Not much has changed in the world of Carrie White since 1976. The film based on the novel by Stephen King was first brought to the screen by director Brian De Palma with Sissy Spacek playing the telekinetic anti-social heroine.
In the latest remake from “Boys Don’t Cry” director Kimberly Pierce, a few plot elements have been added, some omitted but overall “Carrie” is still worth the price of admission.
Chloe Grace Moretz, aged 15, plays the title role. Ms. Moretz is not a newcomer to this genre of filmmaking. She was seen in the 2010 remake of “Let The Right One In” titled “Let Me In,” playing a vampire. Her current take on Carrie is, at times, hard to believe. Ms. Moretz, unlike Ms. Spacek, has an all American girl quality that radiates more beauty than weirdness. An added element to Carrie White is using her hand to control her telekinesis. At times, it feels subtle. However, most of the time it feels out of place. The infamous prom scene is a prime example of the lack of awkwardness that Ms. Moretz possesses over her predecessor. Instead of feeling uneasy, we are instead left wondering why no one has asked this beautiful girl out before.
Previews would allow you to believe that the reason to see the latest rendition of this film would be Julianne Moore, playing Margaret, Carrie’s mother. This role was originated by the incomparable Piper Laurie. And, it is here is where the film starts to fall apart. Speaking in an incredibly hushed tone, so much so that at times she is completely inaudible, Ms. Moore fails to bring any depth to the religiously obsessed mother. Where Margaret should be frightening, she is instead forced upon us through the contrast of lighting and heavy shadows to appear looming but never quite succeeds. An added plot element of Mrs. White being a cutter is a nice addition but was left unresolved in the end.
The supporting cast, which was specifically cast against type, brings the film home. Though some of the subplots seemed fruitless, the supporting cast led us to a firmer understanding of Carrie’s suffering.
Ms. Pierce delivers something worth watching. “Carrie” is not a scary film. It is instead an intense character study of a lonely girl who discovers who she is and what resides inside her. Ms. Pierce’s additions and direction of the final bloodbath are praise worthy alone. Yet, it is in her understanding of the plight of a girl in high school in present day that lets the deeper message in Carrie resonate with us more today than ever before.
“Carrie” is currently playing in theaters worldwide.