A remake of the 1976 classic based on a Stephen King novel, bullied telekinetic teen Carrie returns in the form of young ingenue, Chloe Grace Moretz. Directed by Boys Don’t Cry‘s Kimberley Peirce, the film follows Carrie as she struggles to come to terms with her mother, her sexuality, her social standing and, most importantly, her newfound skills.
Stephen A. Russell says: Considerable noise was made during the publicity rounds that this version would stay truer to King’s epistolary text, but in truth, not so much. Yes, we get a glimpse of Carrie’s birth in a genuinely disturbing opening scene with an unwitting Margaret writhing in blood and agony, convinced she’s dying of cancer, oblivious to her true pregnant state. Beyond this, there’s an added shower of stones (briefly glimpsed in some climactic shots of de Palma’s turn) that’s shunted up from flashback to finale and a tiny snippet of the novel’s White Commission, trying to make sense of the madness after the devastation.
Beyond that, it’s pretty much a blow-by-blow remake, with Peirce struggling to leave her mark. Moretz is hard to swallow as the gawky, introverted teenager so mercilessly bullied by all and sundry, though, to her credit, she just about pulls it off with perma-slumped shoulders. Moore is much more convincing as the God-fearing and self-harming mother, but she isn’t helped by a decidedly odd pendulum swing in the parent-child power balance.
This abusive relationship is seriously flubbed by the screenplay from Lawrence D. Cohen, who actually wrote the 1976 version too, as well as TV movies of It and The Tommyknockers, and Glee scribe Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Alarmingly, they all but miss the point that Carrie is a frightened shell of a teenage girl, terrified of her own burgeoning sexuality, hounded by her peers as well as being psychologically and physically abused by her religious zealot mother.
(Courtesy of The Lowdownunder)
Entertainment Weekly says: “In the original Carrie, Spacek’s character seemed to be channeling something creepy and larger-than-life — maybe it was even the underworld. But now we’re a lot more accustomed to seeing movie characters mould their destiny through special effects, and since Peirce films the climax in a rather depersonalized, shoot-the-works way, Carrie comes close to seeming like an especially alienated member of the X-Men team.”
Rotten Tomatoes says: 48% – “It boasts a talented cast, but Kimberly Peirce’s “reimagining” of Brian De Palma’s horror classic finds little new in the Stephen King novel – and feels woefully unnecessary.”
The Guardian says: “Instead of taking pleasure in toying with and subverting a pop culture icon, Kimberly Peirce’s new adaptation of Carrie is surprisingly slavish to Brian De Palma’s 1976 take. Touches of wit and insight enliven the first half, but Carrie eventually devolves into lackluster modern horror cliches for a souped-up version of the famous finale.”
David and Margaret say: Margaret: “I don’t know that I think the approach was that intelligent. Two and a half stars. Disappointing.” David: “I think this is a pretty successful remake. I’m giving it three and a half.”
Kids? Not unless they crave countless nightmares.
Watch it: On a Friday fright night.