Angela Bettis stars as Carrie White in this made for TV remake of the 1976 classic Brian DePalma film of the same name.
Sticking with the book for its source material rather than the film, this updated version shows a young Carrie (Jodelle Ferland) tormented by her religious fanatic mother Margaret (the excellent Patricia Clarkson) long before she has to contend with High School bullies.
When she does hit high school, it’s a very different one to that witnessed in the ’76 version as familiar teen tarts spout choice nuggets of dialogue such as: ‘Carrie’s Aunt Flo is in town’ during the dramatic first period scene, ‘This is so not over, it’s not even in the same area code as over’ as Emilie De Ravin’s Chris throws a hissy fit and the dire ‘We should have a rule: if they do something in a Freddie Prinze Jr. movie we’re not allowed to do it in real-life’ as Tommy tries to get out of taking Carrie to prom. Just in case you missed ‘She’s All That’ he then proceeds to recite the blurb from the DVD cover. The adults don’t fare much better with Rena Sofer’s Miss Desjarden noting that ‘until today, Carrie White thought her first period was homeroom’.
Apart from overdoing it with the hip schtik, the remake benefits from the talents of its genre friendly cast but isn’t a patch on the original in any way, shape or form.
The special effects are cheap looking (as is the film itself) the music comes courtesy of unknown artists and the added source material is pretty much unnecessary, save for the hilarious opening where young Carrie enters into a dialogue with a teenaged neighbour about breasts.
This two hour and twelve minute TV movie was originally spread out across three weeks when it was first broadcast in May 2003 on Sunday nights on Sky One here in the UK, but it felt even longer on DVD. I guess it fared better in chunks of 45 minutes with ad breaks so we could escape the angst. Despite a great cast and the obvious wonderful source material, the film is yet another unnecessary exercise in baying to the demands of overly affluent teens. When even the lead actress can call this for what it is (mainly a pointless retread, only weaker) you shouldn’t expect too much.