By Gabrielle Gesek
With Halloween less than two weeks away, get ready to prepare for all of the traditional favorites like overpriced bags of candy, cliché witch and pumpkin costumes and of course the timeless horror film remake.
While the candy and costumes keep their typical status of stagnancy, this year the world of scary movies may gain a new addition to their list of top thrillers.
“Carrie,” which stormed into theaters Oct. 18, is a remake of Brian De Palma’s unforgettable 1976 adaptation of the original Stephen King novel.
As with any movie remake and book adaptation, there will always be those who hold their loyalties to the originals, but the new “Carrie” offers striking differences in style and direction that allow the new movie to hold its own against its successful predecessors.
Aimed at captivating a new generation of viewers who are unfamiliar with the tale of a disturbed high school girl who seeks revenge on her classmates, director Kimberly Peirce incorporates dramatically different methods of filmmaking to differentiate the new movie from its past.
Pierce, who previously directed “Boys Don’t Cry” (1999) and “Stop-Loss” (2008), cuts right to the heart of the drama by emphasizing all of the typical horror movie staples like shuddering sound effects, gory blood scenes and an array of sharp objects ready for use.
Pierce’s “Carrie” differs from that of De Palma’s as Pierce focuses on the strict story telling of a tortured girl named Carrie whereas De Palma takes a more roundabout way in the retelling through use of wit and symbolic styles.
The new “Carrie” must not only live up to exceedingly high expectations after the great success of the original “Carrie” but also overpower the galvanizing impact of the failed 1999 sequel “The Rage: Carrie 2” and the ill-fated 1988 Broadway musical flop.
Luckily this time around, the film can boast the starring of A-list actors like Julianne Moore cast as Margaret White the deeply religious mother and Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie the outcast troubled teen. The mother-daughter dynamic is a selling point in this film and the chemistry between Moore and Moretz is contending to quickly outshine the Piper Laurie and Sissy Spacek duo from the original.
Unlike in DePalma’s classic, the Carrie White played by Moretz is conventionally pretty and her awkwardness and inelegance are internalized to give her the benefit of apparent normalcy to the audience.
However, while Carrie may appear to be an average teen she knows she is not, and so others begin to catch on to the fact she is quite different. Carrie’s powers isolate her from the world because she cannot handle them and her mother Margaret refuses to help as she sees the powers as direct signs of evil.
Without spoiling the ending, the culmination of torture from Carrie’s peers, abuse from her mother and her own self-deprecating behavior finally explodes during an ending scene at her prom night.
Peirce has perfected the art of toying with the emotions of her audience. While this adaptation is more straightforward than the original, the emotional bondage the audience forms with the characters is much stronger. Before, Carrie was just a tormented evil teenager, but now she plays the victim of an emotionally destructive mother and the target of cruelty from her insecure classmates.
The audience members can relate to their own less gory but possibly equally as awkward middle school days and feel a sense of connection with new Carrie.
While “Carrie” is most likely not in the running for best scary movie or even top Halloween film, it does serve Stephen King’s story of Carrie White justice.
Carrie has been revived for a new generation to experience and the movie is great for a quick thrill in perfect time for the Halloween season.