I am very vocal about my disappointment in the film industry for remaking everything. I can’t stand that there is such a lack of originality that these classics need to be remade or “improved on.” While I do not think that you can improve on an original, there are some remakes that, standing alone, would be a great movie.
This is how I feel about the remake of Carrie. I am a very big fan of the 1976 Brian De Palma original. I have watched it every October since I was sixteen years old. I know it front and back.
When I heard that Carrie was being remade, I was disappointed. I have watched most of the horror movies I love get remade, sometimes destroyed. Then I thought about some of the remakes I actually did enjoy like The Hills Have Eyes or Halloween. Still, I was wary.
It wasn’t until the announcement of Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie White that I began to feel a little better about the whole thing. After seeing her performance in Let Me In, I knew she would be able to pull off the innocence and intensity of Carrie White better than any modern day actress I could possibly think of.
By now everyone should know the story of Carrie White. She was born to a single mother who is a religious fanatic. Forced to follow her mother’s beliefs and live a modest lifestyle, Carrie is the center of the popular crowds ridicule for being different. Little does anyone know, Carrie has the power to move things with her mind, making her very different indeed. When Carrie starts her period and doesn’t understand what is happening, a group of girls torture her by throwing tampons at her. The punishment the girls receive is too much for Chris, the leader of the clique, resulting in her suspension and refusal of prom tickets. To get Carrie back for this punishment, Chris and her boyfriend Billy rig a bucket of pigs blood over the stage at prom and set it up so Carrie wins Prom Queen. When the blood is spilled on her, Carrie finally loses it, using her powers to destroy everyone at the prom that ever tortured her.
Chloe did not disappoint. In fact, she was better than I imagined. She was so sweet despite all of the horrible things done to her that you really felt horrible for her. Like Carrie, you don’t realize how beautiful Chloe really is until she is dressed for prom. Speaking of that prom scene, I would hate to piss her off!
Now, I still don’t know how I feel about Julianne Moore as Carries mother. While she did a great job of being crazy, she just didn’t have the effect that Piper Laurie had. I don’t fully understand why they made her hurt herself in certain situations. In the original, Laurie hurt herself only in front of Carrie to guilt her into doing thing but Moore scratched and cut herself when Carrie wasn’t around for reasons that were never explained. I didn’t really understand the purpose.
Ansel Elgort was fantastic as Tommy Ross. He was very charming and easy to like. I actually found him more likeable a character than William Katt portrayed as Tommy. Gabriella Wilde was a good Sue Snell but certainly no Amy Irving and Portia Doubleday couldn’t ever pull off Chris Hargensen the way Nancy Allen did, but was quite the bitch just the same.
Carrie expanded on the story the book told more than the 1976 version did. The relationship between Sue and Tommy was more intimate, they spent more time letting Carrie explore her power and they showed that Billy was more in control of the relationship than Chris was, which was the total opposite in the 1976 Carrie. Carrie White also did more damage than just the school, as she did in the book.
They added in some modern touches with iPhones and computers. Carrie is videotaped when she is having a meltdown over starting her period and this video is posted on the Internet, making the humiliation that much worse. Obviously the clothes and cars are more modern but Carrie’s house remains in the past, showing just how different Carrie’s world really is.
Overall, I enjoyed it. I can’t say that it was as good as the Sissy Spacek version, but I will say that it could stand on its own perfectly fine. I vote that parents take their children to see it. If Carrie doesn’t teach children a lesson in bullying, nothing will.