31 Days of Horror 2013: Carrie One More Time

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Carrie.  I think I’m having a flashback – to the 70’s. Not an acid flashback, but a horror one. I can’t help but feeling I’ve seen this movie before. Its been a horror staple for as long as I can remember and for some reason the Powers That Be in Hollywood decided that a remake of their classic was needed. I know 80 percent of their budgets go to remakes and sequels and this Halloween has been frightfully devoid of the horror movies, but I’m allowed to be a cranky old lady about this remake.

While Julianne Moore and Chloe Grace Moretz are fine actresses and the direction of the film is top notch, there’s nothing added to the Stephen King canon here. I attempted to find the original Carrie to watch as I had the sneaking suspicion that if I watched them side by side they would be shot for shot the same movie.

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The film was updated with a “Jersey Shore”-looking mean girl and a rail thin nice girl, a few cellphones and a high school hunk who plays lacrosse rather than football but the content, dialogue, intent, and action sequences are basically the same. Of course you get better CGI, but the point of King’s stories has always been that these are events you can imagine happening in your high school. Dramatic graphics aren’t needed and even cause the cheese meter to tip up slightly. I’m just completely baffled as to why the Studios needed to line their pockets with this one. Shouldn’t Paranormal Activity 1,000 be coming out right about now?

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A tip of the hat does have to go to the actors and director, Kimberly Ane Peirce. Julianne Moore is amazing as the troubled, ultra-Christian mother, desperate to keep safe, then eventually kill her gifted child. She’s creepy, fanatic and has a control about her rage that matches Carrie’s own. Chloe Grace Moretz is a solid Carrie who brings depth and hope to the naive half of the film, then brings the rage of a betrayed Carrie. Though there’s an excess of Magneto arm straining to illustrate her psychic ability, overall the movie plays exactly like the original, which I liked.

In fact, it plays so much like the original it’s a bit hard to believe in places. In today’s world can anyone truly escape the facts of life when every teenager is attached to a phone/mobile device? Even with a crazy mother, how would you not know about something as basic as your period? But then some teenagers still think you can get pregnant from oral sex, so maybe the movie is not that far off.

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Go see the original and thrill yourself by seeing one of John Travolta’s first roles. No one matches Sissy Spacek in the end, but I’m sure this generation is much happier with a new adaptation that they can relate to. Spend your money, solely to help support a female director in Hollywood. We need more of them.

5 tortured more than usual teenagers out of 10.

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