Carrie Review

Posted: October 22, 2013 by htschuyler in HT Schuyler's Movie Reviews

Carrie-New-PosterWritten by HT Schuyler

Rated 14A for strong violence, language and disturbing elements.

Directed by: Kimberly Peirce.

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, Ansel Elgort, Gabrielle Wilde, Portia Doubleday and Alex Russell.

Carrie was a 1976 film directed by Brain De Palma and was an adaptation of horror legend Stephen King’s first published novel. It starred Sissy Spacek as the titular character and Piper Laurie as her batshit crazy mother. It was a pretty damn good film and is still very much a horror classic. What does this have to do with this version of Carrie? Nothing. So for this reason I am going to do my very best not to compare this new film with the 1976 one because even though I like comparing remakes to originals, I find this film different in the sense that it feels more like a re-adaption than a straight up remake, so I will be fair and judge it as so. All this being said, is the film any good?

Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a young girl who is an outcast at her school. Apparently she attends Asshole Academy, because almost everyone seems to hate her for really no reason, other than the fact that she’s different. One day she experiences her period while taking a shower in the locker room, so all the girls start teasing her and from then on out hate her because she didn’t know what a period was. Carrie lives with her religious psycho mother Margaret (Julianne Moore), who mistreats her and locks her in a closet and makes her pray. As Carrie is pushed over the edge she starts to realize she has a bizarre power to make things move, and is forced to utilize these powers to their full effect when she is the victim of a twisted prank while attending prom.

The two females leads are fantastic. Chloe Grace Moretz brings her A-game to every role and here is no exception, making you sympathize for Carrie and really wanting things to get better for her, and then enjoy watching her extract her revenge when the times comes. While I think Moretz does an excellent job, you can’t help feel a little awkward while watching it when you realize that Moretz was only 15/16 while making this, and she’s suppose to be playing a student in her senior year. I’m all for casting actual teenagers in movies like this, but it can feel off at times, which I suppose was the point, given how Carrie was suppose to be that “weird girl” who is more undeveloped than the rest of the girls. Julianne Moore steals the show every time she’s on screen, bringing the creepy meter to a whole other level and creating one of the scariest mother’s I’ve seen in a movie for a long time. Judy Greer was also very good as the kind and sympathetic gym teacher who really seems to be the only one to care about Carrie (no pun intended). The rest of the students vary in quality, Gabrielle Wild and Ansel Elgort are good as the two students really trying to be nice and help Carrie, while Portia Doubleday and Alex Russell are decent in creating the psychopathic assholes who want to drench Carrie in pig’s blood for whatever reason.

The Good:

The film is directed very competently, with director Kimberly Peirce creating some genuinely very disturbing moments, including a graphic birth scene. I honestly found the first half of the movie very hard to watch, with the brutal bullying scenes and just straight up horribleness of the characters really hitting me. Honestly, I haven’t seen a bigger asshole of a teacher than Carrie’s english teacher since High School, and trust me, that’s saying something. The prom scene is almost heart breaking, because you see Carrie actually enjoying herself, and life seems to finally be giving in, but deep down you know it’s all going to go to shit. The chemistry between the two females leads was very strong, as every scene with the two of them is extremely effective and disturbing, with certain scenes I can’t get out of my head they were so emotionally charged. This movie benefited immensely by having the talent that it did, as it feels that everyone involved really wanted to make this movie its own thing, as it’s a very well made film and you can tell Kimberly Peirce was really trying to make something good, and I congratulate her on accomplishing what she did.

The Bad:

While I realize that having everyone in this world be giant dick heads makes you sympathize for its character more, but there are times when it feels a little too extreme. Carrie walks in to school to see that someone has painted “Carrie White Eats Shit” on her locker, and it’s like “Seriously? Why would someone do that?” Something I found a little bizarre was the fact that Carrie didn’t know what a period was. I know she used to be home schooled and her mother no doubt doesn’t allow her to watch TV or go on the Internet, but didn’t she have sex-ed class? Didn’t she ever wonder what the tampon machine in girls locker room was for? I suppose it could be argued that her mother didn’t allow her to go to sex-ed and that she never thought twice about the dispensers, but it seems like a bit of a stretch. I’m willing to accept it for the movie’s sake, but it does seem bizarre. The entire film is leading up the prom night massacre, and while a lot of it is very satisfying when it happens, there is also a lot of…interesting things that happen as well. For example, when the bucket of pig’s blood is tipped and it falls on Carrie (no it’s not a spoiler, have you seen the trailer?), the shot is repeated three or four times for some reason, and I was scratching my head contemplating why the editor thought this a good idea, as it really adds nothing. There is also a forced use of slow-motion during a couple of death scenes, and while they look cool and all, they serve no purpose other that to be explicit. It’s a shame that the third act falls in quality as much as it does, as everything leading up to it is very strong and sets everything up perfectly. The ending is also something which could have been so much stronger, as the ending scenes and the final shot of the film just leaves you a little unsatisfied, which is a shame.

In Conclusion:

I really want to love this movie, but there’s quite a few things that drag it down to the point that I just can’t. It’s still one of the better horror movie’s I’ve seen this year, as it is extremely well made and the two leads are just fantastic, so it’s worth seeing for that. It’s not something I can say you need to rush out and see, but if you’re a fan of the source material or just want to see a decent thriller with some really good moments then I recommend it, but if it’s something you dismissed after you saw the first trailer (rightly so, as it’s a pretty weak trailer), then you should maybe wait till DVD or Netflix or Redbox or whatever. This movie really had me emotionally engaged to everything that was happening, and that’s something that rarely happens to me, so for that reason alone I can’t not recommend.

7/10

Comments
  1. It’s missing John Travolta….Great write up!

  2. very disappointing to hear it’s not good. but you never know how lonw kids will sink when they’re bullying someone. the original should have really just been left alone smh.

  3. CMrok93 says:

    Good review HT. Didn’t seem to do much with the original story, or even add anything new to it. Just sort of told the same story, but this time, with more social-media.

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