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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Chloë Grace Moretz
Julianne Moore
Gabriella Wilde.
Directors
Kimberly Peirce.
Screenwriters
Lawrence D. Cohen
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
Running Time
100 minutes

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Carrie
Bloody yet bloodless


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Plot
Carrie White (Moretz) is the high-school weird girl, tormented by her classmates and psychologically abused by her Bible-bashing mother (Moore). And then she discovers her telekinetic powers...


Review
Carrie

Tragic though the tale of Carrie White remains, the person to feel most sorry for here is Kimberly Peirce. She’s a talented director who has yet to live up to the promise of her stunning debut, Boys Don’t Cry. And, for all its strengths, her re-imagining of Stephen King’s debut novel doesn’t correct that slide.

Her problem is a beardy one: Brian De Palma. At the height of his powers when he lobbed that bucket of blood over Sissy Spacek, his soulful, haunting take was and is so indelible it would make any director look anonymous in comparison.

The same can be said of the cast. The central performances of Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore are strong, but with caveats. Where Piper Laurie’s batshit old dear was almost supernaturally consumed by her fundamentalism, Moore’s is a more grounded loon, prone to prodding herself in penance with sewing implements. Her religious fervour is a cross to bear, not to be revelled in, and it’s less effective.

Moretz similarly puts a new spin on her iconic character. Some of this modernity smartly piles on the cruelty — specifically the shower scene, which sees her filmed on an iPhone while being taunted with tampons. But, come the prom, her empowered Carrie is too in control of her telekinesis, contorting into Ringu rickets as she exacts
her revenge. Spacek’s Carrie was sympathetic even when she was smacking benches into people. When Moretz lets it fly there’s a smile in her eyes that makes her too monstrous.

What this adaptation does have is a reason for existing. Comfortably superior to any of the recent horror remakes, it is efficient and effective, and has a topicality in a world where the subject of bullying is a heated debate. It also looks to the book more than De Palma and has some nice moments (raining stones) that King-completists will enjoy. Its refocusing of the tale as a superhero origin story, meanwhile, is a fresh take; for anyone who hasn’t seen Chronicle, anyway.

It’s just a shame it’s in such a damn rush. Like her horny teens, Peirce’s movie so hurries toward the main event, it doesn’t ever lie back and enjoy the build up. De Palma mined emotion out of his smaller moments, making his climax as soulful as it was spectacular. Peirce’s, by comparison, is a bit wham, bam, thank you ma’am.


Verdict
A remake that doesn’t see the legacy of Carrie White burn in hell. But not one that adds much to it either.


Reviewed by Mark Dinning

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Carrie
Empire Star Rating

terrible

over-cooked. Pointless. Cliched. Rubbish. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 23:54, 25 February 2014 | Report This Post


RE: HitGirl has period. Goes mad.

This cyber-age version didn't raise a single hair on the back of my neck. ... More

Posted by chang at 09:40, 31 December 2013 | Report This Post


HitGirl has period. Goes mad.

Actually well cast and Moretz does well while not quite having the gawky awkwardness of Spacek. The trouble is, you know where is is going and it adds nothing, not even the odd twist or surprise. Maybe if you haven't seen the original this might suit, but it was nothing more than an update. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bretty at 23:42, 05 December 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Carrie-On Snoozing.

Alone in her home, Margaret White, a deeply religious woman, gives birth to a baby girl. She initially intends to kill the infant, but then changes her mind. Years later, her daughter Carrie, a shy, under-confident girl, nears her graduation from Ewen High School in Maine. While showering after gym class, she experiences her first period. Having no prior knowledge of menstruation, Carrie believes she is bleeding to death, and the other girls laugh and tease her. Margaret, believing menstruation... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 21:36, 01 December 2013 | Report This Post


Carrie-On Snoozing.

A hundred minutes of contractually obligated embarrassment, managing to be tedious, mechanical, clichéd and condescending, all at once. The only glimmer of anything worthy of your money is Julianne Moore's performance as Carrie's fearful, brainwashed, self-harming mother. But even then she's largely a pantomime villain, pushing the psychological buttons of the audience into wanting to see her harmed instead of pitying her. A parable for the iPhone generation, the bucket of pig's blood is a... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 23:16, 30 November 2013 | Report This Post


If it ain't broke..........

What's the point? You can't top the original. Not a fan of the horror genre, but the punch line from the 70's version has been used in sooooooo many films. An original idea next please! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by kittybinks at 23:11, 27 November 2013 | Report This Post


Remember your title is part of your post -

I was hoping this wouldn't be a complete disaster, and kind of nice to hear it may take more from the book, so I'm positively looking forward to it. ... More

Posted by jonson at 07:59, 26 November 2013 | Report This Post



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