Viewed – 15 April 2014 online rental
It’s difficult to really say what we as movie lovers actually want from a remake. In my opinion they have usually only worked when the source material is ropey or lacking in the first place, with some exceptions of course. So now we come to what was possibly one of my most dreaded rehashes. First mistake – remake a bonafide classic of the genre, Brian De Palma’s 1976 adaptation of Stephen King’s debut novel. Second mistake – the casting of pretty starlet Chloe Grace Moretz, something I have ranted about here on this very blog.
But brushing such fears aside, what is it actually like? Well let’s back track a little and tell you what we have here. Moretz plays lonely, bullied high school kid Carrie White, who lives in the shadow of her god-fearing, domineering mother (Julianne Moore) and pretty much tries to go unnoticed … until that is she gets her period in the school showers and becomes a cruel laughing stock to everyone who witnesses it. But hey, Prom Night is on the horizon, so things can only get better … right?
Let’s just say straight away, I was wrong about Chloe Grace Moretz. She is actually surprisingly convincing as the outcast Carrie, something I didn’t see coming and hey I’ll admit when I am wrong. She portrays the iconic role previously played by Sissy Spacek very well indeed, and even seems to have grown somewhat as an actress in the process. The second slam dunk is Julianne Moore – absolutely perfect as Carrie’s demented bible-quoting mother, and does the impossible by equalling the performance of the excellent Piper Laurie – possibly the true highlight of the original. The rest of the cast aren’t quite so interesting; we get the token popular girl who grows a conscience, the bully who basically is like every other bitch in such movies, and the do-gooder gym teacher … all not adding much. Director Kimberly Pierce however is clearly well-traversed in De Palma’s movie and this is basically a very close never-really-daring-to-try-anything-new sort of remake – although when the original pretty much hit all the right notes, that can be (mostly) forgiven.
Some bits are drawn out (the car sequence…), there’s too much CGI and the final prom bit fails to go for the jugular … oh and sorry Chloe you don’t look scary covered in blood. Yet this was still better than I expected. Worth a look.
Verdict: 3 /5
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Thanks for commenting!
Good review Craig. For some reason, it just never connected with me. Felt like a remake that didn’t get any of the spirit of the original right, even despite the story itself being over 40 years old.
Thanks. I dunno, I thought the movie even had a bit of a 70s vibe also, esoecially at the prom…
This was much better than I was expecting too. Moretz is very good in the role and the early shower scene in particular is powerful. It’s a shame the bullies aren’t as well fleshed out – this really lets the movie down and undermines the finale’s tension. It cannot compare with the book on the suspense front, but then so few Stephen King adaptations actually live up to their source material.
Agree with everything, although I never read the book. Thanks for your comment.
Thanks Craig. The book’s definitely worth a go. So well written for a first novel. I also love his books Pet Cemetery and Cujo.