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Stephen King's1974 novel CARRIE has been adapted to film 3 times before. We had the 1976 Brian DePalma flick, the low budget quasi sequel The Rage: Carrie 2 in 1999 and the Angela Bettis starring TV Movie Carrie in 2002 (Which I've never seen, should I?). And now here we wig out again with yet another stab at the material! I was actually all for Kimberly Peirce’s remake of Carrie being that I always found DePalma's film to be overrated and incredibly dated (William Katt’s hair alone sets the movie back to the stone age). But after seeing this flat modern take on it, I'll have to re-visit DePalma's film again; maybe I've been too hard on it and will appreciate it more.
The folks behind this Carrie remake went on record in the media saying that they wanted to stay closer to the book as opposed to DePalma’s movie (which they winked at here BTW). And after the fly teaser trailer that was released, showcasing a whole town ravaged by Carrie’s powers, I was pretty pumped for that angle. You see in the book, Carrie’s damage doesn’t just go down in her school; the whole freaking town gets a taste of her wrath. Alas, now that I’ve wrestled the beast I know better. That scene in the teaser trailer was nowhere to be found in the actual flick and going against what was said, this re-do was basically DePalma’s movie all over again but without the depth, the boldness, visual panache or the sly metaphors. So before I start using my telekinesis powers to rip this one a new a-hole and shove a truck up it, let me find something good to say...
Well, ummm, the flick moved at a brisk pace (too swift if you ask me, more on that below) and I was never bored, which is always a good thing I guess. Moreover director Kimberly Peirce had a couple moments behind the lens with a handful of cool shots on display. The talented Chloë Grace Moretz was HANDS DOWN the best thing about the movie and was my anchor to the whole spiel. She gave an affable show and communicated so much via her physicality and facial expressions. I really warmed up to her. This girl owns! Granted she was maybe too pretty for the role but it wasn’t a hindrance as I clocked the film. She was basically an insecure gal with a f*cked up Mom and I bought that. All I needed. Her good looks didn’t get in the way. Julianne Moore was full on creepy as Carrie's INSANE mother, newcomer Ansel Elgort was likeable as Tommy Ross (dude will go places), Judy Greer was aces as the good hearted teacher and although she didn’t get enough screen time, Gabriella Wilde shined as Sue Snell. The film needed more of her.
On the flip-side, the characters and relationships were underdeveloped or one-note to the point that I wouldn’t believe some of the happenings (like Sue’s “gift” to Carrie for example). The chain of events was way too rushed as well. It was like the movie was in a hurry to get to the prom scene so it just skimmed over everything, hence what should have had impact, didn’t. The whole thing came off like a Studio chop job. I kept feeling like there was more to this movie (like all the stuff that deviated from DePalma's film) and it wound up rotting on the cutting room floor. Then we had the “villains” of the film who were beyond one dimensional and had such half cocked motivations, that I couldn’t stop laughing at them. They did all of this for that? Makes no rational sense. Get a life! At least Portia Doubleday was pleasant to look at. I'd tap it! And of course being that I have seen the 1976 version there were zero surprises here and hardly any deviations from the DePalma classic (tossing social media in there was a smart move – but they underplayed that too).
Now that I think of it, you’ve seen the full trailer of this new Carrie movie, you will know its every plot turn. So that kind of blew, watching a film and knowing in advance every single f*cking thing that will go down. And the last spit in the face was the Prom carnage scene. Really? That’s it? The movie hurried through its story and trampled over its characterization to get to that? Talk about underwhelming, with not enough violence or creativity and way too much CGI for its own good. The Rage Carrie 2 did a better job with its slaughter scene and that’s not saying much! Now that I think of it, how the hell is this a Rated R flick? Little violence and no nudity. Did it get an R for Tampon overload? Bahhhh!
So as Carrie ended, on a limp note if I may add (via echoing the closing scene of DePalma’s classic but doing it half-assed), I walked out of that theatre with 3 things on my mind: The Rage Carrie 2 was better than this and I gotta see DePalma’s movie and read the book again. I so wanted to love this movie yall but unfortunately Carrie 2013 = massive let down. Bummer...