One of author Stephen King’s best and most vivid novels is coincidently also his first: Carrie. A book told through the stories of survivors of what happened during that fateful Prom Night when the gymnasium caught fire and everyone burned, and when the school’s main ugly duckling, Carrie White, got her sweet-sweet revenge. It’s what kicked off King’s career, and who knows… without Carrie, there might not have been a Stephen King.
In 1976 director Brian de Palma brought the novel to the big screen, an endeavor that spawned a few Academy Award nominations, introduced Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, and Nancy Allen to the movie-going public, and spawned interest in the possibilities of adapting more and more King novels to the big screen. In the same way, without CARRIE there might not have been THE SHINING or PET SEMATARY, or even THE MIST for all we know. With all this praise, what could possibly get me drinking right now? How about the recent announcement that the studio behind the recent makes of PROM NIGHT and THE STEPFATHER have decided to remake CARRIE as well. Bahhhhhhh!!!!
Goddamn this 30 pack of High Life is going down smooth and fast right about now. Remaking CARRIE??? Are these guys serious??? And by guys, of course, I mean Sony Screen Gems, as they’re the biggest offenders, teaming up with MGM to remake a horror classic into a PG-13-fueled chick-fest made for 12-year-old girls with no backbone nor a taste for real horror. That, and to make money. An easy cash-grab as CARRIE is one of the most recognizable horror names / flicks out there. I get that making movies is a business, but for real? This shit is blasphemous--blasphemous I say!
The argument, of course, is that the new version will be based entirely on King’s novel and not on de Palma’s film. Bullshit. Say what you will about other King adaptations, CARRIE is one of the few that not only sticks close to the book, but virtually leaves nothing out. In other words, it’s right up there with THE MIST in terms of an effective King adaptation. Some small and mostly insignificant things were left out, yes (that’s bound to happen), but not enough to warrant a completely new movie out of it. For the most part, King’s story is seen on screen, his vision of a lonely girl with telekinetic powers and the craziest bat-shit mom on the planet is there—where can they possible take this story that we haven’t already seen?
I think Screen Gems must have been sleeping back in 1999 and in 2002 or else they would have known that someone already tried remaking/revisioning/readapting CARRIE with the quasi sequel THE RAGE: CARRIE 2 and on the small screen in the made-for-TV version of CARRIE starring Angela Bettis and Emilie de Ravin (of LOST fame). The latter is not a horrendous movie—but it’s not a good movie either. It sticks close to the book, but because de Palma also stuck close to the book, the TV movie felt like a straight-up remake to the ’76’s feature film—but without the style, the one-two punch, the charisma, or the creepy dream-like atmosphere that worked so goddamn well in the original.
With all this going against it, it appears that Screen Gems is incapable of learning from other’s mistakes and feels they could do a better job. Does the world really need a third take on CARRIE? Maybe it’s the booze talkin’ (though my thoughts would be the same watered down by the Champagne of Beers or sober as a horse), but this talk of a CARRIE remake has shit-bomb written all over it. It’s blasphemous, idiotic, and it’s set up for disaster. The original film managed to tell King’s story about as true as any book-to-film adaptation ever could, leaving little room for other interpretation (as exemplified by the 2002 made-for-TV version of CARRIE, which was pretty much the same).
Speaking of King, what are his thoughts on this whole debacle? He’s already come out and said he couldn’t see a point since the original was so well done (and better than his book, in his opinion), but he could get behind it as long as David Lynch or David Cronenberg were directing. Considering it’s from Sony Screen Gems and THE STEPFATHER / PROM NIGHT team, I’d say there’s no chance in hell of that happening. The book’s author doesn’t want to see another adaptation of his work nor do fans of the book nor fans of the original movie… which makes this idea of a remake not only asinine but absolutely preposterous. Why don’t they take on one of King’s books that hasn’t been made into anything yet? A big-screen take on CELL? Now there’s a project I could get behind…