The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about the horror remake “Carrie” in about the time it takes to watch the trailer.
Help me out here, is this a horror movie or a very disturbing superhero movie.
“Carrie” is a remake of the 1970’s classic based on the Stephen King novel this time with Chloe Grace Moretz as the shy sheltered outcast who discovers a unique ability and what happens when her classmates push her too far. Julianne Moore steps in as her overprotective and wackadoo mom who has a very warped understanding of what she reads in the Bible. Which is actually one of my favorite parts of this film, so lets start there.
I really like that the movie makes a point to show that even though this mom is a nutjob, it’s not because she is a Christian, it’s because she is deranged in what she believes about being a Christian. Many times when a religious person is shown to be crazy, we don’t necessarily get that distinction, but here her daughter even points out her hypocrisy and how the things she believes are nowhere in the Bible. It may seem like a subtle distinction but it’s one I noticed and appreciated as a person of faith who doesn’t dig a sharrp object into my leg for Jesus. I also really bought into these characters, much more especially than most horror flicks, and I think that is partly because there are some good performances, but mostly because this is just a great story. Stephen King crafted a very poignant look into the brutality and horror of what it means to be tortured in school and with bullying seemingly more an issue everyday it remains a valuable insight. This movie remains completely faithful to the original in tone and execution which makes for a good movie, but also make me ponder the question, what exactly is the point?
And maybe that’s the worst thing about this remake, it doesn’t go anywhere new. It’s a solid movie with solid acting but haven’t we seen it before? I suppose you could say the social media aspect of the humiliation is different, but it doesn’t add enough to be of note. And am I the only one who feels like with this and the remakes of Evil Dead, Footloose, and others that we are just headed to a world where the same movies come out, over and over again, in some sort of 40 year cycle. I mean the effects are better, and you get to see different actors in the roles, but at the end of the day why not just go back and stream the original on Netflix? The movie also has a few minor inconsistencies with plot devices and high school movie cliches, but mostly I found myself waiting for some sort of surprise that never came. I should also mention the movie seems to amp up the blood and violence quotient a bit, so take that for what its worth as well.
In the end, “Carrie” is a well made, well acted movie with a message that remains valuable almost 40 years after the original came out, but does little to add anything new to the story. The result is a somewhat satisfying but mostly unnecessary movie. Still I’ll give it a B-.
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