Let’s face it, remakes often miss the mark and most often end up being unnecessary waste of time, money and talent. This remake of the 1976 Brian De Palma classic, “Carrie” based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, is no exception.
According to director, Kimberly Pierce, this new version is meant to be a “re-imagining” of the original story, I am not sure if this is an accurate description. A better description would be that this movie is closer to King’s book than De Palma’s film. For example, this film provides a little more background on the mother (played by Julienne Moore). In fact, from the opening scene, this movie seems to belong to Moore more so than to Chloë Grace Moretz who plays Carrie. Moretz seems wrong for the title character there is something a little too “mean girl” about her to truly sympathize with her character of a shy, bullied high school misfit. Moretz just doesn’t posses the same vulnerability that Sissy Spacek brought to the role in the 1976 version. It’s been a few years since I’ve read the Stephen King story but I don’t remember Carrie being so gleeful about her newly discovered telekinetic powers. Pierce has stated that this new Carrie is more like a superhero she has said… “I saw that it was a superhero origin story, and what I loved was that the superpowers were part of Carrie’s identity, they were part of her survival,” I disagree with her on that assessment. If you want a good story about the underdog who gets his comeuppance, check out the creepy and superbly done “Chronicle” (2012).
For all of its weaknesses, the movie does do a few things well. For example, the 1976 version of the film didn’t even scratch the surface of all of the damage that Carrie caused during the climatic prom scene. In the book Carrie killed 400 people and destroyed half the town on prom night. This film uses some stunning visual affects, which does a great job of providing a genuine sense of terror during Carrie’s rampage. That being said, “Carrie” is not for the squeamish, there is plenty of gore and some horrific death scenes in the last 15 minutes or so of the film.
With the exception of Julienne Moore who did a solid job as Carrie’s God fearing but abusive mother, the cast was all wrong. The supporting all just so bland and one-dimensional and that’s kind of a shame because I think that with better casting choices this could have been a better film or at the very least, made it seem less of a waste of time.