Movie commercials offer us a great service; they not only show us which upcoming movies look good, but also which ones to avoid. And if one looks closely, they often reveal more than intended about the film in question. In honor of this profound art, I give you TRAILER TRACKS, an examination of upcoming movie commercials: What they say, what they don’t say, and what they say on accident about the product being sold to you, the excited chump.
Carrie (Dir. Kimberly Peirce)
High school is never easy unless you’re one of the cool kids, so here’s a kind of worst case scenario for how bad it can get.
But what fun is that all by itself? Might as well throw in a revenge fantasy in there as well. Actually, it’s only a revenge fantasy if you identify with the nerd. If you identify with one of the cool kids, I guess it’s a horror film.
In any case, a lot of people are going to die in this movie. How you feel about that depends entirely on you social standing. That makes Carrie an ideal date movie since it helps weed out the nerds, who can occasionally trick you with their attractiveness. If your date cheers at the end of Carrie, you’ve got yourself an Urkel. If your date cries, you’ve got yourself a Bradley Cooper. Put out accordingly.
The Set Up:
Carrie is a really pretty high school girl with long luscious hair and a cool wardrobe. You’d think she’d be all kinds of popular, but she’s not. The trailer does not make a convincing case as to why she would be such an outcast, but we know she must be one because there’s a shot where girls are pelting her with tampons, and that only happens to nerds and really rich perverts.
Her nerdom could come from many sources we just don’t know about yet. Perhaps she has a third arm coming out of her back. Or maybe she’s one of those kids who cannot eat without smacking their lips. Or it could just be a matter of her smelling like mentholated hickory smoke all the time. Or maybe everyone is just jealous of how beautiful she is and decides to artificially make her a nerd.
Whatever the reason, people do not like Carrie, and she’s sad about it. Making matters even worse, Carrie’s mother is a complete psycho, using made-up religious texts as an excuse to torture Carrie whenever possible. She didn’t used to be like that, but everything changed when Carrie’s crime fighting father (Nicolas Cage) died. Now it’s all God all the time, which is a total bummer for Carrie because God hurts.
Carrie wants more than anything to fit in and get popular. Being the only nerd in her school is tough. Luckily prom is coming up, and a boy asks her out. Carrie cannot believe her sudden reversal of fortune!
The joy awakens something in Carrie, and before long she discovers that she can move things with her mind. At first it’s little things like raising books in the air and throwing knives across the room. But pretty soon, she can lift and move pretty much anything she wants, even – she thinks – the hearts of her fellow classmates.
So the importance of prom cannot be understated. Carrie’s plan is to get in front of the student body and do magic tricks with her new talents because everyone loves magic tricks. Unfortunately, Carrie’s mom says no to prom, claiming “They’re all going to laugh at you!” Carrie’s mom is right, of course, but like any other teenager, Carrie doesn’t care. She picks Mom up with her brain and puts her down in a hippopotamus cage at the zoo across town.
As we see in this trailer, however, prom does not go as Carrie planned. Turns out the boy’s invite was just a ruse to get Carrie on stage so the whole school could dump strawberry syrup all over her head. This makes her mad, and she throws them all over the gym like rag dolls until they are dead.
The trailer does such a good job of setting up Carrie’s prom stuff, you almost feel like it’s the main climactic event of the whole film. How boring would that be?
Luckily, there’s so much more. I have friends in the industry and can spoil the whole thing for you right now, if you want. After Carrie kills everyone at prom, Magneto shows up and inducts her into the Brotherhood of Mutants, and it turns out you were watching an X-Men Origins movie the whole time. Great, right?
I feel bad bringing this up, because it might be embarrassing to the filmmakers and it’s certainly too late to go back and fix this error, but they already made a Carrie movie. It came out on television in 2002 and starred the lovely Angela Bettis. The movie was so popular, people went back in time and made a sequel in 1999 starring the lovely Emily Bergl. Plus, there’s a little-seen older one from the seventies, the novelization of which you can find at any used bookstore. So there are a lot of Carries out there. I’ve seen none of them, so I can’t tell you how many end with Carrie fighting X-Men. Probably less than half.