Review: All Versions of Carrie

There are three versions of the horror classic “Carrie” by Stephen King out there—the original novel, the first movie, and the second movie. Compare the three.

Carrie (Novel) by Stephen King
Stephen King says, in an introduction to Carrie (though I’m not sure if it is present in the version I’m posting a link to) that he had to step into the lives of teenage girls. In his efforts to replicate the typical hazing anyone at the bottom of a high school’s social totem pole might endure, he showed the worst that can happen, with the “blood sport” in the girls’ locker room, followed by the manifestation of Carrie White’s telekinetic gift, and leading to her subsequent destruction of the school, town, and many lives, and leading up to her own death.
I give a brief synapsis of the book, to offer a basis for comparison with the two movie versions.

The first movie version, released in the seventies, reflects the darkness and violence of the true novel. But there are several obvious changes to the plot line. The changing of Ms. Desjardin’s name to Ms. Collins, the interjection of Billy’s friends into the prom night committee, the conversation between “Ms. Collins” Tommy, and Sue. These scenes are not even present in the novel. Also there is dialog present in the novel that is not in the movie, making it more difficult to follow. I also find it funny that the game the girls in gym play at the opening of the novel changes from soft ball to volley ball in the first movie, then back to soft ball in the second.
Something worth noting: Sissy Spasek makes a wonderful representation of the novel’s main character in this version. She later goes on to read the audio publishing of the novel.

Carrie (later version)

In 2002, a TV remake of the original, now starring Angela Bettis as Carrie, is more faithful to the novel’s plot line. Names are not changed, no out-of-place scenes are interjected. The thing that is different is that this version ends with Carrie leaves town, aided by Sue Snell, the actress who also appears in the remake of “Children of the Corn”. It is more high-tech and somewhat less violent, but still does the novel justice.

I want to mention a sequel to the 1976 version, namely “The Rage: Carrie 2” about a half-sister who would have been born after both Carrie and her father had died. This is rather badly thought out, as Carrie’s father died before Carrie was even born, according to the novel.
However, it is a neat little story, along the same lines, featuring a great metal soundtrack and the original Sue Snell as a guidance councilor. This movie should have been made after the second, TV version of Carrie was released, for then the time line would be almost workable. Sadly, it was released in 1999.


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