Sunday, March 3, 2013

COULD 'CARRIE' CHANGE THE WOMAN'S ROLE IN HORROR?

The film that made the now legendary director, Brian DePalma, a household name is the latest horror film to go under the remake knife.  The film adaptation of Stephen King's first published novel, Carrie is revered by many to be one of the greatest horror films of all time.  Following the story of Carrie White, everyone's favorite telekinetic teenager who went rogue on her classmates who scorned her at prom, Carrie is much more than just a cookie-cutter slasher film.  Carrie spoke volumes on the way manipulative ways in which girls regain their power in social situations, the dangers of humiliating the "weird girl," how the influence of non-traditional parenting can have adverse effects on their children, and most importantly, that girls can be just as relentless killers as their male counterparts.  Carrie holds a special place in the hearts of many horror fans, and there was a borderline outrage over the announcement of the remake.  Once the announcement was made for the titular character, I did an analysis on how Chloe Moretz is going to be a fantastic Carrie White, but audiences are still worried about a horror classic being ruined at the hands of a remake.  This film needs to be successful not only to be respectful to the original, but because this film could make or break the woman's role in horror films.

Women in Horror recognition month just ended, but this does not mean that the struggle for acceptance for women behind the camera in horror films have ended.  While the independent circle has been extremely kind to women in horror, Hollywood is an entirely different beast.  The Carrie remake has promised to play closer to the book, and is under the direction of Kimberly Peirce.  Peirce has a pretty fantastic resume attached to her name, and is noted for presenting unique films that double as impressive character studies.  Not to mention, it's being co-produced by Screen Gems and MGM.  Carrie is one of the first "Hollywood Horror Films" in a very long time to be directed by a woman.  Unlike American Psycho or Pet Sematary, Carrie carries a much higher draw on namesake alone, and all eyes are going to be watching to see if this film will hold true to the glorious name of "Carrie."

Differing from the original film and focusing more heavily on the book, Carrie has said be filled with much more destruction, and a closer look on the disturbed relationship between Carrie and her mother Margaret.  Kimberly Peirce spoke at New York Comic Con and said "two movies can exist as two, equally great things, but their mother-daughter relationship is profound, and the heart-and-soul of the remake."  The original Carrie is in no way a perfect film, it just appears that because the strongest elements of the films were SO well done, audiences are quick to look past the flaws.  This Carrie remake has been updated, and there will be instances of cyber-bullying.  While this may anger some audiences, it is very, very necessary for this retelling. The internet is a huge breeding ground for chaos in the life of the modern teenager, and it just be respected that Pierce was intelligent enough to include that aspect into the film instead of ignoring it in place of feeding to the egos of the original Carrie generation.  According to collider.com, Pierce stated, "However, they wanted to makes sure the story came first rather than push an issue forward.  Moore adds that they’re not making a polemic, but they are going to reflect something that does happen in society." Pierce has a lot more riding on this than anyone is discussing.

This is the first time that such a high-powered, big-named, highly-anticipated horror film is being presented for the masses under the direction of a woman.  If the Carrie remake is good, Pierce could open the doors for Hollywood money-handlers to trust horror movies in the hands of a woman.  If it fails, we might be looking at a continued struggle for the female director.  It's a sad truth that women have to "prove" themselves on a level incomparable to their male counterparts in the world of film making, and Pierce has the opportunity to show that women can run camera and pour some blood just as violently as a man can. For the sake of aspiring female directors, I hope Carrie doesn't disappoint.

3 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

Look....I'm all for women, and every other type of person, being horror directors, but methinks you might be overstating the case when you say this movie could "make or break" females in horror. Even if this movie makes two hundred thousand million dollars the first weekend, I still foresee a "glass ceiling" of sorts simply because of who we are as a culture. Besides...I would hate to hang the fate of women directors on a remake.

That being said, I just cannot fathom why Ms. Moretz was chosen for Carrie. Sorry...I just can't. I mean...just LOOK at the girl! Her face looks like it was carved from marble by the finest classical Greek sculptor! I don't care HOW "weird" she is...in high school, guys would be chomping at the bit just for her to look in their general direction. I hope I don't sound like some deranged Chloe Grace Moretz stalker...I'm just telling it like it is. I remember high school very well and this girl would NOT be an outcast...unless she strangled kittens with her bare hands every day during lunch. And even THEN the Goth guys would probably like her! Sorry...love your blog, agree with you 99% of the time, but casting her was a mistake. At least to people who care about such things.

And...was the DePalma version REALLY all that different from the book? I've read the book and remember them as being pretty darn close. There was nothing that differed as much as Carrie being Cyber-bullied anyway....

Wanda Psycho said...

I agree that cyber bullying is an important topic. To be honest, if I had to deal with cyber bullying on top of the bullying I faced every day in person, I really don't know if I would have survived.
I'm an old fuddy duddy who tends to balk when I see the word "remake," but your arguments for this one make a lot of sense.

JimmyD said...

I'm leery of remakes but with the cast and crew on 'Carrie,' I'm looking forward to this. I think Anonymous is missing the point of a movie... Chloe Moretz is a fantastic actor and Kimberly Peirce is a brilliant director. I think, between the two of them, along with the power Julianne Moore will bring to Margaret, this will be a wonderful addition to the 'Carrie' legacy (I include the musical to this).
Let's reserve judgement until we see the final movie, yes?
BTW... Playbill posted some great coverage of the very first high school production of the reworked musical: http://www.playbill.com/news/article/175423-PLAYBILL-VIP-SPOTLIGHT-Twenty-Five-Years-After-Broadway-Carrie-the-Musical-Makes-High-School-Debut

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