Horror Movies Then and Now: A Carrie Movie Comparison

MAYRA MARADIAGA, Featured Writer

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October is here, and so are sweaters, pumpkin spice everything, and, of course, all the horror movies people can possibly watch. Those who frequent Netflix can now find the recently released remake of Carrie, along with the original 1976 take on Stephen King’s novel.

The story is the same in both novel adaptations: a bullied high school girl discovers she possesses telekinetic powers and struggles to deal with them when her deeply religious mother and high school peers start to push her too far. Sissy Spacek played the title character in the 1976 classic, and her performance earned her an Academy Award nomination. Chloë Grace Moretz, from Kick-Ass, took on the role in the 2013 remake.

The remake tries to modernize the story, adding elements of cyber bullying into Carrie’s everyday torments. With the help of modern technology and CGI, the filmmakers were able to visually enhance the destruction and chaos that Carrie causes on prom night, as well as bring in elements from the novel that the original film was not able to pull off at the time.

This being said, however, Moretz has nothing on Spacek. Concentrating more on just her facial expressions and head movements instead of putting her whole body into Carrie’s telekinetic abilities, Spacek was able to heighten the audiences’ fear of what she would do next.

The value of any remake comes down to how it compares to its predecessor stylistically, and if it is able to stand on its own. The 2013 Carrie changes some things, as most remakes do, but with these changes the remake actually loses the eeriness that the original has to offer.

Director Brian De Palma’s original take on the horror story uses unique shots that would probably never be considered in a modern film. This style, accompanied by the music from horror movie classic Psycho, gives the original film a much more suspenseful feel, opening a world of frightening possibilities to the audience.

Kimberly Pierce’s remake falls flat and stoic, using the same lines verbatim and shots as the original. The prom scene—the movie’s meat and potatoes—has far more impact in the original film with its no holds barred destruction. Despite the new technology and visual effects, the remake seems to hold back. The original ending, which has inspired many horror movies since then, adds much more character to the film, and is not something that could have been easily outdone. If you really want to have that creep factor this October, stick with the original.

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