Tampons in the shower. Pig’s blood at prom. Everyone knows that part of “Carrie.” “Carrie” in the 21st century is more outlandish than that of the 70s version because teenagers have less boundaries and more social media outlets work with. Crazy can be scarier than scary. It’s unpredictable and unbelievable. So what’s worse than the telekinetic teen? Her holy-driven, lunatic mother.
To call Margaret “Mama” White (Julianne Moore) an overprotective mother hen is an understatement. She takes her religion and locks her daughter in a closet with it. Moore is cringeworthy in this movie and not because her acting is awful, the opposite in fact; she just plays a woman gone mad that well. She lurks around with her hideous hair hanging in her face spewing religion on Carrie at every turn, making her repent for sins not acted upon.
Meanwhile, Carrie (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a high school teen trying to fit in. Not welcomed by any crowd and ridiculed for her lack of knowledge when it comes to a female’s menstrual cycle. If Carrie brings any lesson to the film it’s High School 101: don’t be cruel to your peers because karma will come back to bite you. Or, in this case, bite you and torture you and possibly set your school on fire.
The high school scenes play out like any other teen flick. There are mean girls and well-meaning teachers trying to make situations better but as always, end up making it worse. What’s different in this movie is that there is a mean girl with a conscious who doesn’t follow the flock as willingly. A character not all that common in the peer pressure of the late teenage years, but a nice gesture nonetheless.
Popular Sue and her sweet jock boyfriend, Tommy feel bad for Carrie and want to right the wrong Sue and her friends have done by having Carrie stand in as Tommy’s prom date. Sue’s friend Chris on the other hand has no remorse and she and her boyfriend set out to sabotage the prom and Carrie. You know the rest. Pig blood in bucket. Bucket gets poured during the prom crowning event. All hell breaks loose. The rampage is more comical than frightening. The destruction is not surprising and doesn’t evoke a lot of empathy for the people involved.
Side note: First thoughts of Ansel Elgort, the actor who plays Tommy: baby-faced, charismatic and can capture audience attention. A pretty unheard of actor to date will be playing Augustus Walter in the screen adaptation of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. After seeing him in "Carrie," he should be just charming and convincing in that character and audiences most likely will look forward to more to come from him including the highly-anticipated “Divergent.”
“Carrie” isn’t your classic slasher film or mind-bending thriller. It’s a mom and daughter relationship gone awry and people retaliating after being pushed over the edge. Crazy runs in White family and it’s what keeps them together in the end.
Final words: “Carrie” carries on the tradition of freaking people out.