When I originally saw the trailers for the remake of CARRIE, I was rather put off by the fact that they pretty much showed the entire movie in the span of 3 minutes. Making matters worse is that I’m a fan of the original Brian DePalma version and it looked eerily similar.
With all these strikes against it, I was surprised to find that I actually kind of liked it. Kind of. The biggest problem for me was trying not to compare it to the original as I watched it and unfortunately that was a little more difficult than expected as at times it feels like a shot per shot duplication.
The story is still great, based on Stephen King’s seminal first novel, Carrie (Chloë Grace Moretz) lives under the thumb of her ultra-religious and extremely unhinged mother (Julianne Moore). Carrie’s supposed to be living a pure and pious life, but she’s also an awkward teen blossoming into womanhood and, unprepared for the world, is still curious about boys and the changes happening to her body.
But there’s another aspect of Carrie that she’s also discovering: She has telekinetic powers that are growing day by day. When dealing with the mean kids at school as well as her fanatical mother becomes untenable, she lashes out causing a flood of death and destruction in her wake.
I found Chloë’s performance rather effective. Some complain that she is too pretty to play the plain-Jane Carrie, but for me it’s about the inner character. Just because someone is attractive doesn’t mean that they can’t be awkward and a social misfit. Julianne Moore is also great (albeit a little over the top) in the role originated by Piper Laurie.
Not as scary or creepy as the original, CARRIE still has its merits and if this is your introduction to the story, you may like it even more than I did (as did the people I watched it with). It’s not better than the original, but it’s not far worse either. I still recommend DePalma’s version as the definitive one to watch, but for those that can’t handle watching “older films,” you could do far worse than watching this reasonably well-made remake.
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