Greetings. I finally got around to seeing Carrie this week. To be honest, I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to see it. It didn’t seem like it was going to suck per se, but it looked to be no different from the original from the 80s. But the horror part of my brain (which actually makes up about 80% total brain usage) got the better of me, and I gave in. Can director Kimberly Peirce one-up Brian De Palma’s version? Let’s find out.
Well, for those few who haven’t seen the original or read the book, the movie centers around Carrie White, a very socially awkward high school girl who has an unbalanced, ultra-hardcore religious mother who keeps Carrie on an incredibly short, tight leash. After a certain traumatic event involving the girl’s locker room and Carrie’s first period, she soon discovers she has developing telekinetic powers.
While Carrie does some research into her new-found ability, Sue, one of the girls involved in the aforementioned shower incident has an attack of conscience and decides to sacrifice her night at the prom in favor of having her boyfriend Tommy take her instead. Tommy is reluctant, but eventually agrees. After quite a bit of convincing, Carrie finally agrees. Meanwhile, Chris (another girl involved in the shower incident who actually caught it all on video and posted it online) is fuming about being kicked out of prom and looks to find the ultimate payback on Carrie. The end result of the payback is one of the more iconic scenes in horror.
To be honest, there isn’t a whole lot different between this and the original De Palma version. Apparently the remake follows the book a little closer: however, as I have not read the book myself, I can’t exactly confirm that. There seems to be a little more exploration into the Carrie having powers aspect, and Carrie’s mom is a little more nutzoid than in the original movie. There is also the whole social media aspect thrown in, as if to say “Hey, look at this. We’re so current.”
The acting was very well done all in all. Chloe Grace Moretz, who is pretty well-known for very outgoing characters like Hit Girl in Kick-ass, actually pulls off the super shy high school girl very well. Julianne Moore does a great job being crazy as Carrie’s mother. Portia Doubleday as Chris successfully made me hate her character. However, there was a time or two where it seemed she was a little too nasty, to the point of being almost sadistic. On the flip side, Gabriella Wilde’s character Sue was a very likeable character, who actually felt so bad she gave up her coveted place at the prom just to make things up to Carrie.
Technically speaking, Carrie was done satisfactorily. Camera work, music, and effects were just fine in my opinion. At the very least, I didn’t notice anything outwardly offensive to my senses, so there’s that. I could say that the music wasn’t anything special whatsoever though, as I don’t really remember any of Carrie‘s score at the time of this typing.
There were a couple of things I couldn’t fully accept though. First, while I stand by Chloe Grace Moretz’s portrayal of Carrie, i think she is just too pretty to be Carrie. Even with her social awkwardness and psycho mother, I couldn’t believe that someone who looks like her would not have somebody either interested in her or more people defending her. The makeup department really should have worked their charm more in making Chloe less attractive.
Also, Carrie is not scary. At all. Anyone looking to get a few scares from this movie will be sorely disappointed. There is a fair share of blood and the like, but there wasn’t so much as a threat of scary happenings. In fact, at one point in the theater I heard a girl behind me say to her friend “I thought this was supposed to be a horror movie?”
Ultimately, Carrie is an unnecessary remake. There’s no getting around that. There is so little different done that I don’t know why it exists. But I suppose for those of you out there who can’t handle the dated look and feel of the Brian De Palma version, the Carrie remake is probably right up your alley. I did like it, but I didn’t love it. Go and check it out if you haven’t already. Just don’t plan on getting scared. Rest in peace everyone.
Macabre Rating: 3 out of 5 tombstones