He offers no escape from the guilt that haunts every one of his characters. It's a Lovecraft thing rather than a Hammer Horror film. The famous final scene when Sue seeks absolution by laying flowers at Carrie's grave only to be gripped by the arm of her eternal accuser plunging from the earth, says that life is a prison made of sin, guilt, and death—and there is no escape. For De Palma, the only response is the absurdist's, where humor and terror mingle so closely that there's no difference between laughing and screaming.
Peirce, on the other hand, offers hope.
Margaret White is played much more sympathetically this time around, telling Carrie she loves her (which Piper Laurie deliberately refrained from saying). Julianne Moore doesn't try to match the heights of Piper's intensity; she goes a different route with a sinister economy of words and melodrama. And Carrie counters her mother's weird denunciation of sex (marital included) not by saying "religion sucks, woohoo!" but by pointing out that Margaret's nonsense isn't even in the Bible and is actually contrary to Scripture.
Peirce goes even further by rewriting the scene in the book and original film, where Tommy shines by reading a poem that Carrie likes. In this version, though, Carrie is called to the front of the class to read a segment from her favorite poem. She reads a few lines from Milton's Samson Agonistes: "O wherefore was my birth from Heaven foretold / Twice by an angel, who at last in sight / Of both my parents all in flames ascended." This poem (which has been given psycho-sexual readings itself) sets up Carrie as a Samson figure—as Tommy says, the one "who brings that whole temple down." She is a feminine Samson, with a love of violence and the power to act on it but tormented by sadness, guilt, and alienation. She's a captive in a foreign land—but one who finds peace in death if not in life, as opposed to the eternal nightmare De Palma offers.
Which might be why Peirce bookends the film with images of birth—chances not only for new lives, but old life to be born again. And that brings us again to Sue. Sue Snell is doubly a sinner in this version of Carrie—she joins in the shower teasing and later on has premarital sex, which in horror movies is usually the kiss of death. But Peirce lets her live. Sue's repentance and her outstretched hand pleading to Carrie for forgiveness leave her alive. It's a scene that won't win any awards, but is a touching reference again to Agonistes, where Delilah approaches Sampson, seeking forgiveness by just the touch of hands. But Sampson responds, "Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance wake / My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint . . . At distance I forgive thee, go with that."