I know what you must be thinking: Why does Hollywood continue to put out reboots of classic horror films? Have they not learned their lesson about rebooting horror films? If you can’t do the original film justice then stop wasting our time and yours. However, this is one time where it looks like the may have gotten it right this time around. There are many differences to the 1976 version of Carrie and the new one, but there are also many points where the newer film managed to stay true to the original. Then there are the plot points where nothing is what it once was. This is a comparison of both films.
The original Carrie from 1976, directed by Brian De Palma was one of a kind for it’s time. It opens with a high school girl’s gym class playing volleyball, followed by a shower scene showing a large amount of full frontal nudity, leading up to the famous shower scene in which Carrie gets her period and begins to panic because she doesn’t know what’s happening to her. Chris Hargensen and the other girls throw tampons and pads at her telling her to “plug it up!”. In the opening sequence of the new CARRIE, it opens with Carrie’s birth, and her mother trying to kill her, which fails as newborn Carrie uses her powers to stop her mother, then a flash forward to Carrie in gym class, getting ready to play water polo. She watches Sue Snell make out with her boyfriend Tommy Ross as Chris Hargensen makes rude comments to Carrie. The girls play water polo and Carrie accidently hits Sue Snell in the head with the ball, while Chris says Carrie eats shit. The new shower scene where Carrie gets her period was harder to watch than the original, mainly because instead of just tormenting the poor girl, that bitch Chris films it using her IPhone, stepping up the level of bullying.
Let’s talk about Carrie’s mom, Margaret White. In the original, Piper Laurie did a fantastic job filling the role and she couldn’t have been anymore perfect for it. She was a god fearing woman, and it was nice to see that not change from the older film to the newer one. Although in the new one, it’s made clear that the state banned Carrie’s mom from continuing to homeschool her and she was forced to enroll her in public schooling. In the older film, this was never made clear, much less mentioned. Margaret White in the newer film has a job (the original never explored what she did to earn a living.), and is heavy into self mutilation. In the older film she did hurt herself but not nearly to the extent that Julianne Moore did in her portrayal of Margaret White.In both the old and new versions of the film, the gym teacher is very helpful to Carrie trying to get her to open up. In both films, the girls who torment Carrie all receive a really good punishment for what they did, a weeks worth of detention, you don’t go, you lose out on the prom. Chris Hargensen mouths off to the gym teacher in both films and gets slapped for it, losing out on her prom as a result. Keep in mind that in the original film the teacher wasn’t punished for how she acted, but she was this time. Right or wrong, that girl had it coming. Carrie’s interaction with her mother is not the same in either film, which is to be expected. In the new one, it seems to Carrie’s mother is trying to protect her and be her enemy at the same time, but I got that same feeling from re-watching the original. The closet scene is different in both films, as the new version has Carrie cause a crack in the door and the other does not.
A major difference I noticed was the interaction between Tommy Roos and Sue Snell in both films. Sue goes to Tommy and asks him to take Carrie to the prom when she becomes distraught over what happened. In the original film, this conversation takes place on the field at their school while Tommy is running laps. In the new one, this takes place after the couple stops having sex in the back of his car. Talk about a plot changer. It may not seem like this new plot twist would have any effect on the story, but it does. Chris’s torment of Carrie was fairly limited to the prom scene in the original, but that changes in the new one. This time around, Chris and her crazy boyfriend Billy Nolan (played by John Travolta in the original and it was his first film role.) decide to take the video she shot of Carrie and post it on the internet while plotting against Carrie. That never happened in the original, all Chris did back then was go on a joyride with Billy and seduced him into helping her destroy Carrie White. The new Chris gets busted for loading the video, and trying to get her daddy to sue the school so she can go to prom. He offers to help if she hands over the phone to prove she didn’t load the video, and she refuses. Old Chris didn’t go THAT far with getting back into prom, she accepted that she lost out and plotted revenge. Chris is much more of a bitch the third time around. I say third time around because contrary to popular belief, there’s actually a made for t.v version of Carrie that can be found on Netflix. Don’t watch it, it’s awful. There’s even The Rage: Carrie 2, but i’m not going to get into that one.
