Fanatic Cinematic: A Tale of Two ‘Carries’

Movie columnist Alex Leininger on twin drama and the everlasting power of originality

In a world where originality and innovation are key, there are really only two acceptable ways to respond to being copied: full-fledged flattery or burning resentment.

How do you respond when someone tweets the same joke as you, wears your same shoes or even starts mimicking your unique quirks? Although I’ve never been (and most likely never will be) a twin, I can imagine that life gets a little more interesting with an ever-present doppelgänger. How can you be original when you have a carbon copy?

For research purposes, I followed the lives of real life (totally fake) twins, Becky and Stacey. When Stacey borrows Becky’s favorite outfit for a night out at the hip new club, Becky isn’t upset. Becky is a fair person, thinking, “Stacey is my sister, and I’m all about helping her with her body image. Also, do I always look that fresh to death in that dress?”

In reality, Stacey is the much better looking twin and pulls off the outfit much better than Becky does. Don’t mention that to Becky, though.

But what happens when copying isn’t as innocent as borrowing an outfit? The following day, Becky feels like it’s her turn to borrow something of Stacey’s. Becky takes an entire passage of Stacey’s essay, pastes it onto her own essay and turns it in. Long story short, Stacey gets a little upset, and in the heat of retaliation, posts a status on Facebook, saying, “Everyone knows Becky is the less talented, uglier twin. Like my status if you agree.”

Looks like the word got out. Sorry, Becky.

As we learned from my rambling, completely fake story, copying isn’t cool when it’s passed off as something new and original. There are instances in which trying to be like other people is cute — almost like a homage of sorts. But a majority of the time, copying, even when it’s not illegal, will make you look desperate and irrelevant.

Here’s where I get to the point, and that point is this: Do not pay to see the modern remake of Stephen King’s “Carrie” if you’ve already seen the original.

To me, if you can’t do it better than the original, don’t do it at all. Apparently, much like Miley Cyrus and the stiletto fiasco, Kimberly Pierce (the “Carrie” remake’s director) never got the memo. To save you time and money, I’ve listed all of the minor differences in the two films below. Enjoy!

Sissy Spacek vs. Chloë Grace Moretz: The character of Carrie White is meant to be a shy outcast with an overarching ethereal vibe. The two actresses are certainly different, most notably in the fact that Spacek was 27 at the time of the role, while Moretz was/is only 16. The debate between who played Carrie better is similar to the debate about plastic surgery. Moretz is much more natural in the part, but Spacek better fits the character. Who’s to say which looked better?

1970s vs. 2010s: King’s novel, published in the ‘70s, was undoubtedly meant to take place in the times of groovy mustaches and disco balls. Some movie remakes add interesting, modern twists that add creativity to the works, but sadly, this one did not. If anything, this remake only affirmed the fact that the film industry simply doesn’t have any idea how to portray high school in the modern age.

Black Prom then vs. now: The “Black Prom” scene is the climax of both movies, and it mostly has to do with the fact that more than 400 people are brutally murdered. Of course, special effects are more developed now than they were 40 years ago, but I still refuse to acknowledge that 2013’s prolonged, graphic climax bests the artsier, slightly more subdued climax of 1976.

“Carrie” is a phenomenally written story with smoothly interwoven symbolism. Don’t get me wrong about that. I just don’t see why anyone would want to see a remake of a movie already adapted from a book.

One of the best things we can be in life is original. After Stacey’s status got 54 likes, Becky learned this lesson. It just sucks that it took a cyber takedown of her reputation for her to do so.

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