CARRIE- THE REMAKE. 2013. BASED ON THE BOOK BY STEPHEN KING. DIRECTED BY KIMBERLY PEIRCE. STARRING CHLOË GRACE MORETZ, JULIANNE MOORE, JUDY GREER, GABRIELLA WILDE, ANSEL ELGORT, ALEX RUSSELL AND PORTIA DOUBLEDAY. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
This is the reworking of Brian De Palma’s classic 1976 film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, CARRIE. The book was Stephen King’s first major success and some people still regard it as one of his best works, along with THE SHINING, PET SEMATARY, SALEM’S LOT, IT, MISERY and CHRISTINE.
Sissy Spacek was unforgettable and perfectly cast in the original film as the lonely, socially awkward Carrie White, whose single mom Margaret is a religious fanatic with violent tendencies and mental problems that have clearly gone untreated for some time.
While Sissy Spacek is a hard act to follow, newcomer to the role Chloë Grace Moretz certainly gives it her best shot. She’s a beautiful young woman with a fabulous head of strawberry blonde hair and I actually think she does a good enough job in the remake, which seems to be a straightforward take-for-take reimagining of the original movie.
Julianne Moore plays Mommie Dearest this time around. As I’m a big fan of hers, I actually prefer her to Piper Laurie. It’s nothing personal, I just love Julianne Moore, that’s all. She’s gorgeous and I loved her in such films as HANNIBAL, THE END OF THE AFFAIR and JURASSIC PARK 2- THE LOST WORLD.
She really works the role of the self-harming Margaret White. It’s horrible to watch her banging her head off the wall, hitting herself in the face and stabbing herself in the leg with scissors. The two leads also really look like mother and daughter, which certainly helps.
What I don’t like about the remake is the fact that it’s inevitably set in a much more modern and technologically-advanced world than the one in which Stephen King initially wrote it, but that’s not the film’s fault. It’s now the era of boring old cellphones, so the remake is full of the bloody things.
The famous scene in which an hysterical Carrie gets her first period in the school showers after gym class is actually filmed by the little bitches in her class on their cellphones and uploaded to the Internet. They all think that Carrie’s ignorance of what’s happening to her body is a big hilarious joke and they can’t wait to share that joke with the rest of the world.
They don’t know, of course, that they’re sealing their ultimate, terrible fate with every act of nastiness they commit against the telekinetic Carrie, who has the power to move people and objects with the force of her mind. Her powers have been considerably ramped up for this remake. Books and knives and all sorts of households objects spend half the film flying around the place.
Carrie can fly now too, a little bit, and she has the ability to fling her crazy mom through the air and slam her into the wall or into the dreaded ‘prayer-closet,’ the one with all the Jesus statues and pictures, etc. Carrie’s extra powers are accompanied by a lot of arm-waving, finger-pointing and mad facial expressions as little Chloë hams it up big-time in an effort to do the job well. She ends up looking a bit like Kate Bush in one of her early videos, but she still gets the job done, I think.
The ‘bucket of pig’s blood at the prom’ scene lacks a little of the sheer power (there’s that word again!) of the same scene in the first movie, and I prefer the original Tommy Ross and Billy Nolan to the chinless wonders (sorry, guys!) playing the parts this time around. The teacher, Miss Desjardins, is maybe slightly less effective than the teacher in the first film and, overall, I think I prefer the film when it’s set in the ‘Seventies. It has a grittier, more authentic feel to it, somehow.
Still, if a remake was unavoidable and seemingly it was, haha, I think that this is a perfectly decent effort. It does everything the first film does, just with a different cast and a more contemporary feel. Of course there’s a loss of atmosphere and it’s not as frightening, but I’m happy with the two female leads and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them take on these two iconic roles. I don’t know what more you can ask for, really.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
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