This horror story about a young misunderstood student, living under the spell of her over-protective mother, that discovers she has telekinesis powers and puts them to use when bullied at school made a huge impact when first published in 1974. Four decades later, writer/director Kimberly Peirce has adapted King’s story to contemporary times, with Chloe Moretz in the leading role of “Carrie.”
This story was first adapted on the screen by Brian De Palma in 1976, and now Peirce has decided to retell it with the blessing of both the author and De Palma.
The issues Stephen King was dealing with in the novel feel timeless, as producer Kevin Misher explains: “I think if you look at the original book that was written in the 70’s you can see that it’s a very classic tale about kids feeling disenfranchised, with the science fiction horror metaphor of one girl’s experience. She represents what many kids go through at high school during puberty. So, this seemed to be a movie that could speak to a contemporary audience and to the nostalgics that grew up loving the book and the original film -appealing to a very large group of people. And it may also have a lot to say, because the way movies discourse on contemporary issues today seems to me to be through genre. For instance, many people talked about how `The Dark Knight Rises’ was about civil unrest.”
In Peirce’s words: “I wanted to bring the audience as deeply as possible inside Carrie’s journey – inside her intense longing and effort to be a normal teenager amidst the mockery of her peers; inside her discovery and use of these amazing powers; inside her strange and deep bond with her religious and protective mother, Margaret; and inside the fatal conflicts that arise as Carrie ventures into the world to become a woman.”
“What really hit me were the characters,” follows up Peirce. “Margaret and Carrie’s profound mother/daughter relationship is the heart and soul of the movie as Margaret tries to prevent her daughter from growing up and using her powers. From there you widen out to include all the other characters that help to push Carrie to her ultimate end. I wanted to make an emotional, modern and very fun version of this story.”
Carrie’s powers also can be seen a gift and a curse -a duality always present in Moretz’s performance, as the young actress explains: “The telekinesis aspect of the movie could have been this weird element that nobody understood, or this beautiful element that added a new dimension to the film – which is what Kim did! She took this element and made it so beautiful that when you watch Carrie use it, you can’t help but to want those powers! She is not only becoming a woman and realizing who she is, but also becoming stronger every day and learning how to utilize this newfound power. There are some really awesome shots of her discovering what she’s capable of and how much strength she really has.”
Kimberly Peirce is delighted with Chloe’s performance as Carrie: “She is amazing! Obviously any director is going to say that about their main actor, but what is unique about her is that she is a wonderful performer that has beautifully been able to play a really precocious adult aged-up girl. She is on the verge of blossoming, and this is the story of a girl who blossoms. So, we also had youth on our side.”
Opening across the Philippines in October 16, “Carrie” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.
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