The past decade has seen plenty of remakes of classic horror movies, some successful like The Ring, others not so much, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre which really disappointed horror fans.
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Staring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Judy Greer, Portia Doubleday, Julianne Moore
Run Time: 99 Minutes
Release Date: October 2013
Carrie, originally made in 1976, starring Sissy Spacek, is a classic adaptation of a Stephen King novel. The original is held in high esteem by many horror movie fans so to continue my Halloween themed reviews I decided to watch the 2013 remake to see if it would be worth putting into a Halloween movie marathon.
Carrie White, played by Chloe Grace Moretz (Let Me In and Kick Ass) is an outcast teenager with a religious mother, Margaret White played by Julianne Moore (The Big Lebowski and The Lost World: Jurassic Park).
Following a locker room mishap, Carrie is bullied by a number of her classmates and the whole ordeal is filmed and uploaded to the internet. Several of the girls are punished by the High School gym teacher but convinced when Chris Hargensen, played by Portia Doubleday (Youth In Revolt) protests, she is suspended and banned from going to prom.
Popular girl, Sue Snell feels sorry for Carrie for what she and her friends did, so she asks her boyfriend to take Carrie to the prom. Obviously, suspicions are high and believing the whole idea to be another trick to bully Carrie, the High School gym teacher tries to persuade her not to go. Those worries are put to rest by the other girls and so Carrie prepares for her date at the prom.
As the movie progresses, Carrie slowly begins to discover that she has telekinetic powers when she is upset or angry. Seeds of these powers are hinted at for the viewer prior to Carrie’s realisation. A light blows in the shower, a water cooler smashes in the principal’s office and a crack appears in a door when she is arguing with her mother.
By the time we reach the scenes leading up to the prom, Carrie’s telekinetic powers are beginning to fully show. An argument breaks out between Carrie and her mother prior to the prom leading to her using her new found powers to force her mother into a cupboard under the stairs. This is just the start of the titular character embracing the gift she now has.
As Carrie is enjoying the prom, suspended Chris turns up to spoil Carrie’s night with an evil plot. The plan is successful though the consequences of Chris’ action are dire.
As the movie draws to its conclusion, Carrie’s full powers are unleashed on the whole prom, ending in a mayhem inside the school gymnasium, which then moves out onto the street, then to Carrie’s home.
Some movies are never meant to be remade, their charm comes not only from the fond memories of the first watch but also the dated look that comes with them. It’s sad that it sometimes takes a remake to remind both movie studios and cinema-goers of this and 2013’s Carrie remake is a perfect example.
The movie is poor quality when compared to the original and, quite frankly, should have been left alone by director Kimberley Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry).
Moretz and Moore, both great actresses, do their best with a poor script, but the movie is so badly written that even the greatest actress in the world couldn’t salvage anything here. The rest of the cast aren’t believable as High School teenagers, showing little range. This is one of the main problems I find with all the High School horror remakes these days, most of the actors are in their mid-20s and aren’t overly convincing when it comes to acting how a teenager would.
The movie’s one saving grace here is the special effects, it’s safe to say they exceed the originals. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given the advances in CGI techniques over the last four decades. It’s the iconic final third of the remake which really benefits from the newer and more crisp effects, but even this doesn’t save the movie from the tedium and boredom built-up during the first two acts, you’re simply left uninterested by this point.
The original Carrie is worthy of adding to any Halloween movie marathon but the remake should be forever condemned to the ever increasing list of ‘movies that should not have been made’.