It almost seems too easy a choice to hire Kimberly Peirce to make a new version of Stephen King’s “Carrie.” After all, her film “Boys Don’t Cry” is an excellent look at how an outsider desperately tries to fit into a high school world, and the film positively vibrates with genuine pain.
Her second film “Stop Loss” is less successful overall but it still has a palpable sense of what it feels like to not quite fit. The unease in her work makes her a preposterously on-the-nose choice for “Carrie,” and I don’t mean that as any sort of insult. It’s just one of those things where as soon as you hear the choice, it’s an automatic “duh.”
Sitting down to talk to her, I didn’t want to talk about it as a horror film. I know this is the story that launched King’s career as the master of modern written horror, but “Carrie” has always struck me as a tragedy, and it seems like Peirce saw this as a very human story, driven by very human problems.
Peirce was a real pleasure to chat with, even if it was a short conversation. She has not worked as frequently as one might expect, but she seems to still retain the same sort of enthusiasm and optimism that she had when we spoke in ’99. She seems to have really considered how to tell “Carrie” from an emotional point of view, and talking to her about it, this was not a simple remake to her. She wanted to find her own way to tell the story.
We also discussed the casting of her film, and in particular what it was about Chloe Moretz that made her want to cast her as the title character. I talked to Moretz about the same thing, and it’s interesting to compare her answer to what Peirce had to say about her decision-making process.
I can certainly respect that everyone involved in the new “Carrie” had the best intentions, and I’ll have my review of the film up midday Thursday.
“Carrie” opens in theaters everywhere this Friday.