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I've yet to see any proof that we actually need a remake of Carrie. Yes, interesting people like Boys Don't Cry director Kimberly Peirce and Julianne Moore are involved, and sure, the original Brian de Palma film is nearly 40 years old, and horrible teenage girls have only gotten more horrible in the last few decades. But every trailer and TV ad and motion poster for the movie seems hellbent on only showing off the most famous scenes from the first film-- the blood-soaked prom, the religious chanting, the crazy-eyed Carrie (this time played by Chloe Moretz) taking her revenge. Even if you've never seen the original, you're familiar with all this stuff. So what's new?
I haven't seen the actual movie yet, but I'll tell you one thing that's new in trying to sell this thing: viral marketing. The above video, posted to YouTube yesterday, reveals an elaborate prank that went down in a West Village coffee shop, in which a little bit of special effects magic made a lot of innocent coffee drinkers believe a young woman had lost her telekinetic shit in the middle of her morning latte. Unlike many viral efforts that try to pass themselves off as real, this one is upfront about being a coordinated studio effort, but the fun is in watching the surprised victims who had no idea they were part of a viral effort. Obviously these people were debriefed afterwards and signed a release form for their faces to appear here, but the look of surprise on their faces-- for everyone from the construction worker to the sheepdog-- is genuine and priceless.
Will this make anyone go see Carrie when it comes to theaters next Friday? Probably not. There's a big difference between seeing the same story about the world's most famous telekinetic teen and encountering another one, completely by accident, in your local coffee shop. But kudos to Carrie distributor Screen Gems, or whoever was responsible for cooking up this stunt, for finding a way to do movie viral marketing that perfectly toes the line between mystery and straight-up obnoxious.
Here's the actual, more traditional trailer for Carrie below, pig's blood included.