Nearly 40 years after Brian De Palma’s cult horror movie “Carrie” shocked audiences, a new adaptation of Stephen King’s masterpiece tells the story in an America haunted by the Columbine and Newtown massacres.
The modern version, released in the United States on Friday, co-stars Oscar-nominated Julianne Moore, and is directed by Kimberly Peirce, whose 1999 “Boys Don’t Cry” won Hilary Swank the best actress Oscar.
De Palma’s 1976 effort, starring Sissy Spacek in the title role, drew a wider audience to “Carrie,” the novel published two years previously by the then barely known King.
In the new movie 16-year-old Chloe Grace Moretz takes the role of the tortured adolescent who uses her telepathic powers to wreak revenge on her cruel classmates and her bigoted mother, played by Moore.
The director also wanted to show how Carrie discovered and developed her powers.
But Carrie uses her talent in murderous ways, at her school’s senior prom.
In an America still traumatized by the school gun massacre in Newtown last December, when a gunman killed 26 people including 20 young children — the latest in a long line of mass shootings stretching back to Columbine in 1999 — Peirce said she wanted to be careful.
Moore, who exhibits her customary precision as Carrie’s deeply religious mother Margaret White, said both the book and the film highlight the damage that can stem from isolation.
Moore portrayed Carrie’s mother as a real outsider.
Peirce paid particular attention to the mother-daughter relationship — which the two actresses insist was not without love.
The teenage star of the film told AFP: “Carrie is in the rage, she is in the anger but at the same time she’s dealing with so much love from her mother.