Two years after its publication in 1974, Brian de Palma directed the first feature film adaptation of Stephen King’s first published novel, Carrie, which terrifies audiences with the tale of the telekinetic Carrie and her revenge upon those who wronged her. Sissy Spacek (Carrie) and Piper Laurie (Margaret White, Carrie's mother) were both nominated for Oscars for their performances, and the film boosted the careers of many young actors, including John Travolta, Nancy Allen and Amy Irving.

Carrie was submitted to the BBFC for classification in November 1976. Language, implied off-screen sexual activity and the cruelty of the early bullying scenes kept the film out of the AA category (over 14s) and placed it in the higher X certificate (over 18s), although the examiner report observes 'it would be a perfect film for a 16-year-old-category'.

When the film was submitted for video classification in 1987 there was some discussion of whether the film was containable at the 15 category. However, the BBFC concluded that 18 remained the appropriate category, which was upheld in 1997 and 2001 respectively.

An audio commentary for the film was submitted to the BBFC as part of a special features DVD/Blu-Ray release in 2022, which was classified at 15.