I have certainly spent my fair share of time and column inches writing about the remake culture that we’re suffering through right now, and by and large, I’m not a fan. I think there is an anemic degree of imagination on display from the studios these days, and even the excuse that these things fund the chances that they take starts to look a little thin when the remakes outnumber the originals ten to one.
But I’m willing to admit that there are remakes that make sense, and when there’s a piece of material that speaks to the times we live in or that offers an opportunity that a filmmaker feels strongly about, then I’m more than happy to watch what they come up with. And in the case of “Carrie,” I would argue that the time is absolutely right to revisit what remains one of the most potent of Stephen King’s novels.
After all, it’s not like bullying has stopped. If anything, today’s technological culture has created a whole new way for kids to be tormented and teased. It’s been hard reading the stories about Amanda Todd and looking at the video she left behind when she committed suicide recently and seeing how there are still people who were part of her world who continue to pile on the abuse even now that she’s dead. It’s just one more disturbing story in a long line of them, and while some people seem to think this is new, I think it’s just a new version of something that’s been around as long as there have been weak and strong kids, as long as people have felt different, as long as there has been the need for some people to victimize others to make themselves feel better.
Carrie White is a great character, and Chloe Grace Moretz is a really strong choice to play the part. I can’t wait to see the dynamic between her and Julianne Moore as her mother. Moretz is currently in the UK shooting her return engagement as Hit-Girl in “Kick-Ass 2,” and it’s interesting to see how well she can play both strength and weakness depending on the part. There’s a vulnerability to her that is underlined by the fact that she’s still very young. I really dig the Brian De Pama version of the film, but it’s definitely a case of Hollywood casting actors in their mid to late 20s as teenagers. Casting someone who is still in the midst of those adolescent pressures adds to the reality of the story, and Kimberly Peirce has expertly charted these waters before in the crushingly sad “Boys Don’t Cry.” The combination of filmmaker and cast is promising, and at this point, I’m just curious to see how the script by Roberto Aguirre Sacasa tackles the material.
“Carrie” arrives in theaters March 15, 2013, and I sincerely wish we lived in a world where there was no point to the remake.