Carrie (2013)

Another month, another horror remake that no one was asking for. This time it’s  Boys Don’t Cry director Kimberly Peirce  whose has done her own take on Carrie, based on the book by Stephen King. Can Peirce beat the trend and make Carrie worthy of a modern update?

Teenager Carrie (Chloe Moretz) is an outcast in her school due to her shy nature and her strict religiously mother (Julianne Moore).  After she gets her first period she starts developing phycic powers, namely telekinesis. Meanwhile some of her classmates are planning a nasty prank on her in revenge for being punished for bullying her. Fair to say this is a really bad idea.

I wasn’t looking forward to this film. To me Brian De Palma’s 1976  version is a classic and Sissy Specek is Carrie White. I can’t imagine anyone else in that role. However the film is not a complete disaster such as the recent remake/prequel of The Thing (shudder).  There are a few things this movie has in its favour.

The acting in this is better than most horror remakes I’ve seen. I wasn’t completely convinced by Moretz in the title role, after seeing her in such films as Kick Ass I kept feeling that this Carrie would just punch those girls if they even so much as looked at her the wrong way. But it was good to see in her in a different type of role than she’s normally in, she also was a likeable Carrie and I felt for her in the scenes against her mum and in the shower scene at school. Julianne Moore is fine as Carrie’s mum and the mother-daughter scenes are some of the strongest in the film. But she didn’t terrify me like Piper Laurie  did in the original film. I think Moore was trying to ground the role more,make her more human rather than make her a terrifying monster but I  felt like she needed to go further in showing the unstable side of the character.

Of the rest of the cast Judy Greer stood out as sympathetic teacher Ms Desjardin and Ansel Elgot made for a likeable Tommy, one of the few nice kids at Carrie’s school.

So the acting, for once, was not the problem in this film. So what is? The film just isn’t scary. Some parts are creepy such as the scenes between Moore and Mortez but there isn’t any jump out your seat screaming moments or anything that will have you lying in bed afraid to go to sleep. The film especially falters at what should be the big climatic event at the prom. I presume everyone knows what happens to Carrie at the prom, with it being such an iconic scene. But if you don’t and think you may still want to see this film look away and watch the 1976 original instead or read the book for heaven sake’s!

Still here?

Good.

So the prom scenes end up being a big anticlimax. First of all the pig’s blood pouring over Carrie is overdone, showing us the same moment from three different angles. This wasn’t needed. Secondly  the pig’s blood look like it was CGI, which took away from the horror of the situation. In fact the prom was overflowing with too much CGI it was hard to take the film seriously. Mortez also looked a bit too gleeful as she strikes down her fellow student. Yes the audiendce is sympathetic to Carrie and we hate her fellow students for what they’ve done but she’s still a murderer. Carrie looks a bit too in control of her actions as she murders the other students, rather than someone who has finally snapped after years of bullying and humiliation.

Rating-2.5/5 -All in all its not a terrible remake, just an unnecessary one.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Carrie (2013)

  1. Good review Lauren. Don’t quite understand why it is that a remake was constituted in the first place, nor do I understand why they got Peirce to direct it, all because it’s a huge waste of her talents. Same goes for Moretz and Moore, although they do try very hard to make this work.

    • Thanks! It’s a shame that the film doesn’t work as there are some talented people behind and in front of the camera but unfortunately it fails to be scary. Which is a bit of a problem for a horror movie! I guess they hoped Peirce would be able to elevate the film from being an average remake but it doesn’t really add anything new or make you feel like this movie had to be updated for a modern audience.

  2. Nice review. I am really looking forward to watching this one, mainly because I haven’t seen the 1976 version (way before my time). But I can understand why you think it’s an unnecessary remake.

  3. Good review Lauren, I don’t really see why this was remade. Especially when the original is so distinctive and memorable. I can’t see how people watching this won’t just think of the de Palma version and how it worked better.

    • Thanks! Reading some of the interviews with the director kimberly peirce i think they thought the subject of bullying would make this ripe for a remake, especially with how modern technology is involved. But despite the talent involves it doesn’t measure up to de palma’s version.

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