Film Review: ‘Carrie’

Sounds like they did the best they could… but the original is a very, very tough act to follow.

First Teaser Trailer for the 2013 Carrie Remake Starring Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore Is Here – Bloody Hell!

When I first heard about this project, it sounded like a terrible idea to me. Why mess with one of the most perfect Stephen King film adaptations–hell, one of the most perfect horror films, period*–ever made? To this day, the 1976 original holds up. Not only does it still hold up, it’s one of those movies that is just as powerful and deeply frightening with every re-watch (that’d be probably close to fifty times for me over the last three-plus decades) and I’ve only seen it on TV.  I’d love to see it on the big screen, and if I do, I can all but guarantee I will scream at  the top of my lungs in panic at the end, even though I am 100% sure exactly how, where, and when that hand will burst up through the stones covering the grave and grab Sue Stern’s wrist in her nightmare.

The more I heard, though, the less stupid it sounded, especially when I saw the two photos of Chloë Grace Moretz in the title role and Julianne Moore as Mrs. White (Carrie’s scary religious nutcase mother). Then I finally got to see this– one of the best teasers I’ve seen in years for a horror movie. Here it is in HD, if you haven’t seen it yet, and if you have, it’s worth another look!

I had read they were going to stay closer to the novel than the original, and so far so good, since in the novel Carrie ended up destroying the entire town, she was so enraged. Hundreds of dead and injured; most fire-related. Carrie also uses her powers to unscrew all the fire hydrants she can so there’s less water to put the fires out. Here’s the official PR to go with the teaser trailer:

The official teaser trailer for ‘Carrie’ (2013) starring Chloë Grace Moretz as Carrie in an adaptation of Stephen King’s original novel ‘Carrie’. Official description: A sheltered high school girl unleashes her newly developed telekinetic powers after she is pushed too far by her peers.

OK, that’s a huge fucking understatement, but fine. Now I see what all the buzz is about, so far I see no reason not to trust director Kimberly Peirce, and I’ll be following the coverage pretty closely and sharing it here! Here’s a link to the official URL,  WhatHappenedToCarrie.com. Plus, since the American Horror Story Asylum premiere, I’ve had the haunting Pino Donaggio score to the Brian De Palma original stuck in my head…

*no pun intended. Really.

“There’s something no-one seems to understand. She wasn’t some …monster, she was …just a girl.”

 

Ten Things We Learned from American Horror Story: Asylum Episode S2/Ep01- “Welcome to Briarcliff” (SPOILERS!)

 “There is no God. At least no God that would create the things I saw.” —Kit, to Sister Jude

WOW, we learned quite a bit on the Season 2 Premiere of American Horror Story: Asylum (aired 10/17/12) last night! Some of it was pretty goddamned disturbing. Warning: this article CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE EPISODE. Consider yourself spoiler-alerted!

1.  Perhaps I spoke prematurely when I insisted Adam Levine would play a larger role. I’m not sure how long he can make it with an arm ripped off inches below the shoulder, even with that tourniquet, before bleeding out. It doesn’t look like his arguably slutty (actual lines from the episode: “You can totally  put it in my ass right now”, and “No, I want to know what’s in there! Do it again and I’ll blow you.”), wild new wife is going to be able to get medical help quite  as planned (classy).

2.  Kit Walker, played by Evan Peters, has been sent to Briarcliff due to the accusation of being the notorious serial killer Bloody Face, whose MO is skinning his victims alive, from the feet up, and wearing their flesh as a mask.

“A ferret…delightful creature. I used to keep one as a pet. Until it bit me, then I broke its neck.” -Dr. Arden

3.  They weren’t kidding about the aliens. Unless Kit really is  Bloody Face (and completely psychotic), he and his wife are attacked in their home, and Kit is abducted and poked with sharp objects (in places that will make you wince). A fellow patient tells him, after admission, his African-American wife was skinned alive. “I guess you didn’t like her color,” he sneers at Kit,  right before they get in a fist-fight.

4.  They also weren’t kidding about the nuns being kinky. Sister Jude bends poor Kit over her desk roughly and whacks his bare ass with a cane or large ruler, hard enough to leave visible welts. Furthermore, Sister Jude isn’t the only “troubled” nun in residence. Later on, Sister Mary Eunice, weeping, goes to open a HUGE cabinet of canes and spanking devices and pulls out a wooden cane easily the size of a pool cue, bends over Sister Jude’s desk (the same spot Kit got bent over earlier), pulls up her robes  to reveal nothing underneath and begs Sister Jude to punish her (to her credit, sister Jude refuses to smack her more than once (“I don’t have time for this”), and instead tells her, “If you ever hear you call yourself stupid again,  I’ll cane you bloody.”

