Y’all know I love me some Carrie, so of course I need to talk about this remake.
First off, the trailer is pretty good. It’s difficult for me to watch anything related to this story with fresh eyes, but I think the trailer does a good job of covering what’s important about the story without giving away too much, so anyone who doesn’t know the previous versions should find it both informative and entertaining. For those of us who are familiar with the story already, it shows us some of the most memorable moments and how they’ll be handled in the remake.
I think I see some more adherence to the original novel in some areas, and less in others. For instance, Carrie practicing her power and taking joy in it is more in line with Stephen King’s characterization than that of the 1976 Brian DePalma film where Carrie usually seemed to have some disconnect with her telekinesis, i.e., it only tended to show up in moments of heightened emotion and was kind of out of her control.
On the other hand, the depiction of Margaret seems more like the 2012 version of the musical than either the original film or the novel, though, which gives me pause. It didn’t work out perfectly in the musical, and I think the less over-the-top portrayal of Carrie’s mother takes away some of the story’s power. I think their relationship is much more interesting and twisted when Carrie loves Margaret even though she is completely immersed in her world of religiosity and has a bizarre and warped way of loving her daughter. To me, taking away her fire takes away some of the drama and intrigue of her relationship with Carrie and the story itself.
This desire to make things more realistic can sometimes take away the cinematic power of a movie. Take, for instance, the dark thick sludge that pours down on Carrie in this preview. This is much more realistic than any previous version of the story, as blood oxidizing in a bucket overnight would darken and congeal, but it has nowhere near the visual impact of the bright red blood streaming down Carrie’s face that the original film, musical, and 2002 TV remake opted for. Most of the time, reality doesn’t make for great entertainment (just ask the writers and editors who make “reality” TV) and sometimes it’s better to go for style rather than honesty to be effective.
All things considered, I am looking forward to the remake. Both Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore are great actresses and I have no doubts in their abilities to make these characters interesting on screen. While I think that by making the story more realistic, it loses some of the drama that made the original movie so iconic, I still think the new interpretation holds promise as an enjoyable film.