Carrie is seen as one of the most important films of horror, in both the genre but also in relation to female empowerment within the horror genre. Female power was both relevant to Carrie but also to her mother who is potentially the most famous mother to have graced the genre. Based on the novel by Stephen King, Brian de Palma’s 1976 film adaptation was an overwhelming success starring Sissy Spacek as the leading role and Piper Laurie as her mother.
In 2002, a remake of Carrie was released. The remake took a journalistic approach to the film, interviewing survivors of prom night at the beginning of the film, technically telling the story in flashback. This film aligned more closely with the novel than the 1976 film did. It is clear from the start that the remake is an obvious attempt to make the story more relevant to the present. The remake starred several up and coming horror icons including Angela Bettis (as Carrie), Emilie de Ravin and most importantly, Katherine Isabelle. However, despite the strong and talented youthful cast, the film wasn’t very well received. Why was this?
One of the reasons may have been because the film aligned much more closely with its original text, the novel. Therefore, it didn’t produce as much of a cinematic effect as it’s predecessor. This was also partially because it was initially made for NBC television. The relatively unknown cast could have also been part of the problem. In spite of the lack of popularity of the 2002 attempt, it is a really interesting film spanning over 130 minutes allowing Carrie’s back-story to become more developed and Rena Sofer is very believable as Miss Desjardin. I would definitely recommend it if you enjoyed the original 1976 film.
A new version of Carrie is set to be released this year starring Chloe Moretz (Kick Ass, Dark Shadows) as Carrie and Julianne Moore as her monstrous mother. Agonisingly, the film’s release date has been pushed back from March to October. What can the upcoming remake do to avoid the same response? Well, on viewing a few clips and trailers, it looks like production values are not going to be a worry. With the strong cast, especially Julianne Moore, the film can probably afford to do what it wants on Prom Night. I also don’t think that Patricia Clarkson was especially right for the role as Mrs.White in the 2002 film. By casting Julianne Moore, the film will immediately receive critical interest. I am a huge fan of Moore but yet I am finding it difficult to picture her in the role, which I hope will be a good thing. It will also be nice to see such a successful actress as Moore, with four Oscar nominations, embrace the horror genre.