Release date: October 18, 2013
Directed by: Kimberly Peirce
Written by: Lawrence D. Cohen and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wilde, and Judy Greer
Official website: sonypictures.com/movies/carrie/
The good news is that "Carrie" is a fairly competent and engaging remake that does well by paying respect to the original film that starred Sissy Spacek. The bad news is that it colors a little too much within those preset lines. The result is a film that decent, even if it lacks the scares and psychological edge that made it's predecessor a horror classic.
Chloë Grace Moretz, who plays Hit Girl in the "Kick-Ass" movies, is titular character, Carrie White, a girl who has been sheltered by her overly religious and off-the-deep-end-of-reality mother (Julianne Moore). She's teased at school, labeled as different, a weirdo, and has zero friends. But Carrie is different. She has some nifty telekinetic powers that allow her to move things with her mind. It's a power that has mommy convinced she is the spawn of sin.
If you've seen the 1976 original starring Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie, you've pretty much seen this version. Following the original, the events get rolling when poor Carrie gets bullied in the girls' locker room showers. It's an incident that leads one class mate on path of redemption, and another on a path that will end badly for her. The movie is updated for modern times, meaning everyone has Facebook and cell phones. But in the end it's still about a special girl, who dreams of being normal, only to get pushed too far.
While it's pretty much the same movie, it does get stand out performances by the two main leads. Both Moretz and Moore are amazing. Moretz does a great job of separating her performance from that of Spacek. She plays Carrie more as a victim, and it's interesting to watch her fine tune her powers before she inevitably and tragically flips her lid at the bloody prom finale. As good as young Chloë is, Julianne Moore kind of sneaks in and steals the show as Carrie's delusional mother.
The movie stays pretty true to the source material of the original movie, which itself is based on the Stephen King novel. But that's kind of what is working against the film, in that it never really does its own thing, nor does it bring anything new to the table. But then ending is still fun, even though the blood bath at the end looks way too computer generated. Whatever happened to good old fashioned and practical corn syrup?
If you're looking for a Halloween treat this season, "Carrie" fits the bill. As far as horror remakes go, it's solid, just nothing real special.
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