New Blood vs. Old: Comparing the ‘Carrie’ Remake With the Original

Kara Warner
Movie TalkOctober 17, 2013
Chloe Grace Moretz and Sissy Spacek
Chloe Grace Moretz and Sissy Spacek

Another October, and another horror movie remake hits the screens. This year we have “Boys Don’t Cry” helmer Kimberly Peirce directing Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore in “Carrie,” a new telling of the 1976 classic starring Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie, based on Stephen King’s first novel.

The story remains the same: A shy outcast discovers she has telekinetic powers and unleashes them upon her deeply religious mother and high school peers when they push her too far on prom night. There is mention of the “dirty pillows” and “they’re all gonna laugh at you,” so what really sets the two films apart? Yahoo Movies sought out a few experts on the subject to break down the key differences between the two films. (Warning: SPOILERS below.)

A New Beginning

“One of the biggest differences has to be the opening scene,” said Evan Dickson, West Coast Editor for “The 1976 De Palma version opens in the showers when Carrie gets her period. This new one opens with something entirely different -- and interesting -- before moving on to more familiar territory.”

Contemporary Humiliation

“This is a ‘Carrie’ for a new generation and the levels of humiliation she experiences are amplified thanks to technology,” added Ryan Turek, Managing Editor of “In the original, she received a humiliating tampon shower. Here, that still happens, but it's recorded on a cell phone and there's the threat that the video will go viral on the web.

[Related: Customers Freak Out as Viral Video Unleashes 'Carrie' in a Coffee Shop]

Age-Appropriate Actors

“The actors playing the teens in the new ‘Carrie’ -- including star Chloë Grace Moretz and the kids playing her high school tormentors -- look more age-appropriate in the new version,” said Don Kaye, film journalist and horror expert. “That's not a knock on anyone in the 1976 version: Sissy Spacek, Nancy Allen, Amy Irving, John Travolta and William Katt were all terrific, but also all clearly in their mid-to-late-twenties. Some of the actors in the new version are actually in their twenties as well, but Chloe herself is just 16 and the cast overall doesn't look that odd attending their high school prom.”

Julianne Moore in Carrie
Julianne Moore in Carrie

Variations on Mom

“Julianne Moore's Margaret White takes self-abuse to new extremes,” said Turek. “Piper Laurie smacked herself around when she was upset with Carrie's actions [in the original], however, Moore's Margaret goes so far as to break skin, scratching herself until she bleeds.”

More Death! More Destruction!

“Another huge difference is that Carrie's rampage now extends beyond the prom,” said Dickson. “In Stephen King's novella she destroys half the town and Kimberly Peirce's new version hints at that more than the De Palma one (though neither film really recaptures the scope of the book's ending).”

A Telekinetic Takeoff

“Carrie flies. Well, briefly,” Turek noted. “For Sissy Spacek, the telekinesis was all about her eyes and head movements. Very powerful. Chloë Grace Moretz makes it her own, utilizing her full body to demonstrate her power and, at one point, she levitates off of the stage and onto the gym floor. We didn't know she could do that.”

Survivor Pool

“Sympathetic gym teacher Ms. Desjardin, played by Judy Greer in the new ‘Carrie,’ survives Carrie's rampage following the prom, as she did in King's novel,” said Kaye. “The same character, named Ms. Collins in the 1976 movie and played by Betty Buckley, meets a nasty end in the school gym -- making Carrie's fury seem that much more indiscriminate and frightening.”

Watch the trailer for "Carrie":