Directed by KImberly Pierce
Starring: Julianne Moore, Chloe Grace Moretz, Judy Greer, and Gabriella Wilde
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.
Carrie is a seriously fucked up film to begin with. You have a sexually repressed and abusive mother. I should mention she’s abusive because of her violently enthusiastic view of the Bible. Even the Southern Baptists would be like “Whoa. Now, that is messed up.” You don’t want Pat Robertson agreeing with you on any topic. Carrie also depends upon the daughter of this nutcase. The teenage daughter is a socially awkward (for so many reasons) kid that shares a steady abuse at both school and home. When crazy mom goes on a religious rant, Carrie is often punished by being thrown into a closet under the stairs to contemplate and pray for her sins. This story is already emotionally charged, so throw in a burgeoning telekinesis-coming-of-age arc, and wait for the school gym to explode. Stephen King’s novel is the rich motivation for the original 1976 film. Pierce’s contemporary retelling take that isolation, sadness, guilt, and rage up a notch, making my October just a little better.
The closet doors slam a little louder, the blood sprays a little farther, and the intensity of the original film soars to a headier level. Carrie places a spotlight on Margaret White’s (Moore) sexually active and gilt ridden history. The fill in the blank moments add empathy for Carrie (Moretz) and gross discomfort for the viewer. Her behavior, while disgusting, makes more sense in this version. The relationship between mother and daughter is excruciating to watch. A lot of people claimed young Moretz was “too pretty” to portray this hyper-powered victim. Moretz does what might be her best acting to date, showcasing the complex emotions Carrie lives with. The road to telekinetic meltdown comes sooner in the retelling. Her awareness of the power is clear and she studies it in length. She eventually becomes quite skilled at controlling it. Something her insane mother learns painfully.
This is worth your time and money at the theater. It’s October after all; enjoy some big budget horror on the big screen. Carrie is a near-perfect 2013 retelling, relying heavily on strong acting and direction.
Original 1976 trailer