Movie Review: ‘Carrie’ remake plays up bullying, downplays thrills and spectacles

posted in: Opinion | 0

Being the third version based off of Stephen King’s novel to get a big screen adaptation, “Carrie” hit movie theaters just in time for Halloween. But how did it hold up, especially after being rebooted multiple times?

To start, the 2013 version has noticeably better talent attached, with Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore starring as Carrie and her religiously fanatic mother, Margaret, respectively.

The story begins with Margaret, giving birth to her daughter alone in her room, terrified of what is happening. The film then fast-forwards years later to when Carrie is a teenager in high school.

It is clear, through a scene in which girls are playing volleyball in the school pool, that Carrie is unlike the other girls; she is the outcast.

When it comes time to shower after P.E. class, Carrie notices blood, something that she is unfamiliar with – she’s having her period. Terrified, she screams for help as her peers begin to chant “plug it up” as they throw tampons and pads at her.

The film has a larger emphasis on bullying this time around, more so than the previous installments.

There are elements of the Carrie story that feel more powerful these days, especially after many stories about school bullying that have ended with tragic circumstances.

Carrie suffers abuse from both her mother and schoolmates and over time learns that she possesses an ability, a power that she thinks that she can learn to control: telekinesis. So she begins to research and read up on it, building her skill while she deals with her peers insulting her.

The performances in the film are all strong. The fact that Carrie has been raised in an abusive setting is what makes her so uncomfortable and withdrawn around her classmates.

Moretz does great taking on the role, especially in scenes when she confronts her mother.

As Margaret, Moore is able to show audiences how this abusive mother can actually be loving at times toward Carrie, which make her quick shifts into violence toward her own daughter all the more shocking.

Judy Greer, whom I much prefer as Cheryl in Archer and as Kitty in Arrested Development, also stars in the film as Carrie’s gym teacher, Ms. Desjardin.

Gabriella Wilde and Ansel Elgort are likeable as the school’s most popular couple, Sue and Tommy, who want to do something nice for Carrie due to Sue’s guilt over joining in on the incident in the locker room at the beginning of the film.

There’s nothing really wrong with Carrie, but it never really comes alive at any moment throughout the film. There is nothing that makes this stand out from the original. It easily falls into the category of uninspired remakes.

What audiences are left with is a “going through the motions” feeling, and at moments where things could have been fresh and new from the original movies, they weren’t.

It isn’t necessarily a scary movie, but even as a thriller it fails to…well…thrill. I give it a six out of ten.


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