CARRIE (2013) : REVIEW

November 8, 2013

"They're gonna laugh at you. They're all gonna laugh at you."
What really drift me to the theatre watching this highly unnecessary remake was Chloƫ Grace Moretz herself. I wanted to see how she could top of Sissy Spacek's goggled eyes, hopeful smile and awkward gestures in portraying Carrie in Brian De Palma's 1976 classic horror adaptation from Stephen King's book with the same title. I didn't set any expectations, but I was curious, what would they twist this time? Because you know that a remake WILL NOT exceed its original; universal knowledge there, mate. So, I gave the classic 4.5/5, how about this Kimberly Peirce's one baby remake?

The story centered on Carrie White (Chloƫ Grace Moretz), a shy & awkward teenager whose mother, Margaret (Julianne Moore) was a mad-fanatic who kept her from society by dressing her in an old-lady clothes and praying-together moment. Carrie was a target of bully in her school, which culminated when she had her first period and was hysterical about it, making the queen-bees of her school, Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday) and Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) making fun of her by throwing tampons at her while taping it and later posted it in youtube. The event led to a punishment from the gym teacher Ms. Desjardin (Judy Greer), telling the girls to do squats or no prom for them. Of course, Chris refused and she was crossed out from the prom's guest list immidiately. Feeling at rage, Chris then planned a diabolical set up by her bad-boy boyfriend Billy Nolan (Alex Russell). But, Sue Snell was sorry for what she did to Carrie and decided to make it up to her by telling her boyfriend, lacrosse-star Tommy Ross (Ansel Elgort) to take her to prom with him. Carrie refused at first, but she finally tempted to say yes. On the other hand, Carrie discovered that she could do things regular people 'rarely' did, as in moving things by thoughts (ehm, telekinesis). And that very ability my friend, was what caused the phenomenal fiasco later on.

The very fact that this remake was so faithful to De Palma's was just ... BORING. The dialogues were pretty much the same and only some steers were done, like the gym class became pool volleyball, no more slow motion nudity in the shower room, and that bed-flying-exorcist-like scene. Even that kid who shouted "Creepy Carrie!" was there. The only thing that differentiated the remake from De Palma's were the casts (hotter Snue, funnier Ross, bitchier Chris, baldier Nolan), the prologue (missing umbilical cord was forgiven) and different ending (Carrie showed a mercy). And of course, Marco Beltrami's maximizing scores. Though it was also improved by the more advanced digital effects, the remake was somehow intended to avoid the 2013 set (despite the iPhone recording, Carrie still went to the library, borrowed stack of encyclopedias rather than just open a laptop and type google.com). The pace was well-maintained and engaging, making the entire 100 minutes pretty much watchable though lack of twists and surprises forcing my brain to face familiarities. The gore and thrill were well executed, though still couldn't top off De Palma's flying sharp objects mixed with shuddering then complete silent with only the sound of blood dripping and bucket dropping presented. But then, the prom climax was a big dissapointment to me, missing the gore there, only Moretz doing some Balinese dancing and ordering things to fly while dripping in pig's blood. The humors did its job ("I can see your dirty pillow!", man that never out of era). Unfortunately, I missed De Palma's rotating collage of Carrie's schoolmates laughing with Margaret's voice saying "They're gonna laugh at you ... they're gonna laugh at you ..." over and over again while Carrie was dripping in blood. THE MOST EPIC MOMENT. And there wasn't any here in the remake.

Moore was definitely the star of the show. When Piper Laurie's Margaret was more hysterical, Moore's Margaret was more calculated, precised and careful, calmer and still as nuts and diabolical as ever. Judy Greer stole the scenes in portraying caring and respectful gym teacher Ms. Desjardin, the contrary of Betty Buckley's I-have-no-idea-what-i-am-doing-here Miss Collins in the 1976 classic. Wilde's Sue Snell was even prettier, taller and blonder than Amy Irving's. Portia Doubleday was bitchier Chris compared to Nancy Allen's. Elgort's Ross was more charming, witty and funny than William Katt's. Alex Russell's Nolan couldn't top of John Travolta's, of course; he got no suave. But, the real problem here is Moretz herself. If I split her performance into love-hate relationship, well I indeed loved her performance, but I didn't see Carrie in her like I see Carrie in Spacek. Moretz was just being moretz, with the slightest belief of her getting bullied whatsoever. She played great, but she just wasn't Carrie.

Finally said, this highly unnecessary remake was fun to watch, still. Recommended or not, be your own judge. But I DO recommend you to watch the classic one.


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