Just when you thought it was safe to go to cinema and avoid the modern take on a classic horror story, along comes Carrie.
We have seen it all before, in 1976, but, unlike A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th, Carrie is another adaptation of Stephen King’s novel and not just a remake. That is why I was willing to give it more of a chance.
The new Carrie had a lot of promise. The story is great and the two leads in the cast are more than capable on their day. Chloe Grace Moretz is a rising star in Hollywood and Julianne Moore is a seasoned professional. They were taking up two of the more iconic roles in horror films and they both held their own.
Chloe Grace Moretz had a hard act to follow in Sissy Spacek, but she shines with a performance of growing maturity. Moretz is best known for her role as Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass, where we see her able to literally beat up the bullies. In Carrie, Moretz makes us feel the pain that Carrie White suffers at the hands of the school bullies. At times it is quite hard to watch the abuse that she has to suffer.
Julianne Moore is brilliant as Carrie’s unstable mother, Margaret. I remember being creeped out by Piper Laurie in the same role in the 1976 version, and I am sure there will be people creeped out by Moore in this one. She brings a real menacing presence to the screen and you won’t be able to not give a silent cheer when she gets her comeuppance in the film’s finale.
The film has its issues as well. One was the goofy CGI in places. The advances in technology that filmmakers have at their disposal these days surely means that the special effects used should be an improvement on what we have seen before. For the most part it was bearable, but one scene involving a car windscreen and Chris Hargensen’s (Portia Doubleday) face just made me shudder in my seat. It was just bad and ruined what was a tense scene.
My biggest issue with this film was the way it dealt with some particular issues. For instance, the way Carrie’s enemy, Chris, went from just a bit of a bitch to full on raging psychopath was just totally unbelievable. It was like watching a cross between Mean Girls and American Psycho. Another example of the film going about things the wrong way was when they decided to add an extract from one of the American Pie films. The guys and girls are getting ready for their prom, the biggest night of their lives. Fair enough–show them enjoying getting prepared, but not to the point where the scene just feels totally out of place. I’m all for light-hearted scenes but not when it annoys me so much.
This is a horror film not a teen comedy.
While the film is enjoyable, it just doesn’t have the same impact as the 1976 version. These modern versions of horror classics just all seem too glossed over by Hollywood and lose all their charm. The biggest compliment I can give Carrie is that it doesn’t tarnish the reputation of the much-loved 1976 version.
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