Carrie (David Carson, 2002, USA/Canada)

Carrie (2002) is the second feature-length adaptation of Stephen King's breakout 1974 novel. However, in this case, King's novel was adapted for the screen. Rather, it was conceived as a TV movie for NBC. Bryan Fuller (later the successful creator behind Pushing Daisies and Hannibal) conceived the film as a pilot for a potential series. Needless to say, the film didn't end up becoming a series. This adaptation of Carrie is in many respects more faithful to King's novel than Brian De Palma's 1976 film, although that is not necessarily a good thing.

Much like the book, the film uses the framing device of after-the-fact police interviews with people related to the events of the night of the prom. CSI was all the rage on network TV at the time, and the film was undoubtedly trying to tap into that audience. The problem unfortunately is that this consistently takes the audience out of the action of the film and provides to be more distracting. Other new threads from the book fare worse - namely, the use of early 2000s cheap digital effects to create the famous scene of the rocks raining down on Carrie's house. 

The one saving grace of the film is Angela Bettis, whose performance as Carrie is a highlight. She is believable in the role and had just come off playing a similar role in the cult film May. Many of the other cast members come across as miscast, most notably Jesse Cadotte as Billy Nolan. No longer the goofy Travolta character, here Billy Nolan is closer to King's psychopath from the novel - but it doesn't work. Carrie 2002 was torn to pieces by critics, and we would not get another adaptation of the novel until ten years later when Kim Peirce adapted it in 2013. 



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