I remember my senior prom very fondly. It was at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, which is just about as awesome of a location for a prom as possible. I think the only place better would be in an ice castle, and that isn’t really feasible in the Midwest in May. But anyway, it was a really fun night, great friends, great time, and there was the major positive of not getting killed by a telekinetic girl before the end of the night.
In Carrie, a lonely young girl named Carrie White has been shielded by her overly-religious mother. One day in gym class, she has her first menstrual period, and gets mocked and filmed by the other girls around. With puberty, Carrie finds that she has changed in a slightly abnormal way, and she now has the ability to move things with her mind. At first she tries to keep the power under control, but eventually she begins to embrace her gift, meaning those who once did her wrong had better beware.
Kimberly Peirce’s remake of Carrie places the Stephen King classic in a modern setting, and places the rapidly-rising Chloe Grace Moretz in the starring role. From the instant Moretz was announced as the lead, I was excited for this one. She seems to get better with every role she’s in, and is definitely one of the best young actresses working today.
She plays Carrie in a way that it actually carries the film (no pun intended), which is a good thing, because otherwise this movie would really suffer. The whole story just feels rushed and forced all at once. There’s no time to breathe, but not in a good way. The movie just jumps from scene to scene, and at times you’re left wondering how you got from point A to point B. It isn’t as if there isn’t suspense, but I have to wonder if too much reliance is placed on the audience being aware of what ultimately is going to happen.
That being said, the cast is all solid, far past Moretz. Julianne Moore is positively terrifying at all times in this one. I don’t think I ever feared praying people before this. Judy Greer is another standout. I wouldn’t have pegged her for a believable gym teacher, but she pulls it off well, and her sincerity provides a quality contrast to the rest of the world who seems to hate Carrie White. Still, their hatred and Moore’s terrifying religious rants aren’t quite as much horror as a October horror release should have.
As a horror movie, Carrie is definitely light on the scares. At no point was I remotely scared, and that isn’t because I’m too tough to get scared by something in a movie. Rather it just wasn’t all that scary. There’s nothing in it that screams horror, other than the gore, and nothing that will keep you up at night. It seems to be less horror and more of a thriller or even a character-based drama, other than the whole high school girl killing people with her mind thing.
I will say that the gore is awesome. The effects are all well done, and gallons of blood pour onto the set. For all you blood-nuts out there, this is a definite must-see. It isn’t on the level of Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead, but then again, what is? In comparison with normal bloody Halloween movies, this is one bloodbath of a good time.
Carrie isn’t great, but it certainly isn’t bad either. I’d say it’s worth a watch just for Moretz’s performance, but the story won’t let you down either, it just might not be quite as strong as you’d like. While it isn’t going to be a new horror classic, it’s a quality spin on one of King’s finest works.