Horror Actressing: Amy Irving in "Carrie"

by Jason Adams

When we talk about Brian De Palma's 1976 horror masterpiece Carrie we talk about Actresses. But we tend to talk about the Big Two -- Sissy Spacek as Carrie White and Piper Laurie as her mamma Margaret, who were both rightfully Oscar-nominated. Then if there's oxygen left in the room after talking those two we'll gravitate towards the showier female roles below the line -- Nancy Allen playing one of cinema's greatest bitches Chris Hargensen, or wondering if Betty Buckley's Miss Collins is, in the grand tradition of P.E. teachers, same-sex-oriented.

What I haven't seen nearly enough love for is Amy Irving, who's celebrating her birthday tomorrow and who gives a truly complicated performance as Sue Snell, the girl whose motivations switch midway through, the one who sees through to the error of her ways but too late, and the one who ends up giving the film's tragedy,
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