REVIEW: The Pros And Cons Of ‘Carrie’

Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore star in the reimagining of Stephen King’s “Carrie.” This is the third remake of the 1976 horror classic, and I was jazzed to see if “Stop-Loss” director Kimberly Peirce could throw down.

So, to catch anyone up, Carrie is a senior pariah in high school with a super-religious mother. “Carrie” has typically opened with the horrid “plug it up” scene in the locker room, but this reimagining begins with Carrie’s birth. (Solid choice.)

THE INFAMOUS SCENE: Even after 20-plus years, it’s way harsh.

Margaret White (Julianne Moore) is “tested” by God when she finds the unknown entity she berthed in her bed. Immediate empathy at her confusion and awe. Margaret tries to murder the child (with an enormous pair of scissors), but that’s put to a stop when mother bonds with babe. This scene is juxtaposed with Carrie’s raging confusion and torment over the start of her period in the women’s locker room, and you feel for both women.

This “Carrie” flaunts modern-day bullying as Chris (Portia Doubleday) records Carrie’s shame on her cellphone, and I was glad the filmmakers took liberties with the storyline, though some worked and some didn’t. Here are the pros and cons of “Carrie.”

Julianne Moore makes a more empathetic vs. creepy Margaret White.

PRO: Chloe Grace Moretz. She rages like no other Carrie, and her crooked, side slant during prom go-time sends goose-bumps.

CON: Chloe Grace Moretz. The majority of this film showcases Carrie as the victim to the point where it’s difficult to categorize her as a villain or a hero. BUT, Moretz isn’t experienced at playing timid, and it shows. During the bulk of this remake, she’s overselling a bit, and it was distracting. I suspect after a few more years in the movie biz, she’ll be able to nail a character outside of her comfort zone.

STRIKE A POSE: This is the best Carrie Chloe can do.

PRO: More backstory for Margaret White. In the original, Carrie’s mom is just straight-up cray, and you have no context for why. In this remake, they humanize Margaret a bit more and that speaks to her weird motivations. Margaret’s a God-fearing woman, she self-mutilates and she loves her daughter. That wasn’t as evident in the original, as Carrie seemed more of her mother’s possession.

CON: I actually really loved this character development and Julianne Moore delivered. The only con may be that this choice made for a less frightening character in Margaret White. Where the tragedy in the original was more Carrie’s story, this remake paints she and her mother as tragic figures.

PRO: Effects. CGI was used somewhat sparingly, a sweet choice considering “Carrie” and “Scarface” director Brian de Palma didn’t need today’s special effects to execute a creepy, effective No. 1.

CON: What they used the effects for kinda fell flat. This film strays from the original in one good way: Chris (the driving force behind the film’s carnage at the end) receives her own twisted form of justice, something I always felt should’ve happened in the original. BUT, it culminates unnecessarily. SPOILER ALERT: In the Chris/Carrie showdown, Carrie lifts her car while Chris revs the engine. (Payback’s a B.) It looked great, but you eventually think: “stop playing with your food, Carrie.”
  • Sue (Gabriella Wilde) is an amazingly mindful and repentant, a choice they needed to make because a girl passing on the prom today seems way less likely than in the 1970s.
  • No spoilers, but Sue and Carrie have a pretty lame confrontation at the end for, what seems like, a way to open this up to a sequel.
All in all, this reimagining made some interesting choices, but I think the trailer was more engaging than the end product.
Grade: C