By Michelle Morey
Some moviegoers may not know that the horror movie “Carrie,” released Oct. 18 and directed by Kimberly Pierce, is not just a remake of the 1976 Brian De Palma version, but also based on Stephen King’s first novel, “Carrie.” There is some skepticism about whether the remake does justice to the original version.
When viewing both versions right after each other, it is clear the opening scenes are completely different. The remake starts in a gruesome, frightening way, with the birth of Carrie amid blood and screams. When the new opening scene comes to an end, the film then progresses to a scene similar to the original opener at a high school, with Carrie and her classmates in gym class playing volleyball.
The remake’s casting of the high school students was more accurate than the original. Many of the actors in the 1976 version were in their mid-twenties. Sissy Spacek, who originally played Carrie, was 26 when the film was shot. The characters in the remake look younger, but it seems that Carrie, played by Chloe Grace Moretz (“Kickass”), looks much younger than her classmates. Moretz, at 16-years old, was in fact younger than the character she portrayed.
Carrie is much more shy and quiet in the remake. Some scenes are completely identical, but in the original film Carrie sticks up for herself to an extent, such as when the principal keeps calling her the wrong name.
The 2013 Carrie does not just emphasize Carrie’s oddness, but also portrays the mother, Margaret White, played by Julianne Moore (“The Kids are All Right”) as a bit more extreme. In the original, although still trying to spread her extreme Christian views, Margaret talks to neighbors and seems a little less insane. In the remake, she barely speaks to anyone except for Carrie. In the newer movie, she hurts and causes pain to herself. Her self-inflicted harm includes scratching her arm until she draws blood, banging her head against a wall, and stabbing her leg with a seam ripper.
There is also a classroom scene that was changed. In the original, popular boy Tommy Ross, played by William Katt, has to read his favorite poem aloud in class. The teacher says it wasn’t very good, but Carrie speaks up and says that she likes it. In the remake, the teacher makes Carrie go to the front and read her favorite poem. The teacher, along with the class, finds it a bit disturbing, but Tommy Ross speaks up and says it was awesome, saving Carrie from more embarrassment and torment.
In addition to having more blood, gore and violence, the 2013 Carrie also has more deaths. Some moviegoers felt that it may have been to boost ratings because as horror and action movies are remade, fatalities typically increase. The rise in deaths could also be from the intense cruelty that Carrie has to face in this newer version. They keep the practical joke at the prom the same, and many of the jokes the same, but with new technology. The popular kids are able to torment Carrie on an entirely new level. Instead of the girls just throwing tampons at her in the locker room, one of the popular girls also videotapes it on her smartphone and uploads it to social media.
There is also a visible difference in ethics while shooting. In the original opening scene in the girls’ locker room, many of the girls
are completely nude. In the remake’s locker room scene, the girls are either covered by a towel, in their underwear, or dressed in their clothes. This may be because the filmmaker does not want to show, regardless of the rating, actors portraying high schoolers in an explicit way. Even though the actors and actresses may be much older than the part they are portraying, it is still considered inappropriate to show such nudity of young characters.
Although the remake attempts to make a more effective and traumatic ending, it is my opinion that the original does a much better job at creating a more intense final scene. Many online fans feel that neither of the endings did the Stephen King novel justice but will agree that both endings are good. The only way to judge the remake is to see the original, so make a night of it. Rent the original first and then go and see the remake. That way you can compare for yourself!