The scene: the offices of MGM/UA studios in Hollywood, sometime last
year. We are privy to a rare conversation between two production
"We've got a pretty thin slate this year until the next Bond film
comes out. What can we do to beef it up a little?"
"Sequels and remakes always do reasonable business."
"Yes, but we've already done The Mod Squad, and we've still got the
remake of The Thomas Crown Affair on the way."
"Why not do another, but let's call it a sequel, just to be different."
"I know the perfect film, too! Remember that fantastic horror film
from 1976. That one about the tormented adolescent with telekinetic
powers who destroyed her school on prom night. That one that made the
reputations of both Brian De Palma and Stephen King? What was it
called... Carrie? It's old enough now that most of today's audiences
probably won't have seen it, or won't remember it."
"So, what's the hook?"
"We set it 20 years later, and we bring back Amy Irving's character.
She was the only one to survive that spectacular conflagration. We
make her a guidance counsellor at her old high school. She can
recognise the telekinetic powers in another outcast, and try and
prevent another disaster."
"And, as an added twist, we'll make the new kid the illegitimate
daughter of Carrie's father, a sort of half- sister. Things will
escalate until she erupts and unleashes her full fury."
"We'll get some unknown actress to play our heroine."
"This will be her big break, just like the original was for Sissy
"And let's have the football jocks be her tormentors. They're playing
a kinky and cruel game whereby they score points for seducing various
girls at school."
"And we'll have our spunky male hero also an innocent victim of a
prank organised by a vindictive student."
"Yeah! Our film will really explore the bitchy politics, the cliques
and social undercurrents that are an integral part of contemporary
high school life."
"But, hasn't that angle already been explored ad nauseam already this
year? What with Jawbreaker, 10 Things I Hate About You, She's All
That, Cruel Intentions, and even Never Been Kissed?"
"Yeah, but they were all comedies. This will be a horror story for
"You mean like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer and that
"Yes, but without the scary bits."
"And we've got to have a scary coda. Like that final scene in Carrie
when the bloodied hand reaches out of the grave and grabs Amy Irving's
arm, and it turns out to be a dream. I really jumped at that bit."
"Even if that sort of thing has now become a cliché and not terribly
"Yes, we've got to have that. Audiences expect that sort of thing
"Will we have some big names in the cast? I mean the original had
people like Sissy Spacek, John Travolta and William Katt before they
really became famous."
"Well, we could have a tv star in it. What about that kid from Home
"You mean Jonathan Taylor Thomas? He'd be a big name and would draw
in the female demographic."
"No, I was thinking of that other one, the guy who plays Brad.
Zachery Ty Bryan."
"He'll be great, especially when cast against type as a villainous sort.
And we'll have lots of fresh young faces play the rest of the
"Will we show the script to Stephen King first for approval?"
"No, he'd just hate it and what we've done to his story. And he'd
probably want to direct. We all know what happened with Maximum
"So who will we get to direct?"
"Probably a woman, who will bring an added dimension to the horror
genre. Someone who has made a few teen flicks and has indy
credibility. And most importantly, someone with a unique visual style
- lots of moving cameras, flashy and atmospheric switches between
colour and black and white. Someone whose pretentious style will
distract from the lack of originality and credibility and the ham
fisted performances of the cast."
"I think we have a real winner here!"
Cut to the present day. Distressed film reviewer wakes up in a
darkened cinema with the credits rolling across the screen, hoping
that it was all just a bad dream. No! Unfortunately, it was a very
Copyright © 1999 Greg King