Carrie – Neil Mitchell (paperback)

“Top-notch… accessible, insightful.” Total Film

“…this latest entry in the Devil’s Advocates series [goes] into exhaustive detail on the genesis of the film… a brisk, enjoyable read which goes into enough detail and doesn’t get dry and academic. (*****)”

Brian De Palma’s 1976 adaptation of Stephen King’s debut novel Carrie is one of the defining films of the 1970s New Hollywood and a horror classic in its own right. The story of a socially outcast teenage girl who discovers she possesses latent psychic power, leading to her retribution against her peers, teachers and abusive mother, Carrie was an enormous commercial critical success and still stands as one of the finest screen versions of a King novel. Neil Mitchell s contribution to the Devil’s Advocates series explores the film not just in terms of a formal breakdown – its themes, stylistic tropes, technical approaches, uses of colour and sound, dialogue and visual symbolism – but also the multitude of other factors that have contributed to its classic status. The act of adapting Stephen King’s novel for the big screen, the origins of the novel itself, the place of Carrie in De Palma’s oeuvre, the subsequent versions and sequel as well as the social, political and cultural climate of the era (second wave feminism, sexuality, representations of adolescence, etc.) and the explosion of interest in and the evolution of the horror genre in the 1970s are all shown to have played an important part in the film’s success and enduring reputation as a whole.

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