Movie Review: Carrie
All I knew about Carrie prior to seeing the remake was that she gets a lot of pigs’ blood thrown on her at the prom. I haven’t read the book or seen the original, and to me, the remake stands up as a solid movie but not one I’d see again. Chloë Grace Moretz as Carrie is definitely the highlight, with her big eyes and clear fury, but the underdog in this movie is Judie Greer as Carrie’s gym teacher, Miss Desjardin. Greer is the best friend/sidekick role in many of her films, and in Carrie she feels underappreciated by critics and reviews—so here’s to Greer, who presents a perfect companion for Carrie and manages the line between horror and comedy well in this movie.
This line is one that the film constantly borders. It is obviously by no means a comedy, but there are moments within that alleviate the pressure of knowing what’s to come for Carrie at the prom. That balance of emotion is one that the movie does especially well, but for me, the backstory of Carrie and her mom is sloppily hinted at and the believability of Carrie’s actions at the end of the movie is not backed up by her emotions the rest of the movie. I wanted to see more buildup—after all, isn’t that what horror movies are about? There’s no Carrie without pig’s blood, and we need some more appetizers before the main event.
Stars: 3.5 out of 5
Where to see this movie: A quaint movie theater with creaky seats, to add to the vintage feelWhat to wear: Anything but red
This remake is so close to the Brian DePalma film that I'm not convinced that director Fede Alvarez didn't just sneak a camera into a showing of the original and tape the screen. All the promotional material for the film is marked by blood and gore, but that's really only eight minutes of the movie. Most of the film is an odd, specific tale about an outcast girl raised by a mentally ill religious mother and her struggle to be normal. It's more like a humorless Matilda than a death-filled Prom Night. (In retrospect, it seems bizarre that a man wrote a book plotted around girl-bullies and the terrors of moms and menstruation, and even stranger that it turned him into a household horror demigod.) Chloe Moretz is great, and even though the story is the exact same one as in the original film and King's novel, it's still a much more interesting tale than the usual generic plot of teen screams.
Stars: 3 out of 5
How does it compare to other teen horror films?
Better than: I Know What You Did Last Summer, Prom Night
Worse than: Scream, Cabin in the Woods
Exactly the same as: The original Carrie