Carrie is the modern day and contemporary remake of the Sissy Spacek horror classic that was released all the way back in 1976. I don't necessarily mind remakes either, just so long as their hearts are in the right place, and I do think that this version of Carrie was remade with the best of intentions. Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) epitomizes the quintessential cautionary tale against incessant bullying. Beware of the quiet ones! After being raised by her uber-religious and psychotic mother Margaret White (Julianne Moore), Carrie has absolutely no social skills and is the outcast of the school. However after one particularly embarrassing incident Carrie becomes the very public figure of ridicule of the entire school and becomes the habitually tormented victim of the local teen bitch, Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday). That is until Chris gets herself suspended from Prom and blames Carrie for being such an easy target.
Through this incident comes a blessing or a curse, depending on how you want to look at it. I'd personally consider it a, not a blessing, but a stroke of good luck that defies every science textbook ever written. Since Carrie discovers that she has the power of telekinesis. Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) feels guilty for partaking in tormenting Carrie earlier on and she attempts to make amends by getting her boyfriend Tommy Ross (Ansel Elgort) to take Carrie to the Prom out of pity instead of her, which he does. The rest, as they say, is history. It's such an iconic finale that everyone knows what happens, even people who haven't seen either movies or read the book knows how it ends. I have to confess though that I've never read the book, which this movie apparently follows more closely than the 1976 version of Carrie did. I can't really say either way.
A lot of people said that Chloe Grace Moretz was miscast as Carrie White, and I tend to agree with them. Chloe did do a good job in the role, I'm not necessarily knocking her performance, but Sissy Spacek had that look of weirdness and creepiness that often made her the object of ridicule down to perfection in a way that Chloe never could. Chloe never had that weird and detached factor going for her that Sissy did, at best Chloe looked awkward and introverted, but not really weird or mentally disturbed. I think they thought if they cast this demure 15 year old girl and then surrounded her with twenty something year old's in school that they'd make her stand out from the crowd that way, but it just looked too obvious and was often jarring.
Julianne Moore was chilling and creepy as hell as Carrie White's fundamentally devoted and demented mother though, but all the other characters were simplified and thin, usually only popping up for glorified cameo's here and there. The main antagonist Chris was absurdly over exaggerated, maybe... girls can be bitches I suppose. The prom scene should have been longer and more violent too. The editing was especially choppy throughout the end and the cgi was not the best in some parts. Carrie definitely got a bit rough around the edges towards the end, but the positives outweighed the negatives for me.
I didn't like the fact that Carrie, when she was in full on rampage mode in the end, had the state of mind thought to spare the teacher Ms Desjardin (Judy Greer). The original movie had Ms Desjardin die a horrible death which really solidified Carrie's emotional breakdown, she had been pushed too far and had lost total control of herself, but when she chose to spare the teacher in this remake, that indicated that she there was still some thought process going on in her mind. Whether Carrie choose to kill everyone sadistically or subconsciously makes a big difference to her character I think. If someone has read the book, feel free to fill me in on how it goes down.
Carrie seemed to have a really bad flow to it as well, its narrative felt like it sort of floated around most of the time and then it suddenly made sense why it felt so flat and fractured at times, it was butchered in post-production. There was 40-45 minutes edited (cut) out of the movie at the request of focus groups, fucking focus groups... In those extra 45 minutes there was more development for all the prominent characters, there were interviews and testimonies throughout the movie as well, which is the same as the book, apparently.
There was more violence at the prom, and there was more footage of Carrie wreaking more destruction throughout the town after the prom, what a wasted opportunity. I don't even know why the studio relies on focus groups, I mean, I know why they do it, but it's a mistake. I'd love to see the original version of this version of Carrie someday, the intended version of the director and see if it holds up any better, but it looks like that footage is locked away forever, even the bluray didn't feature any of that cut footage. Still and all, Carrie has its problems, but it's not nearly as bad as some people like to make out it is.
Written by - The Sentry - 26/04/2015