Monday, 6 January 2014

Carrie (2013)

"Carrie" (2013, Kimberly Peirce, Misher Films, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Screen Gems) is the remake of the classic 1976 film and is also based on the 1974 Stephen King novel of the same title.

You can find my review of Brian De Palma's 1976 film here

I was unsure of what to expect when they first announced a Carrie remake. Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie had created the characters so well that I couldn't contemplate who could do a better job.

This version remains relatively true to the plot and characterisation, however, it does have several flaws... On the whole, it's a good teen horror flick, but just doesn't pack the punch that the original did.

Carrie White (Chloe Moretz) is a young, naive schoolgirl who is bullied at school and is victimised by her extremely religious and troubled mother (Julianne Moore).

The flaw here is that Moretz is textbook gorgeous with very clearly dyed hair... something I doubt Carrie White would have access to. But she gives an excellent performance, switching from tearful to panicked to angry very convincingly. Her being so nice and normal looking makes it slightly more difficult to empathise with her as the victim, however. She looks like she should be popular.

Whilst the terrible relationship between mother and daughter is definitely captured, this version doesn't show as many of the small scenes which really built up the angst that the older film does. Moore gives a stellar performance as the mother, however, and really gives Laurie a run for her money! Absolutely terrifying!

Small nuances and details are present throughout the film which really give a nice edge. Things moving slightly around Carrie for instance before she sets her powers loose.

Carrie, knowing nothing of bodily functions and puberty, is panicked to find herself bleeding from below in the locker room. She is ridiculed by her hateful classmates and is saved only by her gym teacher, Miss Desjardin (Judy Greer), who appears to be the only person remotely on her side.

The updating of the story is done quite well, with mobile phones, YouTube, etc... managing to add to the plot rather than detract from it. The styling of the film is very High School Musical though, and often you began to think you were watching "Mean Girls" more than a retelling of a modern classic.

Life is seeming to turn around for Carrie, however, when a boy asks her to prom. The prom scene was good. It wasn't as good, in my opinion, as the '76 version though. It lacked some of the build up that the older film possesses and we were disappointed to see so much apparent CGI in the blood scene. But on the whole, it got the point across: Carrie has been pushed too far and now she knows just what to do!

The effects on the whole are excellent. There's even some nicely placed gore and a fair bit of action.

I found the ending to be a slight disappointment though. Crucial things were skipped and I just didn't get the same thrill as the old one gives.

On the whole: excellently acted, nicely pieced together and with nice special effects. Moretz plays the part well, but I think her look was a bit too pretty for the character. It all seemed a bit pointless remaking it though, when the original is still very poignant to this day. And it didn't do anything so fabulously different to merit a remake!

[Image: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer]