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Carrie (2013) Review

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Carrie (2013)

Time: 100 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1]Violence, Horror, Offensive Language and Sexual Themes
Cast:
Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie White
Judy Greer as Miss Desjardin
Portia Doubleday as Chris Hargensen
Alex Russell as Billy Nolan
Gabriella Wilde as Sue Snell
Julianne Moore as Margaret White
Director: Kimberly Peirce

High school can be tough for many teenagers, but for Carrie White (Chloë Grace Moretz), it’s especially hellish. A shy and awkward teen being raised by a religious zealot (Julianne Moore), Carrie is frequently the target of bullies. But Carrie has a secret talent: She can make things move with her mind. One fateful night, an especially cruel prank at her senior prom pushes her over the edge, and Carrie unleashes her telekinetic powers on all who get in her way.

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If you’ve read my review on the 1976 Carrie, you know that I wasn’t a big fan of it. Everything seemed dated so I was interested in what they were going to do with the remake. People seem to find this 2013 film to be a bad remake. Although I don’t think it’s that far off from the original, I will say that it is bad remake in that it’s pretty much the same movie. It barely improves much over the original and was pretty much pointless being created.

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If you watched the original movie then there’s no reason to watch the remake. Pretty much everything is the same, all the plot points are the same and everything is going in the same direction with barely any changes. Another thing to note is that the plot moves a lot faster, I don’t really know how to feel about it. On one hand the plot is moving faster than the original so I’m not as bored but on the other, it feels watered down and empty. The plot for me is as flawed as the original film.

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Chloe Grace Moretz did a pretty good job as Carrie, however I felt that she didn’t feel socially awkward enough. She seemed a little shy but that was it, Sissy Spacek managed to actually make Carrie different from others around her. I think it’s more likely the fault of the direction than her performance however. The best part of this movie is Julianne Moore, who did much better as the mother over the original. Piper Laurie’s performance was very over the top and at times laughable. Moore however actually gives a pretty scary performance and the film also handled her much better. The bullies are as one dimensional as they were in the original, however they are somehow worse. That’s probably because the film felt very Hollywoodized, which probably led to these cliché bullies which are somehow lazier put together.

Julianne Moore takes on the problematic-parent in the remake — complete with long wild hair and a white nightgown reminiscent of Piper Laurie's in the original fil

This film definitely uses CGI more and when it is used for Carrie’s powers, there’s no subtlety whatsoever. The greatest disappointment for me is the prom scene. In this version there were too many special effects, it was over the top and it doesn’t feel the slightest bit threatening. The 1976 original had Carrie’s powers seem a little scary because of the subtlety used. Here, Carrie just seems like one of the X Men and there is no subtlety. It doesn’t help that some of the deaths were very Final Destination esque.

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I’m not going to act like the original Carrie is a masterpiece, just look at my review of it. However this remake commits probably the worst sin that a remake can commit, not have a lot of changes or improvements over the original. A lot of the elements are fine like Chloe Grace Moretz was decent and Julianne Moore was great in her role but other than that this remake feels completely pointless. It doesn’t improve on the flaws of the original, and aside from 1 or 2 good things, the film just generally feels mediocre. I feel like the story of Carrie isn’t a book that can be adapted that well, even though I liked the book I don’t think it makes good movie material. Overall this remake isn’t bad but it was a little forgettable.

Carrie (1976) Review

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Carrie
Time: 98 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence
Cast:
Sissy Spacek as Carrie White
Piper Laurie as Margaret White
Amy Irving as Sue Snell
William Katt as Tommy Ross
Betty Buckley as Miss Collins
Nancy Allen as Chris Hargensen
John Travolta as Billy Nolan
Director: Brian De Palma

The story of Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), a girl brought up, almost in isolation, by her psychotically religious mother Margaret (Piper Laurie). After an embarrassing incident in the showers causes her fellow pupils to tease Carrie ruthlessly, her teacher Miss Collins (Betty Buckley) disciplines them severely. Determined to have revenge, the other students hatch a plot against Carrie, which turns horribly wrong when Carrie’s strange mental powers are unleashed during the school prom.

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Carrie is based on the Stephen King book of the same name and is often called a horror classic today. Despite this, I don’t understand why everybody loves this film so much. Although I understand why is would be revolutionary in the 70s I don’t really think it’s a great movie today. There are good aspects, the acting by Sissy Spacek and the climax are well done. However I just wasn’t invested in the story that much and I didn’t find any of it scary.

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I have read the Stephen King book and I liked it, however I found most of the film version of Carrie to be quite boring and uninteresting. Scenes go on longer than they needed to and I wasn’t very invested in the story. This is surprising as I read the book and enjoyed it very much, so I don’t know why the scenes weren’t that interesting. The film is 1 hour 30 minutes so I don’t know why I found the film to be slow at times. I also didn’t personally find anything scary about the movie, though maybe it’s because of how dated it is. The last 20 minutes however are the best part of the film and after seeing it, I can understand why that part would be famous. However I don’t think it’s effective enough for the whole movie to be given all this credit.

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Sissy Spacek is great in her role, I really bought her as a girl who really didn’t fit in with other people and school and received abuse from her mother. Apart from her however, a lot of the acting was quite over the top. I don’t really understand why Piper Laurie was nominated for an Oscar. I didn’t find her performance that scary, she is so over the top that it was kind of hilarious (she actually thought she was filming a dark comedy, and I think that explains a lot). I can buy her being insane but there was never a moment where I was scared of her. In a lot of Stephen Kings books there are one dimensional bullies and Carrie is no exception. These bullies were flat characters with no real depth, they just hate Carrie. I found them to be so generic and I wonder how many people can actually take them seriously. To the film’s credit, the actors look like they are having fun playing them. The rest of the cast is serviceable, they aren’t great but they aren’t bad either.

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The cinematography is normal for the most part, nothing really special. However there were times when some of the shots aren’t that well done. There is a dance scene which spins around two people dancing and it goes on for like a minute and it gets quite nauseating. For the most part however, the main focus is on the story, and not on the style.

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If you are a horror fan and you haven’t seen Carrie, I still think it’s worth watching to make up your own mind about the overall film. To me the film was quite dated with some over the top performances and a plot which didn’t keep me engaged all the way through. Still, it’s not bad, it has some good parts (the best being Spacek’s performance) but I don’t see why this film today is so critically acclaimed and I don’t think it’s a horror classic, or a film that holds up very well. Not a bad movie overall, but definitely dated.

So what do you think about Carrie? Do you think it still holds up today or are you like me and think that this film is quite dated and not as effective now? Comment below and let me know what you think.