“Something’s been living  in here.” –Sister Jude

5. Sister Jude seems to be the most uptight, frigid, prude on the show (yes, even for a nun in 1964). Yet during a montage of her cooking dinner for her and the monsignor, she wears a lacy red slip under her and lets her hair down before donning her penguin suit again. She also clearly knows she needs to stay away from alcohol. When the monsignor clasps her hand to make a point when they dine together, she’s visibly moved and imagines removing her nun’s habit to let her hair tumble out and removing her robe sensuously to reveal the sexy red slip, then sitting on his lap and leaning in close to him before she catches herself and snaps back to reality. Troubled past, indeed.

6. Two of the most impressive pieces of Pino Donaggio’s ’s score featured in Brian De Palma’s Carrie  (1976) are used in key scenes of this episode. When Sister Eunice goes out to the woods with the buckets of meat, becoming more and more frightened, the score is the same as the suspenseful  build-up to the prom ‘crowning’ scene when Sue Stern sees the ropes leading to the bucket of blood hanging in the rafters, puts it together too late, tries to warn Miss Collins, but gets thrown out and the gym doors slam closed right before the bucket of blood drops. The music while Kit is brought out of the police vehicle in shackles and led inside the hospital, followed by Lana the reporter, is the same heart-wrenching refrain played after Carrie’s mother stabs her in the back after the prom while they’re saying the Hail Mary together and Carrie tumbles down the stairs, gasping and wounded.

7.  Poor Kit was  thisclose  to getting a lobotomy (without anesthetic) until Dr. Arden discovers what seems to be a black metal alien tracking device implanted in his neck and removes it with a scalpel. Freakier yet, it sprouts six very thin insectoid legs and scuttles out of frame. Looks like this discovery gave him a temporary reprieve.

“She drowned her sister’s baby and then sliced her ears off.”  -Sister Eunice to Lana after Lana calls Pepper (the pinhead she encounters outside the asylum, who has just sweetly handed Lana a rose) “harmless”.

 

8. Either Bloody Face is still alive (doubtful) or the kinky honeymooners are trapped in some kind of time loop from Hell after they snuck into the Asylum to get it on.

9. The secret underground tunnel (the “death chute”),  wasn’t just used to shuttle out bodies during the tuberculosis epidemic. Sister Eunice sneaks around through there to visit the woods (containing, I assume, the raspers) and toss out buckets of offal and raw meat to feed them.

10. Sister Jude may be scary as hell, resort to cruel blackmail, and rule with an iron fist (or a wooden cane) , but she’s on to Dr. Arden, coming as close to calling him on his shit as a nun can, asking him pointedly why of the four patients he claimed have disappeared under his supervision, have ‘died ‘and been cremated (including a fifth the night before), none had family, no one to grieve or ask questions. “I think you’re lying. I’ve dealt with far bigger monsters than you. Let me give you clear warning. I’ll always win against the patriarchal males.” You go, Sistah!

Carrie White Burns in Hell and other Classic Horror Jumps (Vote for Your Favorite)

Sometimes I get the brilliant idea (based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever) that if I remember the [jump] scene in vivid detail, I’ll sort of deconstruct it and it’ll lose some of the scare value. Well, 99% of the time, I turn out more freaked out then before…

We’re talking BIG jumps. You know, the kind you either block out after you see the movie because your brain is trying to protect itself from you hitting your head on the ceiling more than once, or, more likely, the kind how may have seen decades ago and will forever be entrenched in your central nervous system. With some jumps, especially those below, I started feeling panick-y just remembering the scene –mainly because I can completely recall the first time I ever saw it in the theater OR my home–and the feeling of my heart skipping a beat …or two. Some are still as fresh in my mind as if I saw them days, not years, ago.

“Slow ahead.” I can go slow ahead. Come on down here and chum some of this shit.

Only halfway through jotting them down, I realized I had well over a dozen and decided to split it into “classic jumps” (during the 70s and 80s) and “contemporary jumps.” I have trivia to add on almost every single one. Some of it, you’re probably aware of, but maybe one or two will be news to you. Sometimes I get the brilliant idea (based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support my theory) that if I remember the scene in vivid detail, I’ll sort of deconstruct it and it’ll lose some of the scare value. Well, 99% of the time, I turn out more freaked out then before. Every time I try it, I know it will almost certainly backfire on me, so I learned to do it a little less now… most of the time. I doubt I’ll ever completely learn my lesson.

Okay… there’s nothing out there on the wing of the plane… I’m seeing things… I’ll just gather my nerve and slide the shade up to double-cheEAAAAAAAAAAAH!

You can put your own answer down if you don’t see your most memorable jump here, but there’s a pretty fair chance it’ll show up in the next poll in the series (or, just comment away). Since the poll lists ten moments (and one of them is a two-fer) I allowed up to four repeat votes, in case you couldn’t pick just one.  I think I know which one will be the most popular –but hey, I could be wrong.  Let’s find out together, shall we?

Vote away! Even if you’ve only seen one or two of the movies, it’ll come to you which one made you jump highest, I can promise you that…

It’s a GOOD LifEEEEEEEAAAGH!!!!

*Writing this post at 4:00 AM was a terrible goddamn idea!