I can’t say I was excited for this movie and the trailers released did nothing to change that. I, along with many, thought the original should have been left alone. With that being said, I could understand the re-imagining, after all, bullying is such a prominent issue at this day and age. You could easily update this story and make it relevant to new audience.
Let me start off by saying, this film should not be called nor marketed as horror, it is a thriller. Now with that complaint out of the way, the good news is – this remake is actually well done.
Kimberley Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) directs this remake of Stephen King’s novel of a tormented girl, with increased emphasis on the harnessing of Carrie White’s (played by Chloe Moretz) telekinesis powers. The essence of Carrie is still intact; the fact that it’s filled with blood-laced CGI effects does not diminish the cinematic quality.
While this film version of Carrie doesn’t stray too far from the original, it does take the viewer deeper into the psyche of Carrie, her tormentors at school and behind the scenes with her deranged mother, Margaret White (Julian Moore). We even get to see Margaret give birth to Carrie, while calling her cancer. That sentiment sets up the relationship the mother and daughter have throughout the film.
The score gives the film a bit more highlight. Marco Beltrami did an excellent job with the composing for this movie. Instead of injecting violin strings whenever Carrie used her telekinetic abilities, Marco and Peirce gave the audience an eerie score to imitate the mood and tone of the scenes.
While many complained about the last 20 minutes of this film, the prom sequence is actually put together much more effectively than in the 1976 version. Carrie’s rage in the original is scary but seeing her target the bullies themselves and give them such brutal and sadistic deaths, instead of murdering everyone was more terrifying and perhaps even pleasurable.
Sure to be compared to Spacek’s Carrie White, the beautiful Chloe Moretz delivers a fantastic and powerful performance. She does a wonderful job of balancing earnest innocence, emotional fragility, and as the film progresses, some darker moments. It says a lot about the skills of an actress when you want her to have a happy ending, even though you already know how the story ends.
In the role made famous by Piper Laurie, Julian Moore takes her turn in playing Margaret White, as a lot more darker, deluded bible thumping woman, who would rather hurt herself and her daughter then to “sin”. Needless to say, Julian Moore delivers another stellar performance.
It is nice to see Judy Greer in a non comedic role for a change, and she certainly puts in a strong performance as the no nonsense PE teacher. Greer’s character provides defining counterpoints to all of the suffering Carrie is subjected to in the film.
With some very fine actors, Peirce, an astute director herself, updated Carrie for the current generation, with cyber bullying acting as an effective thread without being preachy to the viewers. It makes the audience question whether they would go along with the crowd to make life “easier” for themselves or stand up and do the right thing. This is impressive for any movie, let alone a thriller. I would definitely recommend this movie for anyone that wants to watch a good solid movie or likes the genre.
Take a look at the trailer below, Carrie is now showing in cinemas everywhere. I rate it 6/10 stars