Directed by: Kimberly Pierce
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore and Judy Greer
Release Date: 29th November
Modern horror movies often seem confined to played out tropes; such as the found footage, the zombie apocalypse, or the slasher flick. It can be safely told that Peirce’s Carrie isn’t any of these. In fact, it doesn’t even warrant the moniker of a horror movie. As re-imaginings go, Carrie takes on a different feel compared to the original.
The film is set in the American suburbs, with the usual high school thrown in. While this seems normal enough, in reality, Carrie’s home life is ruled by the fanatical religiousness of her mother, Margaret, played by a precise Julianne Moore. Under this oppressive regime, all aspects of Carrie’s coming of age are abhorred. While she is pretty, she is shy and deals with issues of self-esteem.
One of the most infamously disturbing scenes in horror history is recreated here, with a nice addition. Capturing the complete and utter terror that Carrie feels, Moretz manages to keep the recycled moment a true horror to the audience.
Director Pierce should be commended for her use of technology and the internet, which was a well thought addition that also serves to raise the spectre of online bullying.
While that is a single moment of shock, it does not seem to stack up to true horror. Audiences are more likely to react with belly laughs, and not suspense-induced ones at that. Several well-created awkward moments are quite funny, but can feel weak and completely out of place.
Ultimately, this is not a horror movie, but a coming of age story with thriller elements. Carrie is desperate to become a “whole person before it’s too late.” It is only because she rampages that she can accept her powers and, in a way, growing up. Characterisation is particularly weak in describing the prototyped mean girl, Chris.
The titular Carrie’s instant change from a girl calling to her daddy for help to dangerous and evil she-wolf isn’t very believable. Carrie’s mother is one dimensional and lacks the fullness of character that allows her to be effectively counterbalanced by Miss Desjardin’s (Judy Greer) care for Carrie.
Does this stack up to the horror movie test? Does it keep you awake at night looking for the shadows? Unfortunately, not at all. The acting is fantastic, but the setting and premise of the now clichéd American teenage high school movie with paranormal snippets thrown in is mediocre, unsurprisingly.
Those same clichéd, over the top elements combined with the odd laugh make Carrie relatively enjoyable. Just don’t go expecting to be scared.
In a nutshell: A good try at recreating the original, but ultimately doesn’t match up to its horror story origins. Carrie is more a teen thriller with fantasy elements.