Friday, April 27, 2018

Worst to First Prom Movies- Carrie

When Carrie was released in 1976 it proved to be a shocking movie that no one would soon forget, the bloody image of Sissy Spacek unleashing hell still remains one of the most iconic moments in movie history. Despite the success of the film it would take 20 years to get a sequel along with a pair of remakes. I am listing the four movies in the Carrie series from worst to first. 

4. The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)

This sequel was released over 20 years after the success of Carrie and focuses on Carrie's half-sister Rachel who is learning that she possesses abilities that she does not understand. The plot is similar to the first movie focusing on the effects of bullying as well as sexual predation and how Rachel reacts to those who wrong her and her best friend. Amy Irving appears in the movie reprising her role as Sue Snell, giving Rachel background details on her sister and the tragic night she died. There is no "Black Prom," but Rachel does get her revenge on those who hurt her friend as well as herself. The movie does borrow on a real-life event involving a group of jocks who made a secret pact to sleep with girls for points in a book they kept so this factors heavily into the revenge that Rachel seeks out in the climax of the film. The movie did not do well at the box office and was critically panned for its failure to capture what made the first film so effective as a horror film. 

3. Carrie (2002)

A made for television adaptation that starred Angela Bettis as Carrie and Patricia Clarkson as her mother. The movie is told in a series of flashbacks by survivors of the tragic "Black Prom" making this version different from the first despite telling the same story. The movie was planned as a potential pilot for a proposed television series focusing on Carrie, so the ending of the book was changed. This television series never came out, so the movie leaves Carrie's fate undetermined. Despite complaints that the flashbacks made the film seem like a rehash of the first movie the portrayal of Carrie by Ms. Bettis was praised by critics and fans who felt she best captured the spirit of King's novel. Due to the restrictions of television, the movie was toned down in the violence and language, but the movie still shows the prom scene and its aftermath effectively. Among the many versions of the movie, this one is often considered the lesser of the trio. 

2. Carrie (2013)

A contemporary re-imagining of the classic movie did little to change the plot but featured Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie and Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore as Carrie's mother. The movie is closer to the novel and includes some plot elements left out of the 1976 version but otherwise follows the movie in every way. Notable differences are the lack of nudity during the shower scene, and a stronger role for the Gym teacher Miss Desjardin played by Judy Greer. Although Miss Moretz is a great actress, her portrayal of Carrie is not as strong as Ms. Spacek or Ms. Bettis, yet it is adequate given the role she has to play. The movie does move at a faster pace than the first version, but it's apparent that cuts were made that left some key roles underutilized. The big prom scene is impressive thanks to the more significant budget, yet it does not seem as bloody despite the much higher death toll. For those who have not watched any version of this movie, this one will scare and entertain, but fans of the original will feel they are watching something that was already skillfully done. 

1. Carrie (1976)

Starring a cast that would provide many well-known Hollywood players, Carrie is both a sad and frightening tale of ostracism and revenge. "Crazy Carrie" as she is called is portrayed quite effectively by Sissy Spacek in a role that would standout in horror movie lore. Carrie is a loner, teased by her classmates and taunted by her zealously religious mother, but she has a secret. It appears Carrie has powers that seem to be barely under her control. When it seems that her peers are finally accepting her, we discover that they wish to play a cruel joke on her during the senior prom. Tragically, the prank pulled on her goes wrong, the release of pig's blood on her and the subsequent laughter by both students and teachers unleashes a fury of anger as she burns the school and kills everyone in her path. Her final confrontation with her mom is not only frightening but also tragic. Carrie earned Sissy Spacek her first Oscar nomination and was a commercial success for the filmmakers and Stephen King. With its excellent cast, good direction, and climatic finale we have a classic shocker that still has an impact today. 

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