In recent years, we’ve seen a few horror classics get remade for modern audiences. There’s been some good (Rob Zombie’s Halloween), and some not so good (Samuel Bayer’s A Nightmare on Elm Street). Generally though, remakes are films that just die due to fan disappointment. But in the case of this new version of Carrie, not only does it not disappoint, it respects the original totally, almost paying tribute to it. And as a lover of books and horror in general, I was very pleased with the outcome of this take on Stephen King’s classic.
There are a few differences between the 1976 film and the 2013 remake, the major one being the opening scene. Carrie begins with the god-fearing nut job Mrs. White (played almost unrecognisably by Julianne Moore) giving birth to Carrie on her bed in her home, screaming in agony, praying for death, seemingly not realising that she had just given birth. Mortified by what she sees resting between her legs, she takes up a knife and almost kills the newborn right then and there. It is a very powerful scene, and helps to set up Mrs. White as the complete lunatic we see throughout the film.
The rest of Carrie plays out almost scene for scene like the original. The story line or script did not alter that much, the exception being as this film is based in the present, current technologies are added such as mobile phones and computers. I think this goes to show a great point that times may change, but people stay the same. Carrie, both in 1976 and 2013, was victimised and humiliated by bullies, which lead to karma rearing its ugly head as the pig’s blood covered telekinetic exacts her vengeance by spilling some blood on her own terms.
Carrie is portrayed brilliantly by the talented Chloë Grace Moretz, an actress who already has some fantastic films under her belt (Kick-Ass 1 & 2, Dark Shadows, Let Me In), at the tender age of sixteen. This film helps to prove what most should already know, that she is definitely one to watch out for. As for Julianne Moore as Mrs. White, this is completely different from any other role I’ve seen her in, which I think is a great thing for an actor to do. It shows how versatile they can be, and it also sees them being viewed by different audiences. Her take on the character was also much darker and more in depth than how Piper Laurie portrayed her in 1976.
Of course as most of us know by now, whether you’ve seen the film or not, Carrie goes to prom and all hell breaks loose. Sissy Spacek was so wonderfully creepy during this moment and the scenes that followed afterwards, setting the bar high for Miss Moretz to reach, but not only does she reach it, she grabs hold of the bar, and pulls herself past it. The prom scene is deliciously brutal and bloody: the special effects used do not in any way harm the film’s credibility and only add to what is already scary viewing. Some of the death scenes are even dragged out a bit longer, assuring the audience will be left satisfied.
Carrie is a must see for horror fans but please don’t be skeptical because it’s a remake. I assure you it is very unlikely that you will be left disappointed. It is a fitting homage to the genre, Stephen King, and the original film.