The most difficult part about judging a remake is comparison to what came before is expected. In a way the same applies to the remake of Carrie without a negative nor positive position. If you've seen the original Brain De Palma classic this more stylized reimagining brings no noticeable changes to the story. Nothing is wrong with that, but unless you haven't seen the original this remake does not feel distinct in anyway along with missing a heart.
Carrie is about Carrie White, a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother. For anyone who seen the original Carrie knows how this remake plays out without having to see it. Now reducing the film score for that is rather difficult to do as well. It updates the material to fit the modern era when bullying is more relevant than ever. The script shows a clear understanding on the harsher side of school social ladder; blurring the line of what is done at school is no more different than what is done outside of that environment. Carrie White love hate relationship with her damaged mother is written more realistically. Becoming a case of an overprotective mother who lost to her mental breakdowns. This in turns adds a layer how a parent sees the world can damage their child perception of it. Understanding Carrie duality even further in her tragedy. A welcome addition is Carrie White exploring her powers and learning about them. Secondary characters are well rounded contributing to the story without feeling shoehorned in. This remake doesn't change the story significantly, but what it has going it is time. This story, the characters, the themes, and the outcome are as true today as they were in 1976.
For the sensitive subject it talks about narrative decisions are questionable. One being the character Chris Hargensen uploads a video on the internet that makes Carrie White a laughing stock of the school; however, it's never brought up how technology can damage the victim. Cyber-bullying altogether is glossed over leaving an area of the subject unexplored. Chris Hargensen character itself is also another highlighted issue with the film. This character specifically is written like a single personality cartoon. Being overly cruel is the point of this character, but just like how it glossed over cyber-bullying this brings over simplification to a non-simple issue. She's cruel just because the film needs her to be in order for any plot to exist. Flimsy is the explanation for Carrie White gaining her power. According to the film explanation males in the family are excluded without solid reasoning and the reason giving for the powers is lazy. Everything feels fabricated to get it single point across not working as well as it could have. Eliminating multiple interpretations in the process, a more thought provoking stance on the subjects, fleshed out characters accurately representing teenagers, and most of all disregards logic despite showing a clear present of technology.
Chloe Moretz plays an outcast well showing her abilities to portray any kind of role. She's sympathetic properly bringing her own interpretation to the character. Expressing a range of emotion with little words physically embodying the role. Getting across allot with little words. Julianne Moore is equally as excellent if not the true show stealer. Moore's comes across as being loving, fierce, psychotic and sympathetic. A multilayered role she brings to it to life that doesn't paint her entirely as an antagonist. The supporting cast performances are a singular note only portraying a basic archetype from the jock, the bully, the concern and caring young women, the adult, the dumb principal, and so forth. Kimberly Pierce direction is the laziest contribution to the film. Afraid to follow her own ambition the film visually resembles the original Carrie without a heart. Pierce's direction is most effective in the prom scene where she brings her own flavor to the story. Her take on the prom scene is more brutal and bigger scaled easily where the most emotion she puts in the film.
Carrie is made by three talented women both on and off camera who accomplished what they set out to do even if differentiation to the original was a failure. Everything feels dispassionate despite a clear stance on the stance of its subject. Carrie is best experience for anyone who never a film version of it. It's more theatrical with CG whereas the original is more reality with practical effects. This remake fails to bring a new spin to the story; however, it's a story that remain effective with a fine cast.
Defense in casting Chloe Moretz:
Whenever this remake is brought the casting of Chloe Moretz is often seen as a negative one. Purely out reason because she is (and I'm not kidding) "too beautiful" to be an outcast. Now this tells me preconceived notion of the film will misguide some opinions. Unless living in a theatrical world bullying, neglect, and several other of life harsher realities apply to everyone regardless of looks. Also last time I checked it never specifically stated that Carrie White is ugly in the novel. Themes and problems are universal, but looks cannot apply to everyone because how differently everyone sees the world. Taking away something from the film purely because of a person's look means the obvious subject of the film can be lost and is no different than what the bullies in this film do.