Director: Kimberly Peirce
Cast: Chloe Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, Gabriella Wilde, Portia Doubleday
Plot: Carrie White is a teenage girl who discovers she has telekinetic powers. Between being a victim of bullying at school and abused by her deeply religious mother at home, how long will it be before she snaps?
Review: I did not read the book nor watch the Brian DePalma original before, so I can't make comparisons here. I've heard many negative comments on this film already, so here's mine. For starters, it's not as bad as they say it is.
Kimberly Peirce updates Carrie in today's world, where bullying can be taken to a higher level via the internet, as demonstrated when Carrie is victimised by her peers after panicking during her first menstruation. Peirce paces the film well enough so it's rarely dull, and with the help of the screenplay by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, succeeds in making Carrie easy to root for.
Of course, Chloe Moretz deserves plenty of credit for bringing Carrie to life. I've admired Moretz's work for a while now, and she is excellent here as the vulnerable and emotionally damaged titular character. Moretz is the exact opposite of Hit Girl here, and I was so amazed watching her being so scared and confused in this film. She really nailed it. Julianne Moore is also awesome as her demented mother, who is deeply religious and plays a huge part in turning Carrie into the person she is. Think of Marcia Gay Harden's character in The Mist and you'll know what she's like. Judy Greer provides some good support as Carrie's sympathetic gym teacher while Gabriella Wilde and Portia Doubleday round up the cast as Carrie's peers, the former being the good girl trying to help, the latter being the mean bitch who wants to inflict pain on the poor girl.
As much as I liked this film though, the film has plenty of room to improve. For the first two thirds of Carrie, I was digging it, until the time came for Carrie to unleash hell on her tormentors, and that's when Peirce's film is left wanting. At this point, you'd think that the more carnage Carrie causes, the better. And she does inflict a lot of destruction, but I expected more, honestly. I don't know if it's because Peirce isn't used to filming gore or not, but I wanted more, seriously. And on top of that, the story could use a bit more substance overall. The audience is never really clued in on why Carrie gets picked on at school (other than looking different) or why she has zero friends (in other films of the same setting, even the weirdos have friends), or why her mother is the way she is. I would have also liked seeing the bullies do more harm to Carrie than what was shown, it would have made the payoff much sweeter.
Overall, I was more or less entertained by this film. Not having watched the original must have worked in my favor. If you like Chloe Moretz, that's more incentive for you to check this out at least once. (3.5/5)