Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Modern day relevant.
There’s a special quality to classic horror films, isn’t there? Even in terms of remakes and reimaginings, there is still a very special and different quality to horror films that originated several years ago. Back then, horror films in general were seen a little differently, and I have to admire them for that. I wouldn’t necessarily call most old horror flicks scary, but I appreciate them at any rate. I was always sheltered as a child, never allowed to watch horror films, so throughout the last few years, I’ve done my fair share of horror film binging. Some are great, but a lot of them aren’t all that special. Carrie was a very interesting case when I got around to watching the original film. So I was always interested in seeing what they would do for the remake, and I was honestly impressed.
The story itself is as classic as the famous prom ending. Carrie White is this girl that just…grew up in the worst way. Her mother, a clear psychotic maniac, raised Carrie in an abusive environment where anything that has to do with sex, including a girl’s natural maturing process, was a sin. She would be locked in a dark confined closet and be forced to pray for forgiveness – hours at a time. So obviously when she got her first period, she thought that she was dying, making her an instant laughing stock at her school. Because the other girls in the school laughed at her and posted an embarrassing video of her online, their P.E. instructor suspended them from the prom. So to get revenge, they unleashed a bloody plot at the prom itself. Meanwhile, Carrie begins to realize that she has telekinesis, which grows throughout, and obviously plays a bigger part in the end.
Carrie is a very different kind of horror film. When I first watched the original film, I didn’t think it was scary for a lot of reasons. Primarily, I find it incredibly hard to see an inferior form of filmmaking without modern advancements as scary. For the most part, I just felt bad for Carrie because how she is treated by everyone is shockingly horrible. We’ve all had our bad experiences with bullying in the past, but this is absurd. That’s why in the original, the scariest element was the extent of what humans are willing to do, especially teenagers.
Bullying was still a huge part of this film as well, so what I mentioned above still rings true, but there were a few distinct reasons why I’m inclined to like this film better. One, they modernized this film by using things like cell phones and internet as an extended way to bully a girl – which is definitely realistic and I’m glad they used it. Two, the mother is even more messed up, because it’s like she came right out of the first film, but since it’s been like forty years, times have changed even MORE, so her old-fashioned personality is even more out of sync than the rest of the world, making it…well…more relevant. Finally, three…in the original film, I was never afraid of Carrie. I felt so bad for her that when she finally unleashed her vengeance, I was practically cheering because the people were so mean to her. This time, I think her character was scary. Huge plus, guys.
They keep the scary Carrie element for the end, and let you feel sorry for her for the rest of the movie, which I think is a really good balance versus the original, which you just feel sorry for her the entire way through. It’s like what Ron Burgundy likes to say, “Boy, that escalated quickly”, and it does because she is just this sweet innocent girl that you really just want her to have a break. When she does, it is immediately withdrawn and all hell literally is let loose. The way Chloe Grace Moretz looks as a blood-soaked villain is chilling to the core, and I honestly think that the whole prom scene is what the original filmmakers wished to do, but just couldn’t because of era restrictions. That’s why I’m inclined to like this film better, which I ultimately do.
Carrie was able to keep the best parts of the original film and book and introduce newer, modern concepts into the mix for a well-rounded story that is more relevant for us now as a whole.
Chloe Grace Moretz does a wonderful job performing as Carrie and definitely fit the age-range, but you might find it difficult to see anyone really fitting the Carrie look as much as the legendary Sissy Spacek.
Carrie White: The other kids, they think I’m weird. But I don’t wanna be, I wanna be normal. I have to try and be a whole person before its too late.