Monthly Archives: November 2013

Film: Carrie (2013)

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Directed by Boys Don’t Cry‘s Kimberley Peirce, Steven King’s debut novel’s third screen adaptation finally hit the UK today.

First off, I was very skeptical about the idea of re-making Carrie – was there any need? The original was so brilliantly executed. But what I like about remakes, is that it brings in a whole new generation of fans; something simply re-releasing a film just can’t quite achieve in the same way.

I was very happy to see Kimberley Peirce at the helm, with Hollywood so engrossed by male directors, it feels natural for such a female centric horror film to have a woman’s gaze.

Kick Ass‘s Chloe Moretz was a great choice for the lead – she has the quirky, awkward good looks that lend themself to the character of Carrie. She is also hot off the set of Kick Ass 2, with a feisty role like Hit Girl behind her she can believably do some real damage and attract the viewers. She is a very likeable Carrie, probably more so than Sissy Spacek.

I was excited as soon as I heard Julienne Moore would be taking the role of Carrie’s insane devote mother, as I don’t think there is a role she couldn’t master. Give Moore any vibrant, complex and strong character to work with and she will. Even as Margaret White, she expertly grasps the paradox between loving mother and abusive evangelist, making her both a villain and yet someone to oddly empathise with all at the same time.

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The film stayed true to the book, with some changes from the original script yet plenty of satisfying homages to the 1976 feature. Overall, I felt the film really did women in horror a justice – it stood on it’s own against contemporary horror titles, giving newer viewers a good watch, while keeping Carrie fans happy.

Carrie has an appeal that somehow hits both genders: maybe it’s the name of Stephen King behind it, but to me, it proves that men can enjoy a female fronted horror that doesn’t show women running half naked from a killer, empathising and even relating to the tale of a teenage girl. And Carrie really is very female focused – all the villainous incidents are instigated by women, as well as the gestures of kindness. The males only serve as vehicles for the action, plot devices that encourage and/or instigate the women’s actions.

Carrie is a dark tale, it is horrific but not terrifying. This goes for all the incarnations, and this interpretation definitely maintains the chilling factors that make it a classic.

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American Horror Story: Coven – Best yet?

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Women are on top in this season of American Horror Story, and I have been dragged in headfirst by its spellbinding premise.

Every episode keeps getting better and better. I will warn you though, this is no Charmed.

Zoe loved her boyfriend, honest.

Zoe loved her boyfriend, honest.

The beauty of this show is it doesn’t gloss over the horror, it embraces it and aims to shock. These witches cover all bases: they aren’t all beautiful, young, slim (and somewhat undressed). They are a mixture of all races, all sizes and all abilities. Some have powers we’d all love to wield, others have powers that are more akin to a curse.

The show takes horror head-on tackling issues of gender and race. It takes a graphic and unapologetic look at themes of rape, slavery, incest and torture.

Heartwarming stuff, no?

American Horror Story veteran, Jessica Lange, yet again steals the show as the dreadfully brilliant queen witch, or bitch if you prefer. With the usual suspects of former AHS: Taissa Farmiga, Sarah Paulson and Lily Rabe providing first rate performances yet again. As well as some outstanding newcomers to the franchise: Kathy Bates, Emma Roberts and Angela Bassett.

If you haven’t tuned in yet, and my recommendation hasn’t yet tickled your taste buds for some frightening female fronted terror, here is a video:

So, do you agree? Is this season the best so far? Vote Now…

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Female Fronted Horror Books Heading to Screens in 2013

Dark fantasy novels have long been a medium where females flourish. With books like True Blood hitting small screens and receiving emense popularity with both men and women alike, more and more women lead supernatural stories are making the transition from book to film.

Hitting both big and small screens next year are two horror-novels… Now, I am not going to pretend like I have read either of the books they are based on.

Kelley Armstrong‘s first novel in her Women of the Underworld series, Bitten, is being transformed into a TV mini-series courtesy of Canadian network Space and  SyFy.

Bitten has been sitting in my bookshelf for many years, and sadly I just haven’t got around to taking the time to read it. It’s sat in between a very comprehensive array of female-driven horror novels, I am Legend and two tattered copies of The Bell Jar.

I will, however, be picking up the novel before the tv show hits screens so I can write a comprehensive review of whether the show does the novel justice – let’s hope it does! In the mean time, have a look at the trailer:

Bitten will hit your idiot boxes early next year…

Next up is the film adaptation of young adult paranormal romance series, Vampire Academy. Again, I haven’t read the series (do you have any idea how many paranormal romance series’ there are in the world?!) BUT I am incredibly excited about this. Why? Because the writer is none other than Daniel Waters, who penned the brilliant ’89 black comedy, Heathers, plus it is directed by Dan’s brother and  Mean Girls director, Mark Waters. If my novel was going to be adapted by anyone other than myself I would hope it would be these two.

Check out the trailer, and get as excited as I am!

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