In the first ever Stephen King adaptation to hit the big screen, director Brian De Palma created a combined tender coming-of-age drama and modern horror classic. He did it by staying true to King's sentiment of juxtaposing teenage angst, alienation and bullying with the title character's horrible acts, thus tearing at our ambivalent sympathies in the process. This is clever instrumentation hidden behind an exterior which resembles other teen-filled horror flicks from the period, because in Carrie, nothing is quite what it appears, and – more importantly – no explanation is as simple as it seems. This gives the film depth and layers beyond what's common in the horror genre. And De Palma even had the boldness to use an overblown religious theme (and character) for effect, because he knew that King's knowledge of the social and interpersonal mechanisms at play in the story, together with Sissy Spacek's immaculate performance, gave the film weight enough to carry it. And speaking of Spacek, rarely has anyone portrayed teenage vulnerability and suppressed energy with more compassion – or explosiveness.