The Book vs the Movie: Carrie (2013)



Book written by Stephen King, 1974
Movie directed by Kimberly Peirce, 2013



Synopsis from


The story of misfit high-school girl, Carrie White, who gradually discovers that she has telekinetic powers. Repressed by a domineering, ultra-religious mother and tormented by her peers at school, her efforts to fit in lead to a dramatic confrontation during the senior prom.




Picture Source:
Picture Source:

This year I decided to compare the Carrie novel to the three film adaptations. To refresh my memory, I listened to the audio book, which is read by Sissy Spacek (who plays Carrie in the original movie). I highly recommend it if you are a fan of Carrie or audio books. I have already compared the original movie to the book. Now I am comparing the movie made in 2013.


Which I Viewed First: The book, original & TV movies.

Which I Enjoyed Most: Book.

Out of 5 stars, the Book Gets: 4.5 stars.

Out of 5 stars, the Movie Gets: 4 stars.

Things the Book Did Better: More info about Carrie’s life and the aftermath, Case study notes were interesting (reactions to the event).

Things the Movie Did Better: This movie seemed closest to the book, minus the relationship between Carrie and her mother. I never got the vibe from the book that her mother loved her at all, but it is an interesting spin on the story, one that I liked. I liked that addition of humanity despite the mother being a little too obsessed with her religion.

Verdict?:  I enjoyed both quite a lot, though if I had to choose, I’d go with the book. But I also highly recommend the movie.

Should the movie be re-made?: No. Three times is enough. However, a sequel involving Sue could be interesting….

Which Movie Version I Liked Best: Since there are three movie versions for this book, I thought I’d change it up and give my thoughts on which movie I thought was best. This is really hard, because honestly, I think I like all of them about the same, for different reasons.

The original is beautiful, with a wonderful music score. Sissy Spacek, despite her age, plays a convincing Carrie. Piper Laurie plays the crazy religious fanatic mother well. I loved that Carrie and her gym teacher had more of a bond, though it makes the final part of their relationship very tragic. John Travolta made a terrible Billy Nolan, though. He was a jerk but not nearly cruel enough. I do feel that some of the scenes were a little overdrawn at times.

The TV version did a good job for what it was. The pacing for it was a little odd, but I liked who they cast for Sue and Chris. The Billy was more believably cruel in this one. I’m mixed on the actress because she doesn’t feel like a teenager to me. The mother was a little less crazy in this version but I can’t decide if I like that better or not. And although this is somewhat closer to the book, I miss the relationship between Carrie and the gym teacher. I would have liked to see the TV show happen., but liked the alternate ending as compared to the other movies.

The 2013 version seems to get a lot of hate but I enjoyed it as much as the others. In fact, I think I like Chloe as Carrie the best. Yes, she’s pretty, but she also brought a vulnerability to the character that was different from the others. The fact that Carrie’s mother is a nut yet also displays love to her daughter was a nice twist. I also think this version has my favorite Tommy, though I also liked the others.  I felt the prom scene went by quicker than in the other movies. I liked the final confrontation between mother and daughter. The twist with Sue was interesting.

But if I had to pick one, I would probably go with the original.


What do you think? Agree, disagree? Would love to hear your thoughts!







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