In primary school, I once went on a “mass date” to go and see something "scary" at the movies. The point of this exercise was so that if one of you got scared (as you were likely to), you would be able to hold on to your partner. Being well under 15 though, this limited our choices. The movie ended up being more confusing than scary and we were all left feeling jaded and ultimately untouched. Similarly, you might have to try another technique if you want a hug with 'Carrie'.
Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) is an outsider; raised by a religious fanatic mother (Julianne Moore), she is ordered by the state to be put into the unforgiving world of high school. Unfortunately for Carrie, her mother is convinced that menstruation is penance for sins of desire and fails to tell her about the imminent arrival of her womanhood – an event for Carrie which is filmed and distributed around the school. From here, her bullying intensifies, and ultimately leads to her homicidal telepathic rampage (but you knew that, right?).
Bullying is ever-present in today’s media. The Internet is not only an immediate but also an anonymous avenue for such behaviour. This huge leap since the original film seems like a missed opportunity to really explore the principal idea behind 'Carrie'. Yes, they do upload the video of her being barraged with tampons to the Internet, but immediately afterwards, they go back to tradition name-calling in the corridors. Its almost as if the creators didn’t understand the power of social media on today's youth, leaving the question, if they were barely going to update the context, did the film require a revival at all?
Chloe Grace Mortez is a fantastic comedic actress, brilliant in '30 Rock' and 'Kick-Ass', and it's unfortunate for her that this film may be another added to her comedy résumé. There are so many close-ups of her hands while she looks at them while tripping out, it's like a bad Eurovision performance. Hand acting aside, the cast does a commendable job with the material they were given – clumsy dialogue and shallow characters. It is great to to see Alex Russell making his way in Hollywood, despite having appeared in a film that handled bullying in a much more relevant way in 'Wasted on the Young'.
The cast does a commendable job with the material they were given.
Ultimately, 'Carrie' is toned down in comparison to its classic original with Sissy Spaacek. There is not much likelihood anyone will have nightmares from seeing it, with people openly laughing during the so-called scary moments. For a movie that's all about the final bloodbath, the wait is not worth it. It would have been better to leave Carrie in her prayer closet.