Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Carrie (2013)

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! My high school life was pretty much like Carrie's...except I didn't have telekinetic powers or have an overprotective religious mother or endure never ending bullying from the entire school and I'm not a woman or ended up killing my classmates at the prom.  Actually, my high school life was nothing like Carrie's.  Forget I said anything.

Carrie (2013) – 4 out of 5

I’ll be honest; I’ve never been the biggest fan of the original Carrie. I don’t hate it—not in the least. I won’t deny the film is a classic but it’s just never been one of my favorite films and it has everything to do with Sissy Spacek. Yes, she was fantastic in the role and was the key to how the film became so iconic but, and this is just me, I can never help but laugh once she has the “crazy eyes” when the shit hits the fan after she is doused in pig’s blood.

Carrie (ChloĆ« Grace Moretz) has a harsh home life with her mother (Julianne Moore) and has an even harsher time dealing with her classmates. After being embarrassed when she had her first period in the showers after gym, Carrie starts to discover that she has the power of the mind called telekinesis and can move objects with just a thought. As she tries to understand and control her newly discovered powers, one of her fellow students, Chris (Portia Doubleday), decides to make Carrie pay after the gym teacher, Ms. Desjardin (Judy Greer), suspends her and gets her banned from the prom. Her plan is simple: Embarrass Carrie at the prom in front of the entire student body and faculty by pouring a bucket of pig’s blood down on her (probably would NOT have been my first idea...). However, once the final droplet of bacon blood lands on Carrie’s scalp, the already emotionally fragile girl gives in to her seething anger and rage and unleashes her powers on those who have wronged her…

Most of the world's biggest problems stemmed from a girl being made fun of
for having her first period in the shower...the rest of the problems come from
dudes being made fun of for shitting themselves one time.

I’ve said it before but I’m not one of those types that instantly hates a remake when they are produced. Look at any comment section on any website giving any news about any property being remade and you’ll find dozens (sometimes hundreds) of comments saying, “Hollywood has run out of ideas!” and how they hate this decision to remake a classic before they even seen it. I’ve always subscribed to the notion that remakes offer the unique opportunity to either re-imagine an already familiar story or, even better, provide an opportunity to open up new viewers to the tale…and then, after watching the remake, they can go back and see the original. Additionally, what’s the point in complaining about a movie getting remade anyway? The production company isn’t going to read your comment and suddenly halt production because SwaggerJoe69 thinks it’s a bad idea. If it bothers you that much, don’t see the film. It’s as simple as that.

This pose brought to you by the Marilyn Manson's Mechanical Animals collection.

Alright, now that I got my defense of remakes out there, I have to admit that there was a superfluous nature to this remake in the fact that it is so spot-on to the original. Most of the dialogue is the same, most of the events that transpire are the same and, here’s the kicker, they kept the same names (gosh!). Ultimately, though, I don’t actually find this to be bad because, like I stated earlier, it opens the doors for a new generation to experience Carrie and it helps that it’s not much different than the one the parents and other generations have grown up with. However, I have to say that even though so much of this film is shot and done like the original, there were elements that I actually enjoyed MORE this time around than the previous time.

The character of Chris was played by Lindsay Lohan's less troubled but orange-er

First off, let's talk about Julianne Moore as Margaret White. I’m already a fan of Moore as an actress but the level of unhinged psychosis that she brought to this role, in my opinion, outshined the already established level that Piper Laurie set. There seemed to be so much more working in Moore’s performance as White than Laurie had back then. Moore came off more unstable, more psychotic and far more frightening than Laurie was and I really thought it was the film’s biggest improvement on the classic.

I've always been curious as to what side of the fence Margaret White stands
on when it comes to wire hangers.  Does she stand with Joan Crawford or not?

Secondly, I loved ChloĆ« Grace Moretz as Carrie. I have to admit that, however, I had a little trouble getting into the idea of her being the girl—and, no, it had nothing to do with the fact she’s Hit-Girl. Crazy Eyes aside, I really felt that Sissy Spacek embodied the closed off youth that was the girl Carrie…even though she looked a little old to play a high school student.  Not by much, mind you, but I still had to imagine she was held back at least a year. 

Hit-Girl would have used that cross necklace to stab some bitches.
Just sayin'...

Watching Moretz in the beginning of the film, I had a hard time being sold on the idea that she was this socially ostracized girl because of the fact she was hamming it up a little bit with her “awkwardness” and the fact that Moretz is just too pretty to actually be a girl that would be on the receiving end of taunts and insults from the rest of her peers—she looks more like the one who would be with all the other cheerleaders and pretty girls hurling insults at the girl with the hunchback or other social mutant that makes up the halls of a typical high school.

As the film progressed, I started to become sold on Moretz as Carrie thanks to the developing story and her interactions with her mother. Ultimately, the part that sold me the most was the prom sequence and the resulting carnage; it was then that I started to really see what a great idea it was to cast the girl as Carrie. Aside from the fact that this is the first time we get a Carrie film (remember when they remade it for television in 2002?) where the lead character actually LOOKS like a teenager (because Moretz was a teen during filming), I also really enjoyed the level of intensity that Moretz brings during the death bonanza after she is humiliated in front of everyone. She didn’t have any silly Crazy Eyes that made me giggle but, instead, had white-hot rage burning behind her irises and looked extremely frightening. It made me wish the hell hath come to the prom sequence was longer.

A little overboard there, Carrie.  Lady Macbeth said she just saw a spot...

Any complaints I have with Carrie are minor and are the same complaints I had with the first film (and that is, I wanted more death). The only unique complaint I have for this film is the fact that Judy Greer plays the gym teacher Ms. Desjardin. No, Greer isn’t bad as the teacher—she’s great, actually. It’s just that her role as Kitty in Arrested Development and as Cheryl in Archer has ruined me from ever being able to see her as something serious in a film or television show.

I kept expecting her to flash someone in this movie.

While some might hate the familiarity that is the remake of Carrie, I found I really enjoyed the film. The performances are great, updated special effects techniques allowed for better (and more satisfying) deaths of Carrie’s main antagonists and Julianne Moore was nearly show-stealing as Margaret White. Overall, I think this adaptation was more than adequate and was very entertaining.


  1. nice review... just check all your movie reviews randomly.. keep up the good work :)

    1. Thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoy them!


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