Carrie (2002) Movie Review
Written By: JEH
Director: David Carson
Producers: David Livingston, David Carson, Stephan Geaghan
Writers: Bryan Fuller (teleplay), Stephen King (novel)
Date Released: November 4, 2002
Angela Bettis as Carrie White
Patricia Clarkson as Margaret White
Rena Sofer as Miss Desjarden
Kandyse McClure as Sue Snell
Emilie de Ravin as Chris Hargensen
Tobias Mehler as Tommy Ross
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Carrie White (Angela Bettis), gifted with the ability to move objects through her mind, is constantly bullied by her classmates and mentally tortured at home by her domineering, religious mother (Patricia Clarkson). Sue Snell (Kandyse McClure), Carrie’s classmate, starts to feel bad for her. In an attempt to atone for her wrongdoings, Sue convinces Tommy Ross (Tobias Mehler), her boyfriend, to ask Carrie to the senior prom. But another classmate, Chris Hargenson (Emilie de Ravin), wants revenge after getting banned from the prom. Chris, together with her boyfriend, plots a harsh prank to humiliate Carrie at the prom.
The 2002 version of Carrie did not have a lot of budget and aired on TV. So, expect cheaply made effects and toned-down gore. A lot of blood is present during the movie’s iconic prank scene. Blood is also there when Carrie experiences her first menstruation period. For a low budget, the fake blood is still convincing. But the computer-generated effects look outdated and unnatural. The death scenes are mild compared to other versions. People get crushed, electrocuted, and hit with flying objects, but no effects are added to make their deaths memorable.
Do you love animals? Just a reminder, this movie has a pig butchering scene that might disturb you.
The Grave Review
Before the 2013 adaptation of Stephen King’s beloved haunting tale, there was a remake that dared to scare the audience. The 2002 version is often forgotten, caught between the original and the better-known 2013 remake. Does it deserve more attention or should it just stay ignored?
Carrie (2002) starts with the police interviewing Sue Snell after the bloody prom night and Carrie White’s disappearance. Weeks before the fateful night, we see how the students bully the painfully shy Carrie. At home, her mother sees being a woman as a sin and punishes her for everything that is normal for a growing female. Then, she discovers that she has the gift of telekinesis. The plot is very similar to the original adaptation, but there are noticeable differences.
The screenplay writer, Bryan Fuller, added his own touch to the movie. Most remakes often get hate for either completely copying the original or deviating from the source material. But Carrie (2002) does something rare: retelling a story in a fresh approach while paying respects to the original. Fuller also looks back to the novel, building characters and events based on the Stephen King’s vision.
Angela Bettis’ portrayal, at least with her looks and aura, is more faithful to the book. She is creepy, odd, and painfully awkward. Her clothes are frumpy, perfectly matched with a messy hair. Her mannerisms also make it more believable that she is the constant target of relentless bullying.
Patricia Clarkson also captures the “quiet insanity” that Margaret White has in the novel. The 1976 version portrayed an aggressive mother, while this version perfectly depicts an insane woman with a sane face.
Overall, the acting is good and the writing is decent. But what drags the movie down is the lack of atmosphere, fitting music, and effective editing. The original adaptation knows how to show and not just tell. Most scenes make audiences feel like they’re watching a renaissance painting in motion. Unfortunately, for the 2002 version, it feels like a high school production with good actors and dedicated writers. This is understandable, for the film has budget restrictions. But it’s a shame to see a movie with a lot of potential to suffer due to a low budget.
Nothing can beat the original Carrie adaptation, but the 2002 version still deserves attention and love. It is a hidden gem that should not be forgotten despite its flaws. If you have read the book, you should check out Carrie (2002). If you have only seen Carrie (1976), give this movie a chance. Carrie (2002) is not a mindless remake that only aims to grab cash. You can tell that the people that worked on it appreciated the source material; they just did not have the budget to impress visually.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Carrie (2002) two graves out of five graves.
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