Dir. Kimberly Peirce
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Read the newspaper version of this review at: Thame Gazette
“Carrie had some sort of power. But she was just like me... like any of you, she had hopes, she had fears, but we pushed her. And you can only push someone so far before they break...”
We know that high school can be a grim experience for many – with the threat of bullying and the fear of being the ‘oddball’ who doesn’t fit in with the cool kids. Carrie, based on the Steven King novel taps into this deep vein of pain that anyone who has been ridiculed, hurt or picked on at school will be able to relate too.
This new version is a remake of the Brian De Palma1976 original, which is hailed by many as a modern horror classic. Director Kimberly ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ Peirce brings the tale of poor young Carrie White (played here by Chloë ‘Kick Ass’ Grace Moretz) to the screen with lots of special effects and no small amount of heart.
"She's behind you!?"
Alas it never quite manages to come across as anything other than a homage and doesn’t do enough new to make it stand out apart from some social media elements and more gruesome deaths. Having said that, Peirce’s version is a least a competent retelling, which doesn’t completely sully the good name of the original like the Texas Chainsaw or Evil Dead remakes have.
Carrie just isn’t like other girls her age thanks to her domineering religious nut of a mother Margaret White (Julianne Moore who delivers good wrathful zealot). As a Christian I have always felt that the Carrie movie portrays such an unlikeable and OTT depiction of religious fervour gone insane to the point that it becomes something to be feared. It certainly isn't like any Christians that I know and I deeply hope that no-one comes away from the original or the remake with the impression that 'all Christians are like that'!?
Outcast and bullied Carrie’s life is pretty unbearable but unlike most people who get victimised, she has the gift of telekinesis and when tricked and humiliated at the school prom –she unleashes bloody vengeance on a biblical scale.
Lead bitch bully duty falls to the Chris (Portia Doubleday) who leads the school class in an malicious taunting of Carrie and then aided and abetted by her dodgy older boyfriend Billy (Alex ‘Chronicle’ Russell) set up to humiliate Carrie even more at the prom.
Also involved is Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) who tries to atone for her part in the attack by making her popular boyfriend Tommy (Ansel Elgort) invite Carrie to the prom, thus inadvertently setting up the climatic finale.
This version went down well with my teenage son and his girlfriend and delivers a good looking spooky revenge-em-up but for a deeper insight into the tale you should still really seek out the original.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(3 - what a Carrie on!?)...
Awesomeness ööö – some good scenes (most of the ones from the original)
Laughs ö – not a comedy
Horror ööö – gets nicely nasty in places
Babes ööö – Wilde, Doubleday and Moretz all scrub up ok
Spiritual Enlightenment öö – the devil keeps returning and must be defeated
"locker room bullies"