Director: Kimberly Pierce
Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wilde
Plot: A reimagining of the classic horror tale about Carrie White, a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother, who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.
Genre: Drama / Horror
Rating: M18 / NC16 (edited) for bloody violence, disturbing images, language and some sexual content.
IN RETROSPECT (Spoilers: NO)
“There are other people out there like me who can do what I can do.”
Does it hurt my credibility if I claim that I have not read arguably Stephen King's most famous novel, or seen Brian De Palma's iconic classic (well, I have only seen bits and pieces)? Well, at least there's one review out there of Kimberly Pierce's remake that doesn't compare it to the source and the original film.
Carrie's story is disturbing and pitiful. Born into a single-parent family with an overly religious mother (played by Julianne Moore), Carrie (Chloe Grace Moretz) discovers menstruation for the first time to the ridicule and taunting of her schoolmates. She also 'discovers' telekinesis, finally putting a name to her seemingly supernatural powers.
Very much working as a revenge story of a girl bullied who seeks retribution on those who tested her limits, Carrie is not exactly a horror film in the purist sense, but a film about a young girl terrorized by both her mother and her schoolmates, who in turn sought to weave terror unto the World.
In a climax alluding to the apocalyptic destruction of the World as symbolically represented by a transformed Carrie, the film is both dark and bleak. It is also terribly executed, and by that measure, everything becomes simply... meh - a lackluster attempt to re-introduce Carrie to contemporary audiences that comes across as uninteresting, tepid, and even ridiculously funny.
Pierce, so adept in films such as Boys Don't Cry (1999), doesn't quite know how to make Carrie tick. The opening scene itself is already telling of the quality of the movie with the normally reliable Moore over-acting, and doing so throughout the film.
Moretz is miscast – she is far too adorable and tries unsuccessfully to channel the reclusive persona of her vampiric character in Let Me In (2010). I must say that the eternally youthful (and otherworldly) Mia Wasikowska would have been my first choice to play the part.
That being said, Carrie came with huge expectations, and failed spectacularly. The final act turns into a Final Destination-esque treatment of implausible action and needless CG visual effects. Does it really need to be this way, when it could have been havoc unleashed with some measure of reality and emotional introspection rather than an all-out assault on the senses? Pierce had the opportunity to create a modern classic, but she blew it. Who's to blame?
Verdict: A contemporary remake of a classic that at times unintentionally parodies itself – a needless and ineffectual movie that is best kept locked in the closet.
GRADE: D (5/10 or 2.5 stars)