|CARRIE (director: Kimberly Peirce; screenwriter: from the Stephen King novel/Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa/Lawrence D. Cohen; cinematographer: Steve Yedlin; editors: Lee Percy/Nancy Richardson; music: Marco Beltrami; cast: Chloë Grace Moretz (Carrie White), Julianne Moore (Margaret White), Judy Greer (Ms. Desjardin), Portia Doubleday (Chris Hargensen), Alex Russell (Billy Nolan), Gabriella Wilde (Sue Snell), Ansel Elgort (Tommy Ross), Barry Shabaka Henley (Principal Morton), Hart Bochner (Chris' lawyer dad); Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Kevin Misher; Sony Pictures; 2013)|
update reimagining is entertaining enough, but finds
nothing new to say."
by Dennis Schwartz
Gifted but flawed
director Kimberly Peirce's ("Stop-Loss"/"Boys
Don't Cry") respectable but unnecessary remake
revisits with too much respect Brian De Palma's
intriguing 1976 classic horror flick, that featured the
memorable frightening performance by Sissy Spacek, and
was based on Stephen King's popular 1974
novel. The update reimagining is entertaining enough,
but finds nothing new to say. The derivative film is
funny as camp, sensitive in its portrayal of its
freakish heroine, eerie in a classical Hollywood
horror sense and, though cartoonish, serious about
delivering its banal message that all humans can snap
if faced with too much pressure or ridicule.
compelling story, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and
Cohen, has traction covering the mental
instability of a fanatical Bible-thumping mom, Margaret
Moore), who gave birth unassisted at home
and with outsized
scissors almost slaughtered her unwanted
daughter Carrie (Chloë Grace Moretz)
as a sacrifice to God because she believed she sinned
by giving in to lust but at the last moment relents
and embraces her child. The child grows up a mess,
mentally crippled by her mother's mistrust of the
world. The tortured mother-daughter relationship grows
dangerously tortured when the troubled daughter
discovers she has unusual powers through telekinetics.
Carrie suffers great humiliation in gym class over her
ignorance of the menstrual cycle and that leads to her
being taunted by her cruel classmates, the pic's
heavy, Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday), daddy's (Hart
entitled daughter, records on her smartphone Carrie's
distress over her period and the poor girl is laughed
at as the school fool as the video travels through the
student body. One of the taunters, the
conflicted decent girl Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde), repents and in an act of
self-sacrifice forces her dreamboat jock boyfriend,
Tommy Ross (Ansel
Elgort), to take Carrie to the prom so she can assuage
her guilt by giving up something she wanted most.
Things are moving along at a fine clip until the story loses its magical Cinderella slipper during its De Palma-like bloodbath senior prom-night sequence, where things go ridiculously hokey in a special effects show that channels an excessive amount of gore. During this CGI madcap sequence, the sweet performance by Moretz, who fully inhabits Carrie's timidity, fragility and predicament, seemingly gets swept under the rug as things flame out and the heroine's vulnerability is replaced by unleashing her supernatural powers to kill in revenge those who treated her with contempt and thereby much of the sympathy invested in her character dissipates. The pic becomes trashy and loses its artistic focus in favor of schlock.
REVIEWED ON 10/18/2013 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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