LOS ANGELES – Carrie is going viral.
In the new take on the supernatural coming-of-age story out Friday, beleaguered high school student Carrie Whites torment doesnt merely occur within the gym showers or on stage at the prom. Its also online, one of a few modern updates dropped into filmmaker Kimberly Peirces reimagining of the landmark 1974 novel by Stephen King.
There are references to the Today show and Dancing with the Stars, tunes from Passion Pit and Krewella playing at the prom and Carrie (Chloe Grace Moretz) searching about her burgeoning telekinetic powers online. Outside the movie, Carrie is also being marketed with a hidden camera stunt thats racked up nearly 40 million views on YouTube.
However, the most profound use of technology in this contemporary Carrie occurs while shes antagonized.
Its how you raise your story to the level of myth, said Peirce, who previously directed Boys Dont Cry and Stop-Loss. Too much specificity is a bore. I thought the characters needed to have cellphones, but they should probably only use them a few times. Otherwise, were beating the audience over the head with it. Thats why it was carefully chosen.
The shy outcast isnt only ridiculed by fellow students when she experiences her first menstruation – and doesnt know whats happening – after gym class. The moment is also captured on a smartphone and later uploaded to the Internet by mean girl Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday). Its played again on screens during their prom after bullies dump pigs blood on the teen.
Moretz – who, at 16, is the same age as the titular character – believes the broadcast of the digital video amplifies the internal rage of this version of the introverted young woman, whos been sheltered throughout her life by her religiously fanatical mother Margaret (Julianne Moore).
When that blood is dropped on her, I do think she wouldve walked away if that video had not been put up on the screen, said Moretz. I do think she would have walked out of that gym, gone home, cried and been fine – figured her life and moved back into her shell. Without the video, I dont think the telekinesis wouldve taken over her body.
When it came to filming that iconic scene, which has been endlessly imitated and parodied in the decades since director Brian De Palmas Carrie debuted in 1976, Moretz said she was showered with phony blood just twice.
I had to forget about all that, said Moretz. As an actor, I just needed to live in my character and not think about Sissy Spaceks performance or how this is an iconic scene or anything like that. Carrie is Carrie. She doesnt know blood is going to be dropped on her. She just won prom queen and thinks her life is going to turn around for the better now.