The newer version of Chris seems to have a lot more balls than any previous incarnation of the character. She’s cruel in every way humanly possible, and she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty killing a pig. Old Chris couldn’t be bothered to get alittle blood on her hands. However, the new Chris actually cares about what happens to her friends, where the other is completely selfish on every level. As for her boyfriend Billy Nolan, he’s a little more involved than before. For one, he’s a complete a-hole, not to mention he actually threatens to kill his girlfriend if she doesn’t go through with the plan, because they can get arrested for felony assault. The original film never said anything about that.
Back to Carrie! The older Carrie never really focused on working those powers of hers, and perhaps there was a reason for that. She never forced her mom into the closet on prom night, but she did force her onto a bed and broke a mirror. New Carrie broke a school mirror, made a flag move, got her bed and everything around her to float and move around, made her mom float and forced her into the praying closet. Both Carrie’s knocked the kid off the bike, after the boy said “Creepy Carrie” in the original, which I liked better than ‘Crazy Carrie” in the new one.
I had no problem with the prom scene in both films, and while I did notice some changes between the two, a lot of parts managed to stay the same. Everything goes off without a hitch at the prom, with the dancing and winning prom king and queen, but then you notice the changes. When Sue figures out what Chris is up to via text message, she tries to stop her but is too late after she gets kicked out. Chris and Billy pour the blood on Carrie, and Chris freaks out when she notices Tommy is dead, then all hell breaks loose. Old Carrie just walked around and used her eyes to do most of the damage. New Carrie uses her hands and her arms to send everything flying. The big difference between both prom scenes is special effects. Back in 1976, we didn’t have the technology we have now, so it wasn’t easy to send everything flying all over without people pulling cords or traps. Now that CGI exists, things like this get easier, but not always for the better. Old Carrie’s special effects were cool and creative for the time period and are still considered effective. New Carrie and the CGI isn’t bad, but it does go a tad overboard at times. For example, did you know that Carrie could fly? Maybe it’s more like hovering. New Carrie can do this, old Carrie could not. Old Carrie burned down the high school, but new Carrie basically took out most of the town. The final interaction we see between Carrie and her mother in the new one is fairly similar to the original, and it’s nice to see how expressive Chloe Grace Moretz is, pretty good next to Sissy Spacek. There was a huge difference with the finals scenes from both films. In the original, Carrie goes home and cleans up and cries to her mother about what happened, while mommy dearest tried to kill her. Old Carrie gets upset after killing her mom and the house starts to burn down and they both die. In the new Carrie, she goes home and gets cleaned up and tells her mom what happened, then mommy dearest tries to kill her. Carrie kills her mom in true Carrie fashion and then Sue Snell shows up out of nowhere to try and help Carrie. Carrie blames Sue for what happened and then Carrie discovers that Sue wasn’t involved. Carrie starts to make it rain stones on her house, because witches (which is what her mother calls her in both films) get stoned to to death. Carrie’s powers somehow manage to pick up on a second heartbeat, letting Sue know she’s pregnant and that she’s having a girl, which is the last thing Carrie says.
REALLY?! Where in the world did that plot line come from? It wasn’t in the book, or the original film. Is this the writer and director's way of saying they want to make a second one? Come on already. Another added scene is shown as well, after all the people at the prom die and Carrie, Sue is seen testifying to what looks like the school board about what happened. Lastly, Sue is shown going to Carrie White’s grave with ‘Carrie White burns in hell” written all over it and leaves a white rose. After she walks away, the grave cracks open. In the original, Sue had a dream that she went to Carrie’s house to leave flowers, with the for sale sign reading “Carrie White burns in hell,” when Carrie’s arm reaches out and grabbed her, she woke up in her mother’s arms screaming (those two were real life mother and daughter in the original film) and she is calmed down. In the newer Carrie, she made stones rain on her house, killing her. This ending was actually intended for the original, but was scrapped after is proved impossible to pull off, so they chose to burn the house down instead.
Both films are good in their own right, and each film is the same in some ways, but also different in others. You can’t go wrong watching the new or the original version. But, if you must, at least watch them in order.
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