My favourite author of all time is Stephen King, and of all his films I figured Carrie would be an easier film to remake than half of his other ones. And with Chloe Grace Moretz lined up in the title role and Julianne Moore in a supporting one, it sounded like something I couldn't miss
It doesn't take long before it is clear that Carrie is a bad movie.
One of the problems with Carrie is that Chloe Grace Moretz is a bit too attractive to be such an outcast. One of Carrie White's defining features is that she is an inept person who keeps to herself and has an appearance not considered all that attractive by the mainstream standard. Chloe Grace Moretz has the same basic look as every girl at her school and doesn't have any real features to define unattractive. Sissy Spacek isn't an unattractive woman, but when she took on the role the makeup really emphasised her pale white skin, rough hair which she used to block her face and her many freckles. Chloe Grace Moretz simply doesn't have qualities that suggest she is unattractive to others, and she talks too much in the film to be an introverted person when in the original Carrie she spoke much less because she was weakened by the force that the world had over her. But all in all I think the problem is that Chloe Grace Moretz is too well known to play a character that is a high school outcast since Carrie White is supposed to be the girl that nobody knows the name of, and anybody that does mocks her for it in some way. Too many people would know the name Chloe Grace Moretz and would associate her with playing
strong female figures to find her that convincing in the role of a social outcast and weak female character. Her performance is decent, but she simply isn't right for the role. She manages to have her moments but as a whole it just isn't easy to see her in the role and it isn't her finest effort as an actress. I didn't see her as Carrie White, I saw her as miscast. I didn't see that she was interacting with her telekinesis well, it seemed like she was just putting our her hands and pretending everything was happening, but not that well. As a whole, the film Carrie fails to characterise its titular character well at all which dooms it from the start, and it doesn't give Chloe Grace Moretz good material to work with. She has her moments, but as a whole the effect is minimal because the horror theme is not there when she unleashes her fury. I wasn't shocked to find Chloe Grace Moretz turning so dark and obsessed with her power because I could believe she would do it, and in comparison to the disbelief that Sissy Spacek put into the role, she simply wallows in comparison.
The majority of the cast are in pretty poor form in Carrie. Practically everyone is a bunch of no-named teenager who couldn't act their way through a Uwe Boll movie, and in Carrie they essentially all disappoint. I can't isolate any names specifically because its not worth going to the effort for them, but every single teenage character in Carrie aside from Chloe Grace Moretz is a generic and untalented actor with nothing to boast about them which is why you've never heard of any of them and most likely will never hear of them again. That would be best and I hope never to have to experience watching any of them act again because they just got really annoying really fast without a hint of wit or talent.
Judy Greer never really gets her role just right. Though she gets a fair bit of screen time, it is all a waste because she doesn't sink into the convincing nature of a school teacher and her delivery of lines feels way too forced. She is clearly not a teacher because a teacher would never use the word sh*tty at a mainstream school which is one of the first she uses, and she fails to capture the forceful authority attitude that comes with being a teacher. They say that those who cannot do, teach. And those who cannot teach, teach gym. Judy Greer is not a doer and cannot play a gym teacher. I don't know the exact way to word that, but it just goes to show what she cannot do.
Julianne Moore is the only cast member that stands alive in Carrie. While her screen time is minimal and she wallows in comparison to Piper Laurie's performance in the same role, Julianne Moore's natural skill as an actress make her one of the better members of the cast in Carrie. Her religious aggression and its effect on Carrie White are a bit too downplayed for the role to actually be any good, but Julianne Moore's routine effort is still superior to practically the rest of the cast. She doesn't get any real opportunities in Carrie which is a shame because she is a skillful actress, but all in all she is OK.
Riding a mostly ineffective cast, Carrie has a serious flaw to it. But Kimberly Pierce's lack of understanding what the novel's importance was really about and inability to introduce anything new to the film that hasn't already been seen just goes to show how unnecessary this remake or "reimagining" of the original was.Frankly, I would have enjoyed Carrie if it was just like the original but with updated situations and better visual effects, but the fact that she ignores the importance of Stephen King's writing just goes to show that she is far from a good idea for the director of Carrie and should stick to the more low profile material she proved to be better at when she directed Boys Don't Cry. She simply cannot work with material like this.
The themes in the remake of Carrie put more emphasis on the negativity of over-parenting as a whole than just on the relationship between excessively overbearing mother Margaret White, as well as the negativity of bullying. But it's just the exact same crap that high school lectures made me sit through for many years again and again, so the film essentially smashes viewers of the head with its messages at a repetitive rate the entire time. For f*cks sake Hollywood, I get it. Bullying is bad. If you could stop telling me that again and again and doing it with crappy films like this one, that would be great.
Carrie doesn't examine the horror element that comes with having telekinesis like Stephen King intended and instead characterises the element in an X-Men style fashion by showing her using the powers for casual purposes. And when she does, it isn't dramatized well at all. It doesn't feel thrilling, it feels somewhat natural. And it is never natural for a teenage girl to be able to pick things up with the power of her mind, so it shouldn't feel normal to viewers. And the prom scene feels more like a rave party than an actual moment of sophisticated joy which is what a formal event like that is truly about. It did not feel like a prom or like it did in the original Carrie. It was all very unconvincing.
Also, one of the most iconic elements about the original Carrie was its use of blood, gore and nudity. While the blood quantity is OK, there isn't really all that much to create the visual shock of the original. And there is literally no nudity which makes the film feel tame and ignores the glamourisation of youth which was captured in the original and then used as a contrast to the negative elements of cruel teenagers. Frankly, nothing in Carrie feels effective and it is a terrible film.
Carrie is all in all one of the significantly lesser adaptations of a Stephