I apologize for the late posting as sometimes day to day life gets in the way of regularly scheduled posting.
This current incarnation of Stephen Kings classic Carrie is almost a beat for beat remake of the 1976 classic starring Sissy Spacek. Carrie was a film that was first introduced to me by my father. As a child my he would read to me and my brother novels by Stephen King in place of normal bed time stories. I came into this as a fan of not only the 1976 original but also of novel that inspired it. So Carrie really has big shoes to fill and just how well did it live up? Not so well.
Carrie (portrayed by Chloe Grace Moretz) is shy awkward high school student who has the misfortune of have an insane religious mother (Julianne Moore) who never teaches her daughter about her period. This leads to a very emotionally damaging occurrence in the girls locker room. This event is then posted to the internet resulting in the girl who spearheaded the event to be expelled. Carrie is then caught up in the agendas of others that leads to prom. Also Carrie is psychokinetic and discover her powers over the course of the film. Carrie is publicly humiliated at prom and snaps going on a killing spree. Ending with a final confrontation with her deranged mother.
So right off the bat Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore both deliver solid performances. But Moores performance is really stands out. Her performance as Carries instance mother is in my opinion her best work. She steals every single scene she is which is unfortunate for Moretz whose performance while good can’t compete.
But this film does have a few glaring flaws that I feel I need to address. I was all for this remake from the second I learned that Chloe Grace Moretz signed on to play Carrie. While I only pay at best casual attention to her career I’ve never seen a film of hers where I felt she did a poor job. Here she does a decent job I would go as far as to say its a good performance. But she comes off as dry and a little flat. I have a hard time relating to her at times in the film.
When this film turned out to be a beat for beat remake with what I see as very little deviation from the the 1987 version. Why? We already have that film and it’s among the best the genre has to offer. So why not change it up just a little and experiment with the themes of source material? Remakes can be done very well, We Are What We Are taught me that.
Another is the film feels like it’s trying to be set in the current time but much of language and themes feel dated. It’s a off putting clash that I couldn’t quite get over. The films logic seems to stem from the time frame of the novel and original film. This film really needed the fresh update but didn’t get as much as needed making for an off putting experience. Not the fun way but the other kind that constantly tests my ability to suspend disbelief.
The effects while done fair enough suffer from being a bit too much on the campy side. The get worse as the film progresses and Carries powers grow. I like how they start with them in the beginning but by the end become outlandish undermining the film as a whole. The worst is the floating mirror fragment and the animated cables. Oh and the flying why the hell does she need to fly?
Lastly is the villains and many of the side characters feel like card board cut outs. With no real goals or motivations I understand that film limits these thing but most of the characters are stereotypes I’ve seen time and time again. The bully has no motivation to do so other then because. The only antagonist that I enjoyed was Carries mother.
Many of my complaints on this are very nit picky and I understand that. This stems from just how much I enjoyed what the film was trying to emulate. In the end Carrie is flawed enough on its own to suffer. So the film fails to live up to the admittedly high expectations of this fan. So end of the day Carrie gets a 7/10. I would recommend it fans to stick to the original or are fans of Moretz or Moore and want to see their take on the roles.