Carrie (2002)

Films that dole out cataclysmic levels of carnage, do not tend to focus much on the after-effects of said chaos: the rebuilding, the guilt that can come with survivorship, or even the report to the local police constabulary, if they are still in existence. Yet, matters like these will probably be of utmost importance, and why would people want to keep the secrets of these events to their chest? In 2002, the viewers of N.B.C. got a T.V. film that retold the story of a telekinetic breakdown from a survivor’s perspective, as the audiences got reacquainted with the events of Carrie.

Despite the unconventional retelling, the broad plot points remain!

Carrie White doesn’t fit in with her peer group, she comes from a deeply religious, yet broken home. Her mother doesn’t offer any support, only constant abuse. All of Carrie’s troubling teenage issues come to a head when puberty kicks in. Spiralling off a chain of events that petty vengeance, ruined prom night, and a devastating wave of destruction that will stay with the survivors until their graves. When the authorities start asking questions, it is up to the audience to deduce, who’s hiding what? As Detective John Mulcahey tries to get to the bottom of the peculiar events that transpired when a peculiar young woman blossoms into adulthood.

The survivors all have their version of events and insights on said events…

Carrie of the 21st century, adopts a unique narrative framework, as the tale is told via the subsequent police interview of the survivors of Carrie’s telekinetic frenzy, recanting their version of events. It is a bold way to approach such a familiar story, offering an almost Usual Suspects or Rashamonic take on the events. As Detective Mulcahey and the audience asks what exactly are these characters keeping to their chest. However, the plot mainly sticks to the basics of the class recollection of the fateful prom night.

… Leaving audiences to try and work out the truth.

Being a T.V. film from the early aughts, the effects are the best that they could do with the budget/computers at the time, but despite these practical limitations, they tell the story well enough. Angela Bettis serves as the T.V. Carrie, who you might remember for her directorial work on The ABCs of Death, some other recognisable faces do show up too. David Keith of Firestarter fame is also here too. Whereas the Firestarter’s direct-to-T.V. sequel could have been an interesting pilot, this was actively considered to be a branching-off point for a potential Carrie series. Once again, much like the USA’s The Dead Zone, that unfortunately never saw the light of day.

Carrie’s mother still takes her dogmatic beliefs to the extremes, even in a T.V. setting…

While it feels more of a conventional retelling, with some of De Palma’s style and vision, replaced with a Citizen-Kane-like framing device and a refreshing way to look at some characters. The 2002s take on Carrie feels both novel and faithful, even if you haven’t seen the original film. The T.V. film may have to be a tad economical, but with a story this interesting, Carrie shows that everybody can have a different point of view.

… As is Carrie’s awkward transition to adulthood.

If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree or disagree? or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!

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