Carrie (2013) Review

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 Director : Kimberly Peirce

 Writers : Lawrence D. Cohen, Roberto Aguirre Sacasa

 Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wilde, Portia Doubleday

When it was first announced that Brian DePalma’s classic take on Stephen King’s novel was to be remade, hopes for the film were quite low. This was mostly because it was the general consensus that the story did not need to be retold. The production tried to distance itself from the terms ‘Remake’ or ‘Reboot’ and decided instead to claim that the film was actually a reinterpretation of King’s novel and would have no connection to DePalma’s film. They even name checked the book on the film’s poster. Were they telling the truth? No, they were lying. The end product which is a lazy confused and needless film could not be saved by it’s studio claims of purity. The film is not based on the Stephen King novel it is clearly based on the recollections of a writer who has read the novel, seen the film and also checked out the mini- series. The original opening of the book is not included nor is the source novel’s ending. And most unfortunate of all is that whole scenes from DePalma’s film have been (clumisly) recreated. None of this would be quite so offensive if the film’s marketing team had not tried so hard to claim that this would be a high brow affair, that would have nothing to do with those ‘Silly Hollywood Remakes’. 

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The only real saving grace of the entire piece are the performances of Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore BUT only when they are performing together. When left to fend for herself Moretz falters and unfortunately gives a performance that is hollow and with little to play against (considering her every other co-star besides Moore is simply standing around spouting lines and looking pretty) has absolutely no depth. And as unfortunate as it to admit Moretz does prove to be too ‘pretty’ to play bullied outcast Carrie, as early detractors of her casting claimed. This proves to be the case because in casting the young sweet faced and beautiful Moretz the film is making a statement that they believe that this is what ‘ugly’  or ‘werid’ looks like. Which is pretty damn worrying. Giving Carrie a delicately bad perm and putting her in matronly frumpy dresses does little to give the character depth or explain why she is the school’s ultimate outcast.

The film barely sustains itself until it reaches the story’s most famous scene, as Carrie takes a bloodbath at Prom. And the scene is so wrought and overdone (we are shown the fateful bucket falling repeatedly) that they may as well have put the words ‘THIS IS THE ONLY REASON WE REMADE THIS FILM!” in block letters at the bottom of the screen as the scene played out. And then we meet CGI Carrie and the whole sorry mess becomes inexcusable.

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In the end Carrie plays out like a lazy teenager’s copied homework. In transplanting elements from the DePalma classic and splicing them with plot points from the source novel, the resulting film is a confused and bloated mess.

Carrie is the updated VW Beetle of remakes, it’s shiny, modern and compact but it has completely lost the charm of its original. 

1 out of 5

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