Carrie (2013) will be either your first, second or possibly even third exposure to Stephen King's iconic horror/coming of age story as a movie, depending on whether you've seen director Brian De Palma's Oscar-nominated 1976 adaptation and/or the 2002 made-for-TV film that was scripted by Bryan Fuller (creator of the Hannibal TV show). You're probably already somewhat familiar with the most famous scene in King's unsettling tale (Worst. Prom. Ever.) through pop culture osmosis, even if you've never read the book nor seen any previous screen version.
The story for King's first published novel revolves around Carrie White, an introvert and ungainly high school teenager who's long kept her anger and frustration bottled inside, despite being constantly mocked by her peers and tortured at home by her unstable hyper-religious mother. Carrie's body then starts to chance in ways that are not regular for a budding young adult, as she begins to develop telekinetic powers - ones that, frankly, are not the best thing for a damaged teen to have...
Consider all that prelude to say: the newly-released featurette for the 2013 movie version of Carrie (posted at the top of this article) - featuring brief interviews with the film's stars Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass 2) and Julianne Moore (Seventh Son) and director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry) - may outline the entire story, but it probably doesn't spoil anything that you don't already know. Here's the question: does either this new preview or the full theatrical trailer make a strong case for this flick being a proper "updated" take on the King story?
The logic behind remaking Carrie (besides financial motivation, obviously) is that the world of high school has changed a whole lot in the 37 years since De Palma's film adaptation, now that cell phones, iPhones, Facebook, Instagram, and so forth have significantly changed the way teens interact with each other; not to mention, cultural attitudes towards bullying and peer pressure have evolved a fair amount over the decades. So why in the trailers do the characters in Carrie (2013) seem to act as though it's the 1970s (i.e. act so cartoonishly insensitive and insulting to Carrie's face)? To be fair, that might feel more realistic in the context of the actual movie (for this writer, anyway).
Besides that, the preview footage for Carrie highlights the film's spectacle and intense atmosphere (see: carnage on Prom night), but there's little to suggest the film is as unnerving and terrifying as its cast keeps saying in the featurette. In all fairness, this could just be more the fault of the marketing angle and not so much Peirce's direction, nor the script written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Glee). At the least, Moretz looks to have another strong performance to add to her belt.
Are you planning to check out Carrie (2013) in theaters?
Carrie opens in U.S. theaters on October 18th, 2013.
Source: Total Film