By now, I kind of assume that most horror fans know the story of Carrie. First, came the novel, written by Stephen King. It was actually his first selling novel, published in 1974, which allowed him to quit his regular job and write full time. Then, in 1976, the first movie adaptation was made (starring Sissy Spacek), followed by more (some for film, some for TV), including a remake in 2013 (starring Chloe Grace Moretz).
This is the story of a young teenage girl. She’s been raised in a very strict home with a mother that takes religiosity to a whole new level. This mother constantly locks her in a closet and makes Carrie pray for forgiveness, tells Carrie she’s evil solely because she’s female and that basically everyone on Earth is horrible and out to get her. This young woman is completely uninformed about what happens as she enters puberty and is told that she should be ashamed of her body by her mother.
This poor teen attends a public school and gets bullied and ridiculed relentlessly.
And it is hardcore. They emotionally torture this kid, making fun of everything about her from her hair to her clothes to her personality. They make a video of her in the girls’ locker room and post it to the internet. (I am so thankful the internet didn’t exist when I was in school. These kids are vicious.)
Carrie does have one saving grace. She possesses the power of telekinesis and can move practically anything (or anyone) with her mind. In the beginning, she is new to this power and has a hard time controlling it. But, later, after she gets a grip on what she is capable of, she uses that to her advantage at prom to exact her revenge on, well, everyone.
I have seen the 1976 version and had never seen the 2013 version because, frankly, remakes disappoint me. However, this remake is extremely close to the original movie and was a pleasure to watch.
Moretz does a spectacular job of portraying Carrie and the updates in the movie were not so exaggerated as to ruin parts of the story (like IT 2017). She even has that perfect wide-eyed look all the time like Sissy Spacek did throughout a lot of the original. She’s got an incredible grasp on the pathology of the character, focusing on the deep desire to be just like everyone else and finally realizing, nobody is just like everyone else. She embodies perfectly the age-old struggle of being an adolescent; wanting and needing to belong, being at the most awkward stage of growth, trying to find yourself and your independence and your place in the world and yet, learning to accept everyone else and their place in the world. High school has got to be the hardest time of a child’s life. It’s torturous and it feels like, whether it’s good or bad, that it will never end. Chloe Grace Moretz embraced this role emphatically, giving us the Carrie on screen that, I believe, may very well come to be the most common image/portrayal of the character.
Julianne Moore plays Carrie’s mother and I have to say, she carried the part well. While the mother in the original seemed more out of touch with reality and nonsensical at times, the Moore version of the character really brings to life the torment and the battle going on within her own heart, mind and soul, so much so that it just overflows into everything she does. The fear of what could happen to her daughter compels her to almost hold Carrie prisoner in her own home.
They really did a great job with this remake. The special effects are great. They don’t take over the movie as so often happens in remakes. Just because we are updating doesn’t mean the whole ENTIRE thing needs to be completely different and new. I also have to add that there are some killer cars in this movie. I love old muscle cars, you know, when you could hear your engine OVER the stereo? (Not the exhaust people, the engine. Exhaust doesn’t count.) And, they updated the different avenues of bullying used to be current, which was necessary for a remake. I mean, it is the 21st century, things HAVE changed.
FINALLY!!! A remake that, after I watched it, I felt satisfied and content. So many leave me feeling dejected and just wanting to watch the original…and burn the remake. But not this one. So, I HIGHLY recommend giving this movie a look-see if you haven’t already. It is solid and strong from beginning to end.