Friday, 31 January 2014

Carrie (2013)

Carrie (2013)
Director: Kimberly Pierce
Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianna Moore and Gabriella Wilde
Running Time: 100 minutes

 To be honest, I really wasn't looking forward to watching this.  I find most remakes aren't done very well, (Texas Chainsaw, F13, NOES) and most of the times the people creating these films miss the point of what the original film was intending to be.  Carrie is one my favourite De Palma films and it has already been poorly remade once, so it's already behind the eight ball.

  Margaret White, played by Julianna Moore (Magnolia, Cast a Deadly Spell) gives birth to a baby on her bed.  She grabs a pair of scissors, not to cut the cord but to kill the baby, because she feels that she has sinned against god and the baby is evil.  However before she plunges the scissors into the newborn, something stops her and she makes a connection with her little girl.  Margaret decides not to kill the baby and bring her up on the same christian values that have obviously been working so well for her.
  Flash forward 15 years, Carrie White, played by Chloe Grace Moretz (The Eye, Kick-Ass) is an awkward teenager playing pool volleyball with her gym class.  She serves and hits popular girl, Sue Snell, played by Gabriella Wilde (St. Trinian's 2)  in the head with the ball.  Damn, you volleyball!  When the class ends, Carrie showers and has her first visit from her aunt flo.  Carrie freaks out and begs her classmates for help, but instead of help she is bombarded with tampons!  Luckily, the gym teacher, Ms. Desjardin, played by Judy Greer (Marmaduke, The Descendents) stops the brutal tampon assault.  Carrie is sent home and Ms. Dejardin goes on the hunt for the ringleaders of this tampon catastrophe.
  At home, Carrie tells her mother what happened in school and begs her to tell her why she hasn't been taught normal feminine hygiene?  Margaret White explodes into biblical verses and shoves Carrie into her prayer corner/locked closet/child abuse timeout room, because that is what Jesus would do in that situation.  Luckily, during that time of reflection Carrie notices she has the power to move things with her mind, which she thinks may come in handy.
  The next day at school, Ms. Desjardin forces all the mean tampoon throwing bitches to run laps.  However, main bad girl, Chris Hargensen, played by Portia Doubleday isn't having it, refuses to run and blames Carrie for being an easy target and for just being weird.  Ms. Desjardin threatens Chris with losing Prom, oh no!, if she doesn't co-operate with the punishment but Chris tries to rally her mean girl compatriots, saying "they can't kick us all out"  Unfortunately, no one, not even her sister in arms, Sue Snell back Chris up.  Chris leaves with no Prom, oh no!, and a ginormous chip on her shoulder against Carrie White.
  However, Sue Snell mysteriously feels bad, for some reason, about mistreating Carrie for the last 13 years and decides that she is going to let her popular boyfriend take Carrie to the Prom.  It's really the least she can do for treating her poorly all these years.  At first, Carrie is hesitant but Sue's popular boyfriend convinces her and they'regood to go.  Also, Carrie has been developing and learning to control her telekinesis powers from books and the internet.  You really can learn anything from the internet!  So, everything is good, except Chris Hargensen with her bad ass boyfriend, decide that they are going to mess with Carrie's prom experience.  Can Carrie escape the torment of her high school peers and even have them finally except her or will Chris Hargensen ruin another beautiful high school moment in the yearbook for Carrie White?  Can you guess?

Director Kimberly Pierce (Boys Don't Cry, Stop-Loss) does an okay job re-inventing Stephen King's Carrie.  She has updated the story by adding in a cyber bullying angle, which has prevalent during last few years.  Also, the chemistry between Julianna Moore and Chloe Grace Moretz is good and there are some alright scenes with them.  As well as the special effects team has done a very good job with a nice combination of CGI and organic gore.  The bucket of blood drop looks great!

  However, I think that Chloe Grace Moretz wasn't quite right for the role as Carrie.  No matter, how they tried to ugly her up, she still looked really cute and approachable.  Carrie needs to be an outcast and damaged and I just don't see that in her.  Ms. Moretz performance was fine, but I don't think she was the right person for Carrie.  Also, there was too much of Julianna Moore's character, Margaret White.  I love Julianna Moore, her and Judy Greer, who played Ms. Desjardin were the best characters to watch in the film but I would have preferred more time spent on the teens, than on the background and self mutilation of Margaret White.  That time could have been put to developing the evil boyfriend of Chris Hargensen, the relationship between Sue and Chris or even some development with Teeny, to find out why they hated Carrie so much.

  I was really disappointed by the Prom scene, there were a few good deaths like Teeny on fire, but I didn't feel rage wasn't there.  It was a lot more controlled and calculated, than pure angry destroying her enemies.  Instead of killing everybody she was picking and choosing who died, which turns her into murderer instead of a poor girl who can't control her rage.  Also, people lived and escaped, wtf?  And then after she brutally murders a bunch of kids at the Prom and destroys the school's gym,  she goes home and takes a bath.  Where are the police in this town?  And who shows up to help her, Sue Snell.  Really, you give this girl a hard time for years, she just killed all your friends, do you really think this is a good time Sue Snell.  It is just ridiculous, maybe if there was any indication of a relationship between the two in the film, I could see it or if Sue was there for revenge but she was there to help Carrie through this tough time.  Again, Sue walked there from the school but the police still hadn't arrived.  (shakes head)

  The Blu-ray looks good and it has some alright features.  There is a piece called "Creating Carrie" where Kimberly Pierce talks about her vision of Carrie and how she approached making the film.  As well as some of the actors talk about their take on their character.  Also, a piece called, "The Power of Telekinesis" and talk to some of the cast and the director about Telekinesis, whether they believe in it or not.  Finally, there is a prank at a coffee shop, where they do a Carrie mock up of a girl who gets coffee spilled on her.  There are no notable actors in this and it looks kind of cheap but you may find it funny or not. 
  Also, the Blu-ray as an extra 2 minute scene with Sue and Carrie that wasn't shown in the theatre, I didn't see it in the theatres, so that attraction was lost on me.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to the commentary, but there is one with Kimberly Pierce but after the "Creating Carrie", I think I knew where she was going.

This wasn't a bad movie, it just wasn't great.  In a wasteland of horror remakes nowadays, this film is mediocre and disappointing at best, especially considering all the great talent that is involved.  This is one of those rainy day films, when you can't find anything on Netflix or your VOD but you have a hankerin for horror.  However, I could be wrong because it somehow won the 2014 People's Choice Award for Horror, but then again, these are the same people who gave the award for Best Comedic Male Lead to Adam Sandler for Grown Ups 2.  Just sayin.


  1. I really don't know why award shows like The People's choice awards exist, because they clearly don't represent the entire population. I agree that Grace was a wrong choice to cast in this movie. I've seen DePalma's version I don't need to see any more. Thanks for this review

  2. Good review Erin. Once again, we have another case in which Hollywood decides to try its hand at a classic, and change it up in any way that they feasibly can. And once again, it doesn't quite work out for anybody involved. Not them, nor the people who made the movie, and hell, not even us!