Sunday, October 20, 2013

On the Reboot of "Carrie"

**Mild spoilers ahead if you haven't watched the original**

Although the original Carrie from 1976 is filled with bad fashion, an outdated musical score, and a big heaping load of cheese, I've always able to see past all of that to appreciate the awesome paranormal story weaved by the master of horror. When I heard a remake was in the works, starring Julianne Moore, I was excited, yet skeptical. Knowing it would be directed by Kimberly Peirce, the same woman who directed Boys Don't Cry, I knew it would be pretty dark, and probably a bit original.

I was able to catch the new Carrie on its premiere night. The very first scene was among the most disturbing. We watch as Carrie's mom gives birth all alone, not understanding that in fact she was pregnant and is delivering a child. While this was not in the first Carrie movie, it certainly added a whole new element of horror into the mix. It also gave us a better idea of what a psychopath Margaret White truly is. The mother continues to be the most troubling element of the remake, between her overzealous religious beliefs, abuse of her daughter, and self-abuse.

After the pig's blood was spilled toward the end is where I found myself losing some interest. The way this Carrie walked around with her arms up like a marionette for the last 20 minutes really irritated me, and I wasn't a fan of her "supernatural" telekinetic abilities that allowed her to lift a car in the air, and split a tar road like some kind of earth quake. I did, however, like the final showdown between Carrie and her mother.

The acting was just as spot on as I had hoped. Oscar award winner Julianna Moore did an outstanding job as the mentally disturbed mother, Chloë Grace Moretz was able to pull off being the socially outcast yet hopeful Carrie, Portia Doubleday nailed the part of the hateful bitch Chris, Gabriella Wilde (I'd love to see more of her) was perfect as the beautiful and sympathetic Sue, and Ansel Elgort (of upcoming The Fault in Our Stars fame) pulled at my heart strings as sweet Tommy. Truthfully, I preferred this cast over the original (sorry, Sissy).

Overall, I was drawn into the story even though I already knew it inside and out. The addition of the locker room scene being uploaded to YouTube was the only glaring difference, other than the focus on the mom harming herself. Although I'm not yet convinced I like the remake any more than the original, I had hoped that the updated version would at least appeal to the newer generation so they would appreciate the disturbed mind of Stephen King. But as we were leaving the theatre, a girl ahead of me in her early twenties told her boyfriend, "I liked the original better." Quite honestly, I don't know that a remake was necessary, but at least it made for an entertaining Friday night. And now my daughter knows (1) what can happen when you bully people, (2) at least her mother isn't a raving lunatic, and (3) don't have sex, because that birthing scene was discomforting at best.

2 comments:

emmameade.com said...

I wasn't a big fan of the original, but I might go to see this one. You seemed to enjoy it, Jen.

Jen Naumann said...

You may like this one better. Just try not to laugh too loudly when the mom gives an outrageous nickname to her daughter's chest...

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