1976: Sissy Spacek As Carrie Ignites Stephen King's Reign Of Horror

Left: Carrie (Sissy Spacek) loses control at the senior prom. Right: John Travolta as Billy Nolan. Source: IMDB

In 1976, Carrie made Sissy Spacek a star and kicked off the Stephen King era in horror movies. Carrie, the story of a misfit with telekinetic powers who goes berserk at her high school prom, was the first of King's writings to be made into a movie. The Shining, Creepshow, Cujo, The Dead Zone, Christine, Children Of The Corn, Cat's Eye and Firestarter would hit theaters over the decade that followed. 

Carrie was one of a handful of movies that changed the horror genre, giving audiences contemporary characters who were more relatable than the central European vampires or mad scientists who'd established the genre.

The movie went over in a huge way with audiences and rightfully so. Both Spacek, who portrayed the title role of Carrie, and Piper Laurie, who portrayed her abusive mother, were nominated for Academy Awards, showing that a genre film could include excellent acting.