We all know the horrific coming-of-age story of the shy teenage outcast Carrie, from the classic 1977 Brian De Palma adaptation of Stephen King’s first novel, to the 2013 loved-it-or-hated-it remake. But what most cinephiles may have missed is David Carson’s 2002 made-for-TV film of the same title.
What De Palma purists and King lovers may find intriguing about the film is that Bryan Fuller’s teleplay is probably the closest adaptation to the source material, although a few scenes deviate from the novel, most notably the shocking shower scene that kicks the story off.
The direction and cinematography may be some of the weakest attributes to the production, but there are some strong performances throughout, most notably from Angela Bettis (May, Masters of Horror: Sick Girl) as the isolated Carrie, Patricia Clarkson (Wendigo, Shutter Island) as the God-fearing mother Margaret, and Canadian scream queen Katharine Isabelle (American Mary, Ginger Snaps) as Tina Blake.
Although many of the teenagers’ performances are sometimes impaired by silly dialogue, one can bet it was due to the fact that Fuller was playing catch-up with the witty, silver-tongued teenage horror films of the late 1990s like Scream and Final Destination.
All criticism aside, horror fans should check this one out, just to see a new approach to a world they already know and love.
~ Matthew McPhee