Carrie (2013)Wednesday, 1. January 2014
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Writer: Lawrence D. Cohen, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Based on: Stephen King‘s novel
Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wilde, Portia Doubleday, Ansel Elgort, Alex Russell, Judy Greer
Growing up with her ultra-religious, mentally ill mother (Julianne Moore), Carrie (Chloë Grace Moretz) is an outcast at her school who lacks vital information. Like what a period is. So when she gets it, she’s understandably distressed, a fact her classmates use to bring the bullying to the next level. But what they don’t know is that Carrie also has strange powers that she’s slowly getting the hang of.
Carrie has a strong, tense first half, but especially the showdown really doesn’t work anymore.
It’s been around 10 years that I read the book and saw the first film and I didn’t have time to re-watch/re-read before seeing this version. But as far as I remember, it was a very faithful adaptation. And if there’s something King knows how to do, it’s write characters – which this film uses to its advantage.
I also really appreciated that the biggest players in the film where women and the only guy who had more than passing relevance was put there by his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s wishes. The world can do with more of that.
And as I said the first half of the film was really good. When Carrie’s bullied, you’re practically getting bullied with her and that scene with the period discovery really knows where to punch you and does so with relish. And Julianne Moore was absolutely fantastic, too.
Unfortunately the movie doesn’t live up to the promise of the first half. When it comes to the prom and the showdown it does fall apart. Particularly it’s Chloë Grace Moretz’ performance that doesn’t work at all anymore, partly – I’m pretty sure – due to Kimberly Peirce’ direction which had Moretz moving in angulare, erratic ways that seem completely alien and certainly don’t help to stay with Carrie during her dark times. It also makes the ending a little hollow and manages to taint the first half too.
Still, I’ve read many bad things about the film before watching it and it’s not all that bad. It could have been better though.
Summarizing: not as bad as many reviews will have you believe, but not much good either.