7 Overall Score
Plot: 7/10
Characters: 8/10
Appeal: 7/10

Awesome performances by Moore and Moretz | Jaw-dropping finale

Too alike to the original | Follows unlikable characters too much

Of all the Stephen King book adaptations to date, and there have been quite a lot, Brian de Palma’s 1976 classic Carrie is on the top of most people’s lists. It’s considered a horror classic, and just like many old horror movies, has now been given the reboot treatment by director Kimberly Pierce and the young (and awesome) Chloë Grace Moretz. Unfortunately, the reboot, also titled Carrie, falls a bit flat at times. A lot of it suffers for being too similar to the original, and many who have seen the original may walk out of the theater wishing that they treaded on some new ground. That being said, Carrie is still a solid horror flick that has great performances and some truly disturbing material.

Carrie - Promo 2The story that Carrie tells still feels relevant in modern times. Carrie is a telekinetic girl who is viciously bullied at school, and even when she goes home, her overly religious mother Margaret (played by a brilliant Julianne Moore) frightens her even more. Bullying is still a problem today, and especially after seeing what can happen to some of these kids who are bullied, Carrie feels right at home. There are small differences that change with the times, like the use of a phone camera during one of the film’s more intense bullying scenes, but the story plays pretty much the same way in 2013 as it would have in the 70s.

It’s Carrie’s home life that provide the best material, something that should have been shown more as the movie progressed. Moore is maniacal as Margaret, and her self-mutilation provide for some of the more “gross-out” moments in the movie. Her relationship with Carrie is twisted, but you can tell that she really does love her daughter, despite her abuse. We also get to see Carrie learning about her strange abilities via the library and the internet. Unfortunately, we are dragged out of these scenes too often to follow the popular girls at Carrie’s school, in particular Sue Snell and Chris Hargensen.

Carrie - Promo 1Gabriella Wilde is likable as Sue, the girl who gives up her important night in guilt of her bullying, so I have no qualms when the story would shift to her. But Chris is a nasty girl, one that the movie follows too closely for no real reason. I get that we need to see how awful a person Chris is, but we already see that she’s terrible from watching her constant abuse of Carrie. The film wastes too much time on a character we don’t like, and takes time away from the characters that we actually want to see.

But in the end, Carrie is totally worth it. The finale is completely worth the build-up, and for those of you who have never seen the original, you’re in for a real treat. The last half hour was jaw-dropping and helped me forgive some of the stutters earlier in the flick. If you want to see some great performances and some awesome telekinesis action, check out Carrie, especially if you haven’t seen the original. If you’re a Carrie veteran, however, the appeal isn’t exactly there. It’s not a bad movie by any means, it just relies its predecessor too heavily. If you can look past it for that, you’ll find a solid horror effort that will stick in your mind for some time.


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Author: Justin Peterson View all posts by

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