The day I learned that they (yes, you know who you are) were going to remake the classic Stephen King/Brian DePalma horror film ‘Carrie’, two things happened: I continued to lose faith in modern day Hollywood and their obsession with reboots, remakes and unoriginal film making; and a part of me died.
First, I should say two things. I absolutely admire the work of Kimberly Peirce. ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ was a great piece of film making. I’m hoping that she does something different with the Carrie story so that it can be judged as a piece of work separate and identifiable from the original film. However, that is going to be a tall task, given the towering presence the 1976 film has in the horror genre. Also, Julianne Moore is one of my favourite actresses. She is an actress of immense talent and I’ve liked her in everything I’ve seen her in. However, she too has an almost impossible task to separate herself from the role made popular by Piper Laurie.
I can’t pass judgement on the film that I have yet to see, but my initial impression is one of disappointment. ‘Carrie’ (2013) is yet another attempt in a long, long, long line of films to be remade, rebooted and rehashed by an uninspired Hollywood with no creative imagination because of the threat of a loss at the box office. Correct me if I’m wrong, but over the past century, there have been a long line of box office failures – it’s not something that has just occurred in the past 10 years. Hollywood picked itself up and moved on with the next project. Every film can’t be a blockbuster. There are films that won’t break even. Most will lose money. That is the way things have been and the way things will be in the film business.
But something has changed in the past 10 years to make Hollywood scared – really scared – of investing in original material. It is not only disappointing, but career crushing for people who want to make creative films with original material. I’m sure that the Great Recession is partly to blame. Everyone is holding onto their money just a bit more tightly, not knowing what is around the corner. But Hollywood (and the world in general) has been through this before. The disturbing part of this tightfisted industry practice is that once the economy makes its way through the tough times, it’s scary to think that the current industry trend of rebooting, rehashing and remaking will become the norm and original material will be left behind in the dust.
‘Carrie’ (1976) was a brilliant film. Sissy Spacek was note perfect. Piper Laurie’s performance was the template for all the maniacal, religious fanatic, over-the-top mothers to come after her. It was an innocent little film that hit on all the right notes, from the performances, the music, the set decoration, the F/X and the plot. As I have said over and over before when a perfect piece of film making is remade: Why?! Why would you want to set yourself up for failure and instant criticism by trying to remake a classic that was perfectly done in the first place? I have the answer: $
I am hoping that ‘Carrie’ (2013) will not be tossed into the same horrible remake pile that currently houses the Psycho and The Manchurian Candidate remakes – films that never should have been remade because the originals were perfect to begin with and to try and re-imagine them is an impossible task.
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