Sunday, October 20, 2013

Review: Carrie

Image courtesy of MGM.
Kimberly Peirce's remake of Brian de Palma's classic adaptation of Stephen King's debut novel, "Carrie," is faithful enough to its source material(s), but a bit unnecessary.

First things first: Both Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore provide solid performances as the titular figure and her religious fanatic mother, even though it's difficult to replace Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie.

The remake is set in modern times, so poor Carrie's humiliation not only takes place in the locker room and classrooms, but also on YouTube, where her fellow classmates post a particularly traumatic incident in her life.

Otherwise, Peirce's film is pretty by-the-book: Carrie is the daughter of one Margaret White, a believer of some truly intense fervor who locks her daughter up in the closet to pray and reminds her that she was conceived through what may have been a rape.

Carrie doesn't fare much better at school, where popular girls smirk at her unawareness of menstruation and young men treat her as cruelly as teenage boys can often do. It's only a kindly teacher played by Judy Greer and, eventually, one of the popular girls who gets a conscience who have toward Carrie any kind intentions.

You know the story. Or, if you don't, I won't give it away. Let's just say things don't go well at the prom.

Peirce's previous films also dealt with young characters with difficult situations, including the haunting "Boys Don't Cry" and the pretty solid back-from-Iraq drama "Stop Loss." While I can see why "Carrie" drew her interest, I'd much rather see the director return to her indie roots.

This remake is not a bad film and, in fact, it's much better than remakes of, say, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" or "The Last House on the Left." But it doesn't have much of a better reason for existing in the first place.

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