October 20, 2013

Movie Review: Carrie (2013)

I have to say, this Halloween season seems a little lackluster when it comes to widespread theatrical releases. It has been a long time since we have had an October without a Saw and/or Paranormal Activity. Like them, love them, or loathe them, it has been a decade since we have had am October without one. Their absence is conspicuous. The one horror movie we do get is a cross between a remake of the Brian DePlalma film and another adaptation of the Stephen King novel. The movie is Carrie.

I remember seeing the first teaser and being intrigued. I was a simple crane shot past the burning school and ending on the blood soaked Carrie (Chloe Grace Moretz). It was something I was not sure was necessary considering the generally well regarded original film, but I was still interested. Then the full trailer came out and while movie's quality still appeared to be good, it was one of those trailers that shows the whole movie condensed into a few minutes. Sure, we already know the story, but still...

Now, I have now seen this remakatation (remake/adaptation) and I have found it to be quite good. It features some strong lead performances from Julianne Moore and Chloe Moretz. It also features subject matter at is quite appropriate for the present. I have also rewatched the original and I have found hat while there is a lot to like about it, I do not really hold it in as high regard as others seem to. I feel I like both movies pretty much evenly and considering how closely they resemble each other, they still stand apart enough.

The story follows Carrie White (and it seems that whenever she is referred to, it is by her whole name). She has been raised under the oppressive religious regime of her mother. It appears to have been a contentious relationship since Carrie's birth, evidenced by the birth at the beginning where mother sees it as a test from God.

Anyway, Carrie grows up to be an awkward teen. She is struggling to be her own person outside of her mothers influence, but is not very knowledgeable about the world. Her mother has held back information, important information, as seen in the events in the locker room. Things build as Carrie doesn't want to get picked on, the bullies take things to the next level, and it all ends up with the prom scene.

With the issue that bullying has become in recent years, Carrie seems like an appropriate story to be told. The thing is, I think it could have been taken further. We are presented the one inexcusable event at the outset, but receive no indication that there is an ongoing system of abuse. I get the feeling that the bullying aspect cold have been taken to a more extreme level, or at least shown it as being an ongoing abuse.

I don't know. Everything is hinged on the blood scene and Carrie's inevitable revenge. Perhaps this movie really isn't for me, but I can see his as being more extreme than it is. I could just be complaining too much, as the movie isn't all that bad.

Julianne gives a wonderful performance as Carrie's mother. There is something about her beliefs on sin and penance, not to mention her inflicting pain on herself is rather powerful. I also think that she actually outdoes Piper Laurie in the original. Chloe Moretz also has a good turn as the title character. Sure, she lives in the shadow of Sissy Spacek, but she manages to make the character work, playing the awkward teen trying to find herself and escape the weird tag. No, she doesn't out creep Spacek, but she isn't supposed to, she's not playing the same character. It's not the same movie, despite the similarities.

I am not sure anything I say will add much to the discourse already available. There are plenty of people ready upset it was remade in the first place. Again, the bullying aspect is very appropriate to today's world and this movie drags the story kicking and screaming into current social networking culture.

Are either movie perfect? No, but so what. The more I type ad the more I think the angrier I get for some reason. It is not about the movie so much as way people get upset over remakes. Ah so what, I have made my feelings on that be known. I guess it could be that I do not have the "classic movie" feeling towards the DePalma film. Both have their ups and downs and I like both and will likely watch both again in the future.


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Anonymous said...

Interesting review. I thnk you liked this more than I did, but I do agree the performances are good.

I' be curious to see what you thought about or discussion. I recently took over a podcast and I'm curious to see what other movie fans think of it. Feel free to check it our if you are bored.


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