The Flickering Myth writing team discuss the trailer for Carrie, Stephen King movies, and remakes in general….
Last week saw the arrival of the first full length trailer for the upcoming remake Carrie, which is of course based upon the celebrated debut novel by Stephen King.
The new version of the horror classic is directed by Kimberley Pierce (Boys Don’t Cry) and sees Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) stepping into the role made famous by Sissy Spacek in Brian De Palma’s 1976 original – a film widely regarded as one of the finest King horror adaptations.
So, what did our writing team make of this 21st century update? Well, not very much, as it happens…
David Bishop: Yawn. Seen it all before. Literally. I really wish Chloe Grace Moretz would stop appearing in pointless horror remakes, she’s much better than this. For starters I can buy into Sissy Spacek as a social outcast at school. Moretz? No, not so much. Please stop now.
Tom Jolliffe: Tame, lame, conventional hollywood remake. The original grabs your attention right from the offset. “Credit bush!” Spacek’s performance was amazing. She’s a fantastic actress. Moretz is pretty young. Spacek had the advantage of having some maturity whilst still looking about 16. I’m not sure Moretz has it in her locker just yet to get within a country mile of what Spacek did. That’s not to be disparaging to her because I think she’s a very good young actress with a lot of potential. That trailer also pretty much gives the whole film away. There’s now pretty much no need to watch it. They’re gonna go overboard with the telekinetic angle and turn her into an X-Man. Julianne Moore doesn’t seem quite right. I think for that role she’s a bit too established, and recognizable, it doesn’t sit quite right with me. I’ll probably just watch the original again. It has De Palma’s style and an amazing central performance. I’m getting completely bored of all these crappy remakes. The trouble is everything now, if remade is done to pander to younger audiences who studios rightly or wrongly, always assume, have short attention spans, can’t handle subtlety and have to have everything shot and edited as flashy as possible to keep them awake.
Luke Owen: This trailer assumes that everyone who is watching it has already seen the original, so it doesn’t matter if they spoil the ending. But unlike you guys, I’m really into this. I think Moretz is going to be superb in the role with Julianne Moore in a great supporting role. Moretz has this amazing ability to look vunerable in her roles, despite being a kick-ass (no pun inteded) leading lady. The atmosphere looks to be there, the performances look to be there and the gore looks to be there – what’s not to like? Will it top the original? Jury’s out on that one. With this, Evil Dead and Silent Night, we could be seeing an end to the terrible run of horror remakes we’ve had over the last decade.
David Bishop: The problem I have is this; why spend so much time and effort remaking a good Stephen King adaptation, when you could remake one of the hundreds of crappy ones? This is a waste of time.
Gary Collinson: Like David says, there are countless rubbish Stephen King adaptations crying out for a remake ahead of this, but I have to say I’m not entirely against it, even though I won’t be first in line to see it (in fact, I’ll probably wait for the DVD). The trailer is pretty much what you’d expect – and gives away virtually everything, for those people unfamiliar with the story – and I doubt it’s going to improve on the original or offer anything new. However, I think Julianne Moore could deliver a pretty memorable turn as the mother; beyond that, I’ve got little interest really.
Luke Owen: It’s not the Stephen King name they are remaking though – it’s the “Carrie” brand. Carrie is a very recognisable name in the horror world (even Friday the 13th wanted to pit Jason against her) and they’re remaking this movie for the marquee value of the name. There are a dozen bad Stephen King adaptations that could be remade – but there also a load of Stephen King books waiting to be *made*. But none (other than The Shining) would carry as much marquee weight as Carrie.
David Bishop: I’m not sure I entirely agree. Yes, the Carrie name will attract the horror crowd and King fans, but will many casual filmgoers see this because they know of, or even care about, the original? The target audience won’t care about the original because it’s old. To me, remaking this film is lazy pure and simple.
Luke Owen: Oh don’t get me wrong it is, but that’s the way the Hollywood producer mind works – ‘this film has an audience so it’ll be easier to bring in that audience than make a new film and attract a new audience’. It’s why we are seeing films being made based on board games.
David Bishop: The thing I don’t get is, surely the producer/studio executive has the same amount of work whether its an original script or not? It’s the writer who’s got to spend time and effort coming up with an idea. Now we live in a world where an original film can make over $800 million at the box office, there’s no excuse. All the producer needs to do is get big name stars, make an exciting trailer, come up with some cool viral marketing and you’re there. And they would have to do all that work anyway, regardless of whether its a remake or not.
Robert W Monk: Very lazy and very boring! The original Carrie is probably my favourite King adaptation of all so perhaps I’m biased. But as has been mentioned there are loads of well below-par King adaptations, why not do one of them if you absolutely have to? The only interesting thing might be to see how Julianne Moore will interpret Piper Laurie’s religio-nut mum …
Luke Owen: Too much risk in an unestablished product. For all we know, Pacific Rim could bomb at the box office despite all it’s hard work. Man of Steel on the other hand is bound to make money because it’s an established character. Which is the problem with Hollywood – there is no risk and reward. There is only playing it safe.
David Bishop: I think Pacific Rim might bomb. But it will have little to do with it being an original idea. The lack of big name stars will end up hurting its box office I feel. Anyway, this is going wildly off topic. Carrie trailer – rubbish. Can’t be bothered with the film.
Robert W Monk: Yup. Hence remake overload. It’s like my movie watching childhood and adolescence are getting re-branded and re-imagined at the moment…
Luke Owen: When you guys say sub-par King movies, I sure hope you don’t mean Christine.
Robert W Monk: Christine another of the best! … Silver Bullet, Maximum Overdrive, Thinner… most of the made for TV stuff (The Langoliers!) on the other hand, pretty ropey
Scott Davis: It looked okay, nothing hugely promising in all honesty, and think Moretz, who is great, isn’t completely right for the role. Perhaps too young? All in all, looks like turning into another drab horror remake (the upcoming Evil Dead aside), and despite the talent, may flatter to deceive come Halloween…
J-P Wooding: I am interested when I hear of a remake but unfortunately I’ve seen little evidence to support the need for them. Carrie was a great film and, like many other remakes, the new one will do little other than be used to highlight the quality of the first. C’mon Hollywood, there has to be more ideas out there.
Villordsutch: We all know the original movie and if you didn’t it’s all in that trailer. Money for old rope again for Hollywood.
Helen Murdoch: I think it looks like it’s got some okay jumps in it and I’ll watch it for Julianne Moore; however Moretz is completely miscast. She comes across as too strong and in control in the trailer. Spacek delivered the right amount of innocent and madness, whereas Moretz just seems to be glaring all the time. It looks like they haven’t even bothered to do anything new with it and have copied the original almost frame for frame. The original Carrie was one of the best King adaptations, this remake feels pointless and almost offensive.
Do you agree with our writers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…