The remake of ‘Carrie’, which is due on October 18, has been getting a lot of buzz lately because the full length trailer is now out in the world, and it’s certainly gotten mixed reactions, and I’m certainly no exception. I have to admit, I’m biased because I’m not thrilled about all my favorite horror classics being remade, even though the time is right for ‘Carrie’ again because it has an important anti-bullying message.
Before becoming a mega-author, Stephen King was a teacher, and as he recalled in his book ‘On Writing’, “I had seen a number of these unfortunate bottom-of-the-pecking-order children, and I remembered kids like that from my own time in high school. The further down the ladder you are, the more like hell it becomes. And for kids like Carrie, it’s really like the ninth circle of hell.”
King also told Fangoria that ‘Carrie’ was “a cautionary tale,” and “if you push somebody hard enough, they will turn around and bring the house down on you. We only have to look as far as Columbine High School to know that: If you bully enough, push enough, and hurt enough, sooner or later there will be trouble.”
The first ‘Carrie’, masterfully directed by Brian De Palma, still makes this point well, and when watching the trailer for the new ‘Carrie’, it really doesn’t look too much different from the original. (I also don’t consider the mean girls filming Carrie’s menstrual panic with iPhones to be that great of an innovation.) Having directed ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, Kimberly Peirce is a good choice to helm ‘Carrie’. She certainly has empathy for social misfits, but doesn’t she want to try and make an original movie again? Or at this point, is trying to get an original movie made, even at the indie level, harder than trying to part the Red Sea?
I also have to agree with Movieline that Chloe Grace Moretz is too cute to be believable as a high school outcast. Even if a ‘Carrie’ remake is trying to shed light on bullying, a million movies like ‘Carrie’ will never make high school, or the real world, a nicer place free of punk bitchery. (Although it’s nice to think bullies could get Stephen King style retribution in real life.)
I’d love to be proven wrong with this, but more than that, I’d love to see someone take a story like ‘Carrie’ and use it as a foundation to make an original horror movie that also sends a powerful message against bullying. How about something like ‘Mean Girls’ or ‘Heathers’ with a lot of bloodshed? That would be cool, no?