Carrie (2013)

Genre: Horror, Drama

Director: Kimberly Pierce

Writers: Lawrence D. Choen, Stephen King, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore

Rating: ★★★

Carrie is classed as a cult classic which upon release in the early months of 1976 inflicted terror and shock into all its audience. Lawrence D. Cohen adapting the chilling novel written by one of the most well-known horror authors, Stephen King, managed to be a huge success picking up two Oscar nominations alongside a lifetime recognition for creating a horror favourite. 2013 being a year which saw Evil Dead, another prestigious name from the horror genre ruined and shamed, the pressure on the remake of Carrie only grew, alongside the nerves of director Kimberly Pierce who saw the eyes of the film nation firmly placed on her.

Carrie for me is brutal, bloody and shocking with a well thought and modernised script making Carrie White a name you will always remember. Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore capture chilling and creepy performances making for a rather decent and brave attempt of remaking a classic.

The film starts with a gruesome pre-title sequence as we watch a disturb woman give birth. Blood in abundance complemented by monstrous screams we wait anticipating the climax. The seemingly possessed mother grabs for a pair of scissors, mid-stab she is stopped, with a shine in its eyes we assume it was the new-born, informing us this baby is powerful, special and possibly evil. We soon learn that it was Carrie!

Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) is now a 17 year old quiet high-school outcast who is victimised by her peers and contained by her religiously obsessed mother (Julianne Moore). After being attacked and humiliated by the popular and “glamorous” group in her sport class everything changes for Carrie as she then realises the true powers she obtains. Seeing her changes, Carrie’s mother only enforces her ridiculous and extreme religious beliefs even more, consequently increasing the pain and neglect felt by her troubled little girl. In a sick act of revenge Carrie is targeted once more on the night of her senior prom but angry and upset she releases telekinetic powers making sure everyone in her small town remembers who she is, whilst getting revenge for 17 years of horror.

Carrie has a great storyline that is at the same time minimalistic and thrilling. Staying true to the original, not much is changed accept from the obvious modernised elements that brings it up to date. The focus however seems to be more on the pain afflicted on Carrie White somehow creating a greater amount of sympathy than Cohen’s 1976 version. Although at first it seems like an advertisement or campaign video for an anti-bullying organisation the traumatic events that Carrie experiences are touching and truly shocking. Although tense and traumatic the early stages of the film are not really horrifying or thrilling setting up for a very slow paced film, however it’s unnerving as we await the switch in momentum.

The final act of the film certainly delivers that switch of momentum as Carrie’s long-awaited revenge and reaction takes place. However it was all too extreme, you had to admire the original’s simplicity and perfect execution something that I think this remake has ignored. Scenes as roads collapse and Carrie levitates aren’t as affective as before in my perspective but they still manage to create a good and entertaining watch.  A real positive I thought was regarding the effects used and Carrie’s telekinesis when the reverse feelings were shown, when Carrie felt happiness, such a rare emotion for her, trees fluttered and birds sang really enforcing the sadness when it all gets taken away.

For a horror there aren’t as many jumps or scares as you might have expected but it still makes a thrilling watch. Maybe the lack of impact this film makes is due to many of us already knowing the full story to Carrie. As first thought and many speculated it wouldn’t surpass its original however like most remakes this is down to the lack of surprise, something that always happens when a story is told the second time. Many have ruled-out and labelled Carrie as a complete failure however much to my surprise I found it an entertaining watch, which certainly stands its own in a year that was slightly disappointing for horror. If you watch Carrie without any comparisons to its original than it’ll be sure to thrill and shock.

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