Film Review: Performances Carry Update of Horror Classic ‘Carrie’

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Average: 5 (3 votes)

CHICAGO – Director Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don’t Cry”) doesn’t convey the dread or atmosphere of Stephen King’s “Carrie” to a degree that elevates it to the source material’s true potential but she does handle performance in a way that’s rare in the genre, making this remake one of the best horror films of the season. It won’t soon supplant the De Palma version but it brings King’s story to another generation, finding the relatable truth in the story of a girl pushed too far by religion, adolescence, bullying, and society. If your threshold of remake relevance is that it must exceed the original creatively than don’t bother with this “Carrie.” It doesn’t have the personality of De Palma’s vision. However, if you’re not automatically attuned to smash remakes for their very existence, Peirce’s update works on its own terms and can serve as a modern update of a timeless tale with great performances. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a shy, awkward girl, the kind that most don’t really even notice at school. Peirce and writers Lawrence D. Cohen and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa wisely avoid making this Carrie overly outcast, realizing perhaps that they don’t have the same alien-like presence as De Palma did in the original with Sissy Spacek. This Carrie is certainly unpopular but it’s as much for the fact that she wears clothes handmade by her mother (Julianne Moore) as it is for her looks or actual behavior. She’s more ignored than ostracized, even as gym teacher Ms. Dejardian (Judy Greer) tries to break her out of her shell.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Carrie” in our reviews section.

Carrie’s profile at her high school becomes much larger than she wants when she gets her period in the shower after gym class, freaking out over the blood between her legs. Her mother never told her about what was going to happen to her, leaving her frightened and running to classmates with hands covered in blood. As teen girls sometimes do, they use this horrible moment to mock Carrie, throwing tampons on her. Alpha girl Chris (Portia Doubleday) even goes as far as to film the moment, posting it on YouTube for further ridicule.

Carrie’s classmate Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) starts to feel guilty about the bullying of Carrie and refuses to stand up with Chris when she tries to fight being suspended from Prom privileges, leaving Chris the outcast. She’s the one on the outside of Prom, looking in, especially when Sue convinces her boyfriend Tommy (Ansel Elgort) to take Carrie as a goodwill gesture. Chris plans revenge as Carrie’s intensifying telekinetic powers make her the wrong girl to bully.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Carrie” review.

“Carrie” stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Portia Doubleday, Gabriella Wilde, Ansel Elgort, and Judy Greer. It was directed by Kimberly Peirce. It opens on Friday, October 18, 2013, and is rated R.

Photo credit: Sony Pictures

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