Movie column: Carrie
3.5 out of 5 stars
Published: Monday, October 21, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 21, 2013 22:10
It’s not always easy for a remake to get out from its predecessor’s shadow. Director Kimberly Peirce’s adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel “Carrie,” which has been featured on the big screen before, is no different. It fails to really own itself the way a few remakes have done, but for me that wasn’t a problem.
This update of the classic 1976 film of the same name, which starred Sissy Spacek, is much like its predecessor. It tells the story of Carrie White (now played by Chloë Grace Moretz of “Kick-Ass 2”), a bullied loner, honing her supernatural abilities unbeknownst to her religious maniac mother played by Oscar-winner Julianne Moore. Carrie gets invited to prom, and let’s just say things don’t go well.
The performances in the film are all relatively strong. Julianne Moore is probably the best of the bunch in her role as Carrie’s mother, Margaret. Granted, Moore is given the most to do in her role, as playing a religious fanatic cannot be easy, but she is more than capable in the part. Chloë Grace Moretz does a pretty good job as well, although she doesn’t exude the same creepy weirdness Spacek did. Moretz’s performance works in context, though, because this version of Carrie isn’t quite as campy as the 1976 version, and the weirdness is a little more subtle, which Moretz makes work.
As far as the supporting cast goes, Judy Greer does well in her role as kind-hearted gym teacher Miss Desjardin. The actor who plays Carrie’s prom date, Ansel Elgort, is also a standout. He sells the jock angle pretty well and comes across as genuine in the character’s more heartfelt scenes. Mean girl Chris Hargensen is the primary antagonist, and Portia Doubleday gives a performance that, while not the most refined, definitely makes viewers despise the character. There were audible cheers in the theater when she got her comeuppance.
“Carrie” is one of those movies you have to have patience with. It may not start off as the most exciting piece of cinema, but in the end it is worth it. It is like a long car ride where the trip itself is really boring, but the destination makes it worthwhile. Yes, 75 percent of the movie is kind of boring, but without that boring 75 percent, the 25 percent of the film that is awesome would not be quite as awesome.
The climax is really what this movie is famous for, and the remake does it justice. It is evident how far technology has come over the years as the special effects can do a lot more now than they could do in 1976. For example, the climax is dominated by bloody violence, thereby giving the film its R rating.
If you’ve never seen any other version of “Carrie” and seeing this would be your first exposure to the material, I’d highly recommend it. It tells an interesting story, and with today’s anti-bullying culture, it is a story that translates well to modern times. Yes, it is a bit slow, but it is worth it in the end. If you’ve seen some other interpretation of “Carrie,” then you will probably want to wait and check it out on Netflix or Redbox because it is nearly the same movie with new faces. However, it is October, and Halloween is right around the corner if you want to go to the theater and see creepy “Carrie.”