January 18, 2014

Blu-ray Review:Carrie (2013)

I remember seeing the first teaser and being intrigued. It 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 how well regarded original film is, but I was still interested. Then the full trailer came out and while movie's quality still appeared to be good; however, it was one of those trailers that shows the whole movie condensed into a few minutes. Sure, we already know the story, but still it would have been nice to at least make it look like it had some surprises, right?

Having now seen this remakatation (remake/adaptation, aren't I clever? Don't answer that), I think it is pretty good. It is not one that is trying to run the original out of town, nor is it one that makes a cinematic embarrassment of itself. It features some strong lead performances from Julianne Moore and Chloe Moretz. It also features subject matter that is quite appropriate for the present day. 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 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, one that has certainly taken a toll on the young girl, who seems scared and apprehensive of just about everything. The mother/daughter relationship is not exactly on that is built on love and got off on the wrong foot right from the get go. Just watch the opening scene as mother goes into labor, not exactly the best way to have a baby. You see, rather than a blessing, her mother sees the child 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 has been kept away from the world, never really taught the things that she should have. Her mother has held back information, important information, as seen in the events in the locker room. Tensions build as Carrie doesn't want to get picked on, but the bullies keep pushing, 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 could have been taken to a more extreme level, or at least shown it as being an ongoing abuse. It seems like it has always been there, but more in hushed tones and a general heir of disdain for the “weird girl.” I know this is keeping in line with the prior film and the novel, but considering the hot button topic of bullying, I think it could have been more effective if there was more than the shower scene and the prom scene.

Now, the prom scene is the centerpiece of the movie, it and its aftermath is what everyone who watches the movie is waiting for. In my estimation it delivers. No, it does not reach Sissy Spacek levels of creep, but Moretz does a fine job of playing it up. Some people have said she is too pretty for the role, I do not subscribe to that notion. Weird, outsider characters are not just the realm of the odd looking folks, she was not raised to see herself as pretty, she has been held under her mother's controlling thumb for so long, she does not know any other way. So, back to the prom, it is certainly interesting to watch as she manifests her abilities at their full strength with terrifying results. I like has she walks through the sequence with eyes wide and full of resentment, moving her arms and conducting all the movement around her. Not bad at all.

Julianne Moore 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, that is rather powerful. I also think that she actually outdoes Piper Laurie's performance 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.

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.

Audio/Video. The movie is presented in a ratio of 2.35:1. The film was shot digitally and processed on a digital intermediary at a resolution of 2K. It generally looks quite good with solid color representation and does nice with the progression from the blues early on to the reds and browns later on. It does not look as detailed as I would expect, but it is in no way a bad looking disk.

Audio is presented by a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. It is a well rounded track that uses the surrounds well and does a fine job with the crashing sound effects during the prom attack, while we always have good, centered dialogue, even when Moore is muttering to herself.


  • Commentary. The commentary track features director Kimberly Peirce. It is an all right track, but is a little dry and is often more descriptive of the onscreen events than anything else.
  • Alternate Ending. You have the option of watching the film with a different ending, I didn't like it. Stick with the regular theatrical cut.
  • Deleted/Alternate Scenes. This section runs a little north of 10-minutes and includes optional commentary.
  • Tina on Fire Stunt Double Dailies. This brief clip shows how the fire burn at the prom was done practically rather than with CGI.
  • Creating Carrie. This featurette includes interviews with Moretz, Moore, Judy Greer, and the director on the creation of the character and the relationship to the book.
  • The Power of Telekinesis. This clip takes a brief look at the use of telekinesis in the movie.
  • Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise. This is a look at how a coffee shop got rigged to have a “real” Carrie freak out some unsuspecting customers.
  • Theatrical Trailer.

Bottom Line. This is a nice looking Blu-ray with a so-so collection of extras. The movie is the most important part of the release and it is well represented here. It is a good movie, not a great one, that features some solid performances and is not bad for a remake whose mere presence is considered questionable.


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