For months both Stephen King and horror genre fans had been excitingly awaiting Kimberly Pierce’s adaptation of Carrie. There was many a thing to be skeptical about, even the books author, to which the movie is based on, questioned why there should be yet another Carrie adaptation. This movie was actually the sixth adaptation of Carrie. After a 1976 De Palma film, a colossal Broadway flop of a musical, a sequel, a TV adaptation and a revival of the Broadway flop, which still fell flat, Carrie White would just not die!
Carrie tells the story of a shy, sheltered teen living with her abusive and over the top mother Margaret. Carrie is also picked on by kids at school and people around because of her awkwardness and their hatred towards Margaret’s extremism. All this changes when Carrie is pushed too far at the prom she unleashes telekinetic hell rage across the town.
Pierce’s intentions were noble, claiming that with all the campaigning against bullying, this film would be so relevant to the modern generation, making some kind of statement. With the Columbine and Sandy hook tragedies still lingering, Carrie Whites tragic tale would somehow enlighten today’s audience about serious social issues. It is sad to say that this version of Carrie will not have any impact. Even with smartphones and Youtube weaved into the script, Kimberly Pierce’s “Carrie” has not evolved.
In fact Pierce literally copied Brian De Palmas original dialogue, from his 1976 movie. For months, Carries publicists have been boasting that this movie would set itself apart from all others and follow the book, perfectly. If this movie follows the book then where are all the scenes with town folks being interviewed? Where do we see Carrie as a little girl release her first bit of telekinesis and where do hear of Margaret’s full back story. All of this was bragged about on the Facebook page, but somehow never made it to the movie. Thus making me lose trust in all movie previews.
I may sound a tad harsh, I know, but “Carrie” is my favorite book of all time. I don’t think the movie was a complete waste of time. All though completely unoriginal, Julianne Moore has some terrifying moments as Carries cuckoo mommy. Her tendencies of self harm are amped up from hair pulling to straight up masochism. In the first few moments of the film we see Moore rip baby Carrie from her loins and almost impale her with scissors. Later on she throws older Carrie into a closet then digs her nails deeply into her flesh. Moore’s most disturbing moment comes when she digs a button fastener into her thighs, yuck.
Many people complained about Chloë Grace Moretz appearance in the film.
Apparently she was too pretty to play Carrie. Um, hello, who else could play her?
I don’t see any other actresses young and professional enough to play Stephen King’s telekinetic Cinderella on screen. Hell, King himself suggested Lindsay Lohan to play Carrie, now that would be terrifying. Moretz actually did a decent job as Carrie, although she was not as painfully awkward as Sissy Spacek, I still could feel Carrie’s torment and I saw such passion on Moretz part.
I wish I could say good things about Judy Greer as Miss Desjardin (props on using the real name this time), but her valley girl accent ruined everything she did for me. She was all like “Carrie, were the girls like mean to you because I’m like a gym teacher and I can like give them detention” then I was all “OMG!” Then there was nice girl Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) and mean girl Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday). Sue was lackluster and Chris was just too exaggerated.Most of the supporting cast was dull.
The one character that does defeat the original, is Billy Nolan (Alex Russell). Russell was just so much more terrifying and messed up than John Travolta, what can I say? Billy Nolan is a messed up thug not a greaser. This portrayal fit the book perfectly.
My final point about this movie, is the Prom scene. Ah the notorious prom scene. This was the one scene in the movie that made it worth seeing. When Carrie unleashes her rage, all sorts of delicious and disturbing shenanigans occur. This prom scene is the supreme . Sissy Spacek’s prom was scary but the special effects were terrible. The new prom scene was visually stunning and more gut wrenchingly scary. The destruction of the town and demises of Chris and Billy are less corny than the 1976. The film almost has a Final Destination feel to it. I now know that bleachers, cars and gas stations are not safe places to hide because Carrie White will destroy me Michael Bay style.
Overall, “Carrie” might boast being a true adaptation to the book and having a strong cast, but that is false. Other than Margaret, Carrie and Billy, I do not really care about the rest of the cast. If you are a horror fan you will enjoy this film for it’s gore and fun. If you are a “King” fan, you will explode with rage at the butchering of his #1 classic. No depth to be found here, but the film is still fun to watch. Verdict: WAIT FOR THE DVD!!!!