Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, Nancy Allen, John Travolta, P.J. Soles, Betty Buckley, William Katt
Lesson Learned: Never, under any circumstances, fuck up a prom queen's big speech.

In writing his 1974 novel Carrie, horror author extraordinaire Stephen King tapped into a truth that all picked-on teenagers have known for decades: High school can be Hell on Earth. And in both King's book and director Brian De Palma's masterful adaptation, a school gymnasium becomes a fire pit of damnation, engulfing both wrongdoers and innocent folks. Its starter is Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), a cute yet painfully shy, and inwardly tormented, young girl whose artificial Prom Queen moment gets disrupted by a showering of pig's blood.

De Palma stages Carrie's telekinetic vengeance with fascinating use of split-screen and an eerie calmness, yet it's the film's prior scenes of quieter horror that most assist Carrie in achieving a she-is-us aesthetic for bullied, misunderstood, and alienated teens.

The film's opening sequence alone is the ultimate young girl's nightmare: While taking a shower in the school's locker room, Carrie suffers her first period, and her evil classmates quickly exploit Carrie's confusion and fear (she thinks the blood means she's dying) by pelting her with tampons. You don't need to be a lady to feel her pain.