After regretting her actions towards the shy, outcast Carrie White, Sue attempts to redeem herself by asking her boyfriend Tommy Ross to take Carrie to the prom instead of her, unaware that her intentions are about to trigger horrifying events.
Once after PE class, Sue and her schoolmates witnessed as Carrie White, an outcast student and daughter of a rigorous and religuous mother, had her first period in the shower, ignorant of what was actually happening to her. Sue, Chris, Norma Watson and the other girls coldly mocked the horrified Carrie, throwing tampoons on her. Sue was stopped as their teacher Miss Collins arrived, and told her about what was happening. When Sue later arrived home, Carrie's mother was there preaching over her mother.
Sue and the other girls were later comfronted by Miss Collins who told them they would be punished for what they did to Carrie. The girls were then forced into extreme physical exercise, until Chris defied the teacher and called her schoolmates to join her. Feeling guilty and regretful for her actions towards Carrie, Sue only told Chris to "shut up".
Sue later had the idea of making things better for Carrie by persuading Tommy into taking her to the prom instead. Tommy agreed, and the two were interrogated by Miss Collins on their true intentions. Sue, however, was unaware of Chris' plans for that same night, after Chris was expelled from the party.
Sue left home to see sneak and see how things were going at the prom, and found out that Carrie and Tommy were elected Queen and King of the ball, and rejoiced. Sue then noticed the ropes armed around the stage, and spotted Chris and Billy hidden below Carrie and Tommy, ready to humiliate her in front of everyone. Assuming Sue went there to ruin Carrie's perfect moment and ignoring the girl's warnings about Chris and Billy, Miss Collins expelled Sue out of the gym. Outside, Sue desperately screamed to be allowed inside, until Freddy and The Beak appeared and were suffocated as Carrie, enraged, forced the two, suffocating them between doors. Sue tried to get in and witnessed the massacre happening there. Afraid of Carrie and of the events, she went away from there.
Traumatized over the deaths of Tommy, her friends, schoolmates and teachers, Sue became haunted by nightmares of Carrie.
In the following years, as the Night of the Prom (and Carrie's "supposed" vengeful role in it) became a urban legend, Sue admitted herself in the Arkham Institue due to her intense trauma, and at some point discovered about the existence of telekinesis, the power of one to move objects with his mind, which for years she did not believe there was. After discharge, and still haunted by memories of the past, Sue became a school counselor at the reformed Bates High School.
After a girl commited suicide on campus, Sue comforted her only friend Rachel Lang, a withdrawn outcast, who told her and Sheriff Kelton that Lisa went out with Eric Stark that weekend. After the constant visits of girls crying after being dumped by boys, Sue insisted to Sheriff Kelton that it should be investigated, since Eric having sex with Lisa was statutory rape. Kelton, however, asked if Sue was not actually still trying to save a girl who died years before, and Sue remembered the incident in the shower.
Sue comforted Rachel and offered her help and confidence. Rachel initially agreed, and Sue told her that twenty three years before, she tried to help someone, and it "backfired horribly". Rachel's schizophrenic mother Barbara happened to be at the Arkham asylum Sue had been, and asked Rachel about her fear of becoming what her mother was, which was "perfectly normal" on her age. As Sue talked, however, Rachel felt disturbed and caused Sue's mug to fall from her table, causing Sue to suspect Rachel was a carrier of telekinesis.
Sue then called Rachel in, and attempted to make her speak out about her inner gift. Rachel then tried to leave, reluctant, and Sue forced her to stay, insisting that they should talk. Stressed out, Rachel caused Sue's dome to explode on her table, and left. Sue, horrified to what Rachel was able to do, remembered the massacre she witnessed.
Sue later visited Barbara at Arkham and asked if Barbara had ever seen objects moving by themselves as Rachel grew up. Barbara told her about how terrifying children can be, and revealed that Rachel's real father was Ralph White, Carrie's father, a secret she kept after the events of the prom night. Sue then approached Rachel and took her to the remains of the old campus, and told her what happened there. Sue then told Rachel about her real father, her half-sister Carrie White, and the gift they share, much for Rachel's revolt. Sue also told her about a Princeton lab that studied psychic abilities, where she could find help. Rachel, however, did not believe in anything and left.
Sue's last attempt to help Rachel was to sneak in Arkham and take Barbara out, so they could find Rachel and tell her the truth. Sue was then told discovered Rachel left school with the popular student Monica Jones, which Sue estranged. Sue rushed to Mark Bing's house where a party was happening, and heard screams from outside. She rushed to the locked front door calling out for Rachel, and as she tried to look inside, Sue was instantly killed when a fire poker hurtled through the door and her head.
Notes and triviaEdit
- The famous ending of Sue's nightmare sequence where Carrie pulls her from under the ground was filmed backyards to be given a more dream-like tone.
- The scene has inspired scenes in several subsequent horror films and classics such as Alice's nightmare in Friday the 13th.
- Stills of Carrie feature Sue outside the gym, horrifyied as Freddy and the Beak suffocate between doors.
- Sue can be briefly seen in the background trying to get in between the two as Carrie washes Norma away from them.
- In the original ending for Carrie, Sue was supposed to follow her up to her house, where she finds Miss White's dead body, is comfronted by Carrie and witness the house's destruction. This would be the only direct dialogue between the two characters in the 1976 film. The idea is used in the 2013 version.
- A scene of Sue and Tommy making love, taken from the novel, is also in the original script.
In Carrie and The Rage: Carrie 2, Sue's character differs the most from her character in the novel in that:
- Sue does not become pregnant with Tommy's child, which excludes the whole abortion plot completely.
- She has a sister, whereas in the novel she appears to be an only child.
- The night of the prom leaves Sue traumatized, whereas in the novel she becomes indifferent over her losses at the "Black Prom".
- Sue sneaks in the party, differently from the novel where she stays at home until she hears the sirens outside, as Carrie destroys the town. Sue discovers what actually happened after her mind is bonded to Carrie's through her telepathy.
- In the original script of The Rage: Carrie 2, Sue manages to get inside Mark's party and is burned to death by Rachel.
- While filming Carrie, actress Amy Irving was, along with her female castmates, asked out by director Steven Spielberg, with whom she eventually married and had children.
- Amy Irving portrayed a woman with psychic powers in The Fury, also directed by Brian de Palma.
- Amy Irving asked Brian de Palma for his blessing before she went back to the role of Sue Snell for The Rage: Carrie 2.
- Amy Irving's real life mother Priscila Pointer portrays her mother in Carrie. A picture of the two can be seen in Sue's room in The Rage: Carrie 2.
- When filming the ending scene in which Mrs. Snell attempts to calm down her horrified daughter, Amy Irving's intense acting caused Priscila Pointer to call her "Amy".
- Amy Irving and Sissy Spacek also starred in the 2002 film Tuck Everlasting.