"To entertain, inspire, frighten, teach, and entice as many readers as possible." - Keith Helinski
Wastin' Away Press features Keith Helinski's writings, ranging from short stories online to movie reviews over the years. Also features an assortment of Keith's interests. If you like what you see, check out Wastin' Away Press's official Facebook.
"It all made a weird kind of sense. He had known from the first - even before he actually saw it - that the Overlook Hotel was an evil place. It was gone now, burned flat, but who was to say the evil had also been burned away? Certainly not him. As a child, he had been visited by revenants who had escaped."
Rose the Hat started her truck, pull out of the supermarket parking lot, and headed for the family-owned Bluebell Campground. It was a beautiful location, and why not? One of the world’s great resort hotels had once stood there.
But of course, the Overlook had burned to the ground long ago.
Mrs. Massey was gone. Horace Derwent was gone, they were securely locked away in the boxes he kept far back in his mind, but the Overlook was still not done with him. Written on the mirror, not in lipstick but in blood, was a single word:
It was dusk when the first real snow came. We stood on the porch of that big old empty hotel, my dad in the middle, my mom on one side, me on the other. He had his arms around us. It was okay then. He wasn’t drinking then. At first the snow fell in perfectly straight lines, but then the wind picked up and it started to blow sideways, drifting against the sides of the porch and coating those -
He tried to block it off, but it got through.
- those hedge animals. The ones that sometimes moved around when you weren’t looking.
"Sometimes he said that he knew a bad man named Charlie Manx, and if I didn’t do what he wanted, he’d call Charlie Manx on the long-distance and he’d come in his fancy car and take me away to a place for bad children."
It seems that every decade is in need of a ‘Carrie’ adaptation. First there was the 1999 sequel called ‘The Rage.’ Then there was a 2002 made for TV movie (which was intended as a pilot for a potential TV series, but didn’t had enough telekinetic powers to pull in the ratings). Now, an updated 2013 film unleashes itself, all with social media references and a bloody CGI climax. Why the constant interest in modernizing Carrie White for every other generation? The 1976 original is nearly perfect as is, what’s the point of recycling the same song and dance?
How many countless reports (and countless more unreported) incidents of bullying? How often have we heard of suicides with teenagers as a result of being picked on? The appeal of ‘Carrie’ might have something to do with the terrifying climax that always ends with a fatal prom night, but the real horrors that reside in Stephen King’s cautionary tale of bullying, comes from the first ten minutes of the film (and any incarnation of the story), with a young girl that unexpectedly gets her period, and a group of her peers that starts throwing tampons at her, picking on her for how ignorant Carrie White is about herself. The bullying continues throughout the story (including bullying from Carrie’s own mother), which pushes Carrie to her limit. The chaos during the prom scene might be terrifyingly exciting to see unfold onscreen (and a bit on the fictional silly side of life), but let’s come back to reality where school shootings happen, ‘Carrie’ is as much of a horror film as it’s a character study of bullying, and the affects of it.
As far as a remake goes, this updated film is very good. There’s things I like about the original this film doesn’t offer, and vice-verse. I can’t say one is better than the other. They are both good on their own merits.
Chloë Grace Moretz is perfect as Carrie White. I think any critic that bashes her performance are bullies themselves. I really felt Moretz’s emotions throughout the film, and the climax actually left me a little sad for her fate.
Julianne Moore was ruthless as Carrie’s mom. She walked away from any of the campier versions of the character, and portrayed her as realistic as possible. She made me cringe a few times.
Everyone else in the film were strong, the characters are believable, though, not fleshed out (so to speak). I kept on thinking throughout the film, that there must have been a lot of cut scenes, because the film seems a bit condensed than it should be. The running time is only 92 minutes, yet I had the impression the filmmakers were going to be more true to the book, not that the film doesn’t steer from its source material. There’s a little bit of back story to Carrie White’s ‘gift’ that was hinted upon through this film’s marketing online, but none of it was in the film I saw.
Throughout the book, the story pauses with interviews with witnesses that leads up to the climax. I was hoping the movie would attempt to replicate that same style, but the narrative was straight-forward, just like the original movie. Tail end of this film, there is a snippet from a hearing, but it really doesn’t go anywhere (and there’s no pay-off from it). I was also a little disappointed that the filmmakers didn’t fulfill that promise of Carrie White’s destruction in town, which goes more in-depth in the book.
I still really liked the film, and view it in three ways: it’s a good horror film, it’s a solid remake, and it’s a GREAT allegory to the high school experience. I am noticing a LOT of reviews from critics, asking, ‘what’s the point?’ For majority of remakes, I do agree with them. But ‘Carrie’ is an exception to the rule. And as far as I am concern, I will start asking ‘what’s the point of remaking ‘Carrie’ every other decade?’ when I stop reading/hearing about school shootings/suicides/and how awful kids treat other kids at school.
Oddly enough, it was bullying Stephen King witnessed when he used to teach English in high school before he made it big, that inspired him to write about Carrie White’s own hellish experience in school.
There’s a really good documentary called ‘Bully,’ which is as horrifying as Carrie White’s story. The sad thing is - ‘Bully’ isn’t fiction.