I like Julianne Moore. I like Chloe Grace Moretz. Good actresses and I would like to see them together in the same movie again, but this film was not a good vehicle for them. If you’re like me and you saw the original 1976 version of Carrie before the 2013 ‘re-imagined’ version, you are likely to be a little disappointed in the newer version.
Why? First, the story shifted focus. Carrie-1976 is the slow-burn story of a teenage girl who finally cracks under the pressure of an oppressive, sheltered upbringing from her disturbed mother and an unfortunately timed case of teen bullying. That she just happens to be telekinetic is circumstantial. Carrie-2013 is the faster-paced story focused on dull-witted details of the bland, bad girls and their silly antics which eventually produce Carrie’s snapage. Carrie-2013 introduced the telekinesis way too early and far too often, colouring the storyline with a Marvel super-hero tint which, for me, made it a far less compelling story.
Julianne Moore is completely miscast. What made Carrie-1976 so memorable was Piper Laurie’s convincing cracked-up facial expressions and mannerisms as the religious fanatic mother. Moore is just too refined and stately to pull off crazy fanatic.
Ditto for Chloe Grace Moretz. They tried to make her up as a social outcast but she looked an intentionally dressed down prom queen. Later, she just looks like the same prom queen with makeup. And then later, a made up prom queen covered in blood. Sorry, noone will ever match Sissy Spacek’s gangly-naive turned blood-soaked-power-bitch transformation.
About those final scenes where almost everyone who wronged Carrie suffers some sort of untimely demise? Not scary. I think I was checking my email then glancing up every so often to see who died and how.
Carrie-1976 was classic horror with great production focused on a human story with some supernatural icing. Some films don’t need to be ‘re-imagined’, just let the originals live on as midnight-session cult films for the next generation.