Though she's following on the heels of one of the finest horror films ever made, CARRIE remake director Kimberly Peirce seems to have good handle on the remake. The teaser trailer has been met with solid fan response, stills from the film look uniformly great and all the viral stuff being released through Facebook is fittingly in line with Stephen King's original novel. Yet there are still a few elephants in the room surrounding CARRIE, namely Kimberly Peirce's lack of a horror pedigree and whether or not she's going top Brian De Palma's iconic ending.
In a recent interview, Peirce took to discussing these issues directly. When asked about grappling with her first straight horror film in comparison to the dramas she's known for, the director responded:
"Well, Boys Don’t Cry was not exactly a romantic comedy. [laughs] But let’s just say my other movies are cousins of horror... the structure’s the same. I still want you to be terrified, I still want you to be affected viscerally by everything. I still want you to dream, but... there’s a more obvious fun, which is, you know, when the mother’s beating up the daughter I don’t want you to say, 'Oh, I feel bad' like maybe you felt in my other movies. I want you to say, 'Oh, God, that’s great-- do it again!' There’s a moment when Margaret hits Carrie with the Bible, and every time I screen it everybody’s like, 'Wow, why do we like that?' Because there’s pleasure in the pain. So it’s about celebrating the pain. It’s a turning of the dial."
On the issue of having to outdo De Palma's original, Peirce justifies shying away from any attempts to ape the original:
"Brian said to me, 'So what are you gonna do about that end?' And I was like, 'Brian, I know you revolutionized cinema...' [laughs] Of course it’s on my mind! I’m not blind to the brilliance of his movie, but I’m also not blind to the fact that I can’t go down a road that he’s done. You have to be mindful. And I just don’t think you have to try to duplicate something that is so unique and so brilliant and revolutionized cinema. I mean, maybe I should be bolder and do it, but I think I’m a little too wise to. So I think you do something different, I think you just make sure your movie is what it is and that it fires on all cylinders as much as you can. And if you find yourself in a situation where you can top it, do it. But you probably won’t."
Say what you will about remakes, but Peirce seems to have the right attitude about her re-do. It sounds as if we're going to be getting a very fresh take on Stephen King's novel, one that won't suffer from comparisons to De Palma's original. We'll find out for sure when the film's released March 15th of next year. Until then, talkback with your current thoughts about the new CARRIE...