Carrie (2013) – Film Review
Unlike Carrie White, I do have friends.
I know it’s hard to believe, so fuck you, here they are in action.
So if you feel like resting your ears on some Dirty Pillows, that’s the podcast for you.
And if you scour those episodes carefully, you might even hear your master’s voice.
That’s me, fyi.
TL;DR This update of Carrie does nothing better than the De Palma original screen adaptation. It actually does most things worse. But with Chloe Moretz at the helm, could you expect any better? 2 out of 5 stars.
The answer is no. You could not expect any better. It’s Chloe Moretz.
So for the rare few who don’t know how Carrie goes, it’s a story about a weird, loner girl named Carrie who has a crazy, religious zealot mother (the exquisite Julianne Moore), and is therefore ostracized by her classmates. When she suddenly gets her first period, she freaks out (because mummy didn’t teach her about them) and is bullied by her classmates. Most notably by uber bitch Chris. Another girl, Sue, turns her back on the bullying and decides to do something nice for Carrie. So she arranges for her popular boyfriend to ask her to the prom. Despite resistance from Mother and an increasingly psychotic Chris, Carrie and Tommy go to the dance. During all this, Carrie has been noticing some growing telekinetic powers, which you can imagine is something else Mother isn’t fond of. Chris enacts her revenge by playing the famous pig’s blood prank on Carrie, which sets off a homicidal rampage. After taking out Chris, her douchebag boyfriend, and assorted other classmates, Carrie returns home and kills her mother, and herself.
At least poor Sue doesn’t have to suffer as the sole survivor, like the De Palma version.
And therein lies my greatest problem with this adaptation of Carrie: the De Palma film is purely superior. 70s datedness and all.
Although I haven’t read the book, from what I’ve gleaned, Carrie (2013) is a more faithful adaptation. But it’s a worse story. I was going along quite nicely up until the prom, and watiting eagerly for my unmitigated massacre. And then, like, almost every person at the prom makes it out alive. We see Carrie killing off a few of the bullies, but later we see most of the guests making it to safety. Miss Desjardin, the kindly teacher, included.
It’s just not as good as Carrie (1976). That Carrie went fucking nuts and horribly murdered literally everyone. The only character to survive the movie was Sue, who was traumatised by the events. This time around, Carrie just kind of picks off a couple of meanies and everyone goes on with their lives.
Why I hate this movie:
The impact of the massacre is also spoiled by the behaviour of Carrie herself. Normally I’d be happy to shred Chloe Moretz as being responsible, but I think the atmosphere and rampant CGI didn’t help. Sissy Spacek fucking owned that shit. When she went into her trance, Carrie was a completely different person. She didn’t care about anything except brutal, bloody revenge. Moretz’s Carrie fucking dances and flies and smiles and enjoys that shit. It’s crap. There’s no real mental snap. How am I supposed to feel bad for her if she’s having a goddamn party?
The CGI is all over the place and ruins everything. Carrie flies, man. Carrie flies. No no no.
The destruction of the house and the collapsing of the road under Billy’s car are the lowest points, though. So fake. Much garbage.
Chris is a hoot, but she is totally batshit insane evil. To the point of ruining the suspension of disbelief. Worse, unlike 1976 Chris, she can’t even stay consistent. When shit pops off at the prom, she gets all sooky and tries to slip out of town with Billy. She only decides to try and run down Carrie after they’ve already tried escaping her. 1976 Chris didn’t give a fuck and immediately tried to run that bitch down as soon as she saw her.
Chris’ death sequence is also unnecessarily protracted and goofy. Was it supposed to be funny?
And 1976 Chris was like an evil Farrah Fawcett. 2013 Chris is utterly forgettable.
In no universe is Chloe Moretz the ugly, unpopular girl at school. She may not be able to act, but that girl is a fucking supermodel when she’s all put together.
Likewise, you can put all the grey wig on Julianne Moore that you want, but you can’t shut off that radiant, everlasting beauty. Miscast, baby.
Tommy is a turdy, preppy dudebro. 1976 Tommy was cool, but he wasn’t some fist-bumping smarm factory.
The sound design is some true overblown bullshit. The prom massacre scene is the peak of its incessant blasting. When a movie has to constantly yell at you about “this is scary! Be horrified!” then it probably isn’t scary, or horrifying. It’s just that girl from Kick-Ass doing some CGI gesturing.
I’m still pissed off that the teacher doesn’t even bother listening to Sue’s warning.
Why doesn’t Sue just go to the prom alone? Or with some other friends? Why does she have to be miserable at home all night?
Chloe Moretz has a big ol’ mess of fake hair again.
Oh, and Carrie’s blood-spattered appearance is a fucking joke. She’s got a blood splash around one eye that looks like some Clockwork Orange shit. Fuck off. And the blood looks so fucking fake.
But it’s not all bad:
Up until the prom scene, where her acting starts getting stretched, I was actually on board with Chloe Moretz. She did a decent job as a sympathetic outsider, despite her good looks.
Ditto Julianne. She may not be able to fight her beauty, but she gives it a good shot.
Sue is probably even more likeable in this version than she was in 1976. She really goes the extra mile in doing something selfless for Carrie. And her actress is gorgeous.
Chris’ Portia Doubleday might be forgettable, but she has got kind of an ugly-hot thing going on. Like Chuck from Gossip Girl.
Judy Greer is the standout in the cast as Miss Desjardin, the gym teacher. She is both considerate of and firm with Carrie. The tragedy of the teacher’s death in the 1976 version was immensely powerful, but it was nice to see her earn her chance to live this time.
Judy Greer also references Carrie in a line from Jawbreaker, my 3rd favourite movie of all time. Her character Fern scoffs at the idea of going to a hostile prom, and sarcastically suggests they pick up a bucket of pig’s blood. It’s been 14 years, but the prophecy has finally been fulfilled.
Chris’ overexaggerated evil is fucking amazing to watch. I wish I had that kind of drive.
Oh, and the prom massacre carnage is certainly juicier than the 1976 version. At least 2013 got a leg up somehwere.
There’s nothing more dull than a pointless remake/reboot/new version. If you’re after a more faithfully adapted Carrie, then the 2002 TV movie already exists. And apart from a smidge of gore, there’s nothing else in this 2013 slop that betters what was done 40 years ago. It’s overblown, overexaggerated, overwrought, overpolished rubbish. 2 out of 5 stars.