November 04, 2002 12:00 PM

NBC (Mon., Nov. 4, 8 p.m. ET)

What could be worse than to be a teenage girl conceived in the mind of Stephen King? Poor Carrie! A drab, maladjusted loser with a religious-sicko mom and enough repressed telekinetic fury to pull down every decoration at the prom (along with the high school where it’s held), she’d count herself lucky to land in some morbid tale by Poe. What’s premature burial compared to unpopularity anyway?

Cursed ol’ Carrie slogs through three long, teased-out hours in this version of King’s 1974 bestseller. As Carrie, Angela Bettis (Girl, Interrupted) has a few heartbreakingly fragile minutes at the prom before she unleashes bloody vengeance on her cruel classmates. With glazed eyes and dazed smile, she’s like a heavily sedated Cinderella. But even with additional special effects, this can’t hold a Roman candle to Brian DePalma’s 1976 film, which clocks in under 100 minutes and features a performance by Sissy Spacek that combines unvarnished American plainness with Gothic grandeur.

Bottom Line: Pointless remake

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