7 November 2002 | bilahn
Not as bad as I expected, but no replacement for the original.
To state that this new version of Carrie doesn't remotely compare with the original horror classic is to belabor the obvious, so I will leave that issue aside.
However, I expected this movie to be simply garbage, like the recent "Rose Red", or dull and mediocre, like the TV remake of The Shining, and surprisingly, it was better than that.
Making a remake of a classic film is usually inadvisable, but under the circumstances, this was an honest and decent rendition of Carrie. TV movies tend to be endlessly drawn out, with low proudction values, and this was better than average. Most of the credit goes, however to the casting. Most of the cast were a very competent group of actors who I think really gave it their best shot in creating a new angle on the Carrie story. Particular mention should be made of Angela Bettis in the title role. She tackled the daunting task of taking a part made very famous by someone else, and making it her own. Her Carrie is less a neurotic mess than Sissy Spacek', repressed and unhappy but still strong and with some guts. She was very sweet and vulnerable, and was often very touching, as when she was suddenly, out of the blue, asked to the prom by such a handsome, nice boy.
One big disappointment was Patricia Clarkson as Mrs. White. The part was really reduced in scope in this version, and the actress played her in a very restrained and bland fashion. I can well imagine that it was decided that to replicate Piper Laurie's over the top baroque performance was inadvisable. The idea here was to have a more low key sinister approach. But the result was completely dull and uninteresting character that had less relevance to the story than it should have.
So for a TV remake of a horror classic, I give it A for effort, with some very good elements to it. However, this is still a movie you will probably watch only once. The real Carrie, Brian DePalma's 1976 classic, is one that is always fun to watch again and again!