laurie plays Carrie’s mentally ill, devoutly Christian mom; she’s brilliant, as is Spacek. John Travolta has a memorable pre-SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER role as one of the girls’ beer-guzzling boyfriends. There was finally a sequel in 1999, as well as a short-lived Broadway musical.