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Film Review: "Carrie" remake is lackluster

By Ohad Amram Columnist

Since its trailer premiered at Comic Con last year, Kimberly’s Pierce’s “Carrie,” has been highly anticipated by movie buffs, horror fans and fans of the original. With a story so rich in character complexities, plot constructs and undeniable power, it’s no wonder why “Carrie” has been remade half a dozen times since Brian De Palma’s original adaptation of Stephen King’s classic thriller.

Brain De Palma’s “Carrie” is a household title in the horror genre due to its striking plot and underlying tones. In addition, the original was released in the era when the horror genre was born. The ‘70s were monumental in constructing the horror genre.

“Carrie” has since been remade into television movies as well as plays performed both on- and off-Broadway. The appeal of remaking this classic is completely accounted for considering the tremendous power that the film contains, which includes both religious and ethical connotations. In this remake – starring Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie – the story remains the same. This, in many ways, is a good thing.

Recently, remakes of horror classics tend to derive from the main plot points of their predecessors. This usually renders remakes cheesy or unfaithful to the original work. That said, the film isn’t a shot-for-shot remake.

Unfortunately, Pierce doesn’t really bring her own voice to the film. The main difference between this “Carrie” and the original is the abundance of special effects. The effects don’t entirely take away from the film, but they definitely overwhelm the audience in the concluding scenes.

However, the storyline and plot construction heightens the suspense of the thriller. For example, the opening scene of this film – which wasn’t in the original – sets the tone for the rest of this film. Carrie’s mother, Margaret, is depicted giving a homebirth naturally and free of any assistance. The bloodstained stairs and hallway leading to her room set the tone for her devilish antics and disheveled demeanor that Julianne Moore maintains consistently throughout the entire film.

In fact, if you want one good reason to see the film, it’s Julianne Moore. Moretz doesn’t do the role of Carrie a disservice; she’s actually a terrific actress. However, she in no way compares to Sissy Spacek’s Carrie solely due to Spacek’s immediately recognizable and disturbing features. With Moretz, it’s incredibly difficult to buy her as Carrie strictly based on appearance.

Ten minutes into the film however, Moretz is unquestionably a convincing Carrie. Julianne Moore, on the contrary, gave Piper Laurie–the original Margaret–a run for her money. “Carrie” alludes to the destructive and on-going problem of bullying. This, among many reasons, is why the film remains applicable to audiences today. It explores the inherent evil in people, and the ethical challenges its characters face among other factors, deeming the film timeless.  

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