Carrie (2013) Review
I want to start by saying thank you. Thank you to all those who do not talk or check their phones during the motion picture. You guys and gals are incredible.
I got the chance to catch the premiere of Carrie last night and was vaguely disappointed, but also relieved, that the theater wasn’t packed. People just don’t show up like they used to. With ten dollar ticket prices and four dollars for a Pabst Blue Ribbon, theaters across the globe have lost their way and their customers in the process. But who’s to blame? The studios for a lack in content? A recovering economy driving prices up? Or is it simply us and our contentment with streaming entertainment? Why go see a ten dollar movie when you can sit back and binge watch Doctor Who while you fall asleep with one hand on the remote and the other in your pajamas?
Enough of the rant though. Thanks for listening.
As a remake it’s difficult to measure up to the original, therefore, I will save us the time and my effort and come out and say no the remake of Carrie was not better than the original. There, I said it. Can we get on with it now?
For those who don’t know, Carrie stars Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) in the titular role as an awkward teenager who quickly discovers she has telekinetic abilities. There’s bullies, and pigs blood, and prom, and you can pretty much guess what happens if you haven’t already seen the original starring Sissy Spacek back in 1976. Julianne Moore (Game Change)plays Carrie’s ultra-religious and mentally disturbed mother, who just so happens to work at a quaint tailor shop - presumably in between calling people sinners and making friends. Judy Greer (Archer) dons the role of the kindly gym teacher, who along with the principal apparently thinks that running laps is an appropriate way to punish someone for assault and battery. You can see where this is heading…
I was genuinely excited to see director Kimberly Pierce back in action since her 1999 Academy Award winning film, Boys Don’t Cry. Although I was looking forward to seeing what she could do with an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, I was also skeptical and felt she was an odd choice considering her film background. However, I can see why writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa was tapped due to his background as a staff writer for Glee and HBO’s Big Love. You’ve got nasty teenagers and dysfunctional families, what more could the fellas over at Misher Films ask for in a writer?
While there were moments during Carrie that literally “wow’d” me, there were others that literally bored me. From what I’ve seen from Glee and now Carrie, I think Sacasa is just guessing what modern American teenagers are like. I seriously believe the man is stuck in the 80s with classic high school stereotypes. The dumb jock, the evil queens, the kindly nerd with a camera who volunteers at the A/V department, it’s all stuff we’ve seen before and Sacasa makes no attempt at deviating from them. There were times where it was so over-the-top, I felt like I was watching The Breakfast Club from Hell.
Speaking of stuff being just too much, Chloë Grace Moretz completely disappointed in her role. She was excellent in Hugo and Let Me In, but it seems we might have over-estimated her abilities. When she pretended to use her powers it looked as though she was rubbing a giant invisible ball, arms flailing wildly in the air, and I could literally pinpoint when she was being carried by a cable. It felt unnatural and awkward, as did her performance which was like watching her on set reciting line after line.
Julianne Moore is great as always, in fact I’d go as far to say that she was the redeeming factor in the film. Her character was a fascinating one, and ultimately made you question the merit of her instability. She’s so terrible and even creepy that you just can’t wait until the next scene to watch her.
The film picked up some snickers from the audience every now and then, but the one thing that got me was the instant replay. Watch it, you’ll know.
Visually it was beautiful, with haunting images of a bleeding Christ on the Crucifix to a certain someone’s face entering a car windshield. With the exception of the cable problem, the visual effects team did an outstanding job.
Carrie is certainly worth a visit to the theaters, however, it’s certainly not without it’s issues. So I’ll give it a good, but not great rating of 3/5 stars. If you’re a Stephen King fan, the film is absolutely down your alley. But don’t expect any oscar-winning performances or scares, for Carrie had none of these things.