Book vs. Movie: Carrie

Today I want to write about one of Stephen King’s most famous works. But not only his book is widely known, also Brian De Palma’s movie adaptation has gained cult status by now.


The Plot:
Carrie White is a wallflower. Actually even more than that, an inconspicuous girl who is hated and mobbed by every one. At home she is suppressed by her very religious mother who keeps Carrie from having a normal live.
But one day, the other girls at the Highschool cross the line. Carrie gets upset and discovers something – she has telekinetic powers.
Even when one of the girls tries to make it up to Carrie it only gets worse. Hell is about to break loose.


Book vs. Movie:
Just like Shining, the film adaptation is different from the book.
Stephen King’s novel gives a deep insight. Not only in Carrie White’s feelings and thoughts but also in other people intentions. There’s extensive coverage of Sue Snell and also of Chris Hargensen. Furthermore, the book is spiked with newspaper articles and scientifical stuff that tries to investigate the events Carrie White was involved in.
The movie on the other hand lets you look right through Carrie’s eyes. You feel her pain. For some reason the film gets deeper under your skin than the book. The novel gives you the position of a bystander. You watch all the events from a certain distance, the movie throws you right in.
However, the  movie also shows events differently. Until the Prom film and novel correspond pretty much, but from there on the story changes. I don’t want to spoil anything so let me just say Carrie’s destruction and killing spree is far more extensive. Despite that, the book somehow is more conciliatory. For me it seems like Carrie finds her peace whereas in the movie she never does.
What I prefer about the movie is that the sports teacher really seems like an adult. In Stephen King’s novel she appears to be more like a student herself but on screen she’s almost like a mother figure.
The book on the other hand has a stronger impression when it comes to Carrie’s mother. She may be crazy in the screen adaptation, but in the novel she’s a complete maniac. The scenes about her fanatic religious outbursts are far more intense in the novel.

Summing up I can only say that it’s worth reading the book and watching the movie. Each version highlight different aspect of the story and therefore give different pictures of the same plot. However, Sissy Spacek is absolutely brilliant. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect Carrie White (although she was 27 when she auditioned for the role). It was filmed wonderfully and comes up with extremely strong images. For example the opening sequence in the shower is almost dreamlike. Brian De Palma knows what he’s doing when it comes to making movies, just like Stephen King does with books!


Have you seen the movie? Read the book? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!



4 thoughts on “Book vs. Movie: Carrie

  1. Pingback: Ultimate Halloween Horror Movie List | Le Cinéma en Rose

  2. Pingback: Book vs. Movie: Stephen King’s It | The Punk Theory

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