“My usual reaction when hearing plans for a remake of a classic is “”oh God why?””. There are times when it makes sense. If the original is dated, or wasn’t widely received, or if the concept for the remake is enough that it will make the new film something that’s entirely its own. In the case of Carrie, the new cast was enough to at least peak my interest: Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore. Final verdict? They really shouldn’t have bothered.
The original Carrie is such a horror classic, there’s really no need to mess with it. That sort of seemed to be the philosphy here as it was pretty much in tact. A couple details and effects were brought into this millennium, but I otherwise spotted the same plot structure and images. Even the modern cyber bullying wasn’t incorporated enough to warrant an entirely new movie.
I was kind of excited to see Moretz in her first film carrying role, even if this seemed a bit like she was just revisiting her past role in Let Me In. But Carrie has some pretty big blood splattered prom shoes to fit into. Sissy Spacek afterall did manage an Oscar nod, which is not going to happen this time around. I felt like Moretz played the role too safe and was too much of a pushover. And when she went into crazy mode, she seemed more like she was possessed by something else rather than having reached her own breaking point after all the abuse. The two sides felt disconnected. I would have liked a bit more of her Hit Girl attitude to come thru for crazy Carrie.
Watching the film, I keep forgetting that it’s classified as a horror movie. I think the idea is supposed to be that Carrie is the source of your nightmares, given what she proves herself to be capable of. For me though, she’s not the scary one. I find myself way too sympathetic towards her to be afraid of the girl. For me, what makes it a horror is her mother and the mean girls.
Julianne Moore knew how to channel the crazy. I left there completed freaked out by her, the combination of scripture spouting and self torture was chill inducing. Forget the fires and floating sharp objects. Scary is being thrown into the prayer closet by a mother who was just reciting scripture while banging her head into a wall.
As far as the mean girls, I can’t help but think I’m so grateful that I didn’t go to high school any later than I did. Back in my day, the internet was used to connect to the wide world. As opposed to now when it’s used to connect to your closer circle. So when I had to deal with my own bullies and mean girls, I still had an escape once I left school for the day, unlike today’s generation who come home to cyber bullying and abuse that can’t be shut off. That idea was only briefly touched on in the film (most of the torment was still pretty old school) but it was enough to get my gears turning to unpleasant places. Honestly, I feel like I barely made it out of HS as it was. With today’s complications, God only knows what I would have done.
But as I said earlier, all of that just makes me more sympathetic towards Carrie. I too learned to be leery of anyone in the “”in crowd”” who wanted to be my friend, fearing (and expecting) them to be setting me up for something. I sat out my junior prom, thinking it’d be more fun to have a movie night at home with a couple people than to watch all the popular girls act like they were so special. For senior prom, I already knew I was out of there soon, so I was able to accept things as they were and enjoy myself. I wanted the same for Carrie. Once she finally let her walls down a bit and allowed herself to get excited about prom, I wanted her to be able to enjoy it. Oh I knew how it was
all gonna go down, but for once, I wasn’t waiting for the action. I was happy to forget that this was a story penned by one Mr Stephen King, and no one was gonna have a happy ending.
All that said, again, I really don’t think the remake added anything that the original lacked. I think it still holds up just fine today, and it even benefits from a more low tech approach to effects. This was just yet another remake that had no real reason for existence.
Carrie – \m/ \m/ \n