The 1970s were a Renaissance for Hollywood pictures, and horror films were no exception. In fact, that decade under the influence brought on the Golden Age of horror cinema.
What started with Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby in 1968, lead to New Hollywood filmmakers like William Friedkin (The Exorcist), Steven Spielberg (Jaws) and Stanley Kubrick (The Shining) working in the genre. And one particular director burst onto the scene by adapting Stephen King’s first published book, Carrie.
Brian De Palma directed Carrie, a horror film about a shy teenager who gets back at the classmates who bullied her, after dabbling in black comedies, thrillers, and even rock musicals. But it was his work this, his 10th film, that established the filmmaker as a modern day Hitchcock—mainly because his style was so heavily influenced by the British maestro. (De Palma even named the school in the film Bates High after Norman Bates.)
Like many of his contemporaries, De Palma turned a genre picture into a massive financial and critical hit. Carrie even nabbed Oscar nominations for Best Actress (Sissy Spacek) and Best Supporting Actress (Piper Laurie), a rare occurrence for horror films. Most importantly to genre fans, De Palma dumped buckets of blood, something that would become one of the director’s signatures in pictures to come.