Being a huge fan of Stephen King, having read the book, and having watched the 1976 adaptation at least three times, I mostly knew what to expect. And I was right. Most of the remake’s scenes were almost identical to the 1976 version.
But I still enjoyed the movie a lot. I was smiling the entire time she was breaking shit up and killing people at the prom. I kept thinking “payback’s a bitch!”
However, my boyfriend didn’t like it. He never read the book or watched the 76 movie. He thought that in comparison to other Stephen King movie adaptations he saw, Carrie was superficial and lacked the mystery and the depth that his other movies have. He may be right about the mystery part. As for depth, there is definitely some of that if you possess a feminist mind. More on that below.
Carrie is the only Stephen King book that I didn’t like, but it wasn’t because it lacked depth, but rather because of the style King chose for this particular novel. I felt that it read too much like a term paper, and doesn’t do a good job of building the suspense as a result, unlike King’s other books, where I completely lose track of time, forget to eat or to shower (and in extreme cases breathe) and find myself reading until some ungodly hour of the night.
Today, I came across a poster advertising the movie. It reads “First the blood, then the power”. That got me thinking that this movie really does have a lot of blood in it. But not just any blood, but different kinds too – pig blood, human blood, and incredibly enough, period blood.
I may have this all wrong, but the way I see it, Carrie got her period at the very beginning of the movie, and that was when she started noticing her telekinetic powers. So her period blood is what fueled her telekinesis and brought it to the forefront.
Perhaps there is some kind of subliminal message in this movie targeted at girls going through puberty. Carrie was made fun of by the girls in her class when she got her period, and was told by her mother that if she got her period, it means that she was having “lustful thoughts” which is a sin. A girl who has been taught that blood is impure and that it is a sign of sin and shame, and is worthy of ridicule, can relate to that. But by using Carrie’s first period as the onset of her powers, that girl can also start seeing her period as something that holds incredible power. Maybe not telekinesis, but the power to create life, which is nothing short of divine and magical. Blood is not impure, it is not a sin, and it is certainly not a sign of shame. It is a pure, unabated, most concrete form of power that a woman possesses. And I think that Carrie manages to convey that message. This is where the depth is.
On a related note, I ordered a bunch of Stephen King books from Steimatzky. I hope they get it soon because I miss reading. I’ve been watching too much goddamn television. Maybe I should give Carrie, the novel, another shot.
Peace, love and “They’re all gonna laugh at you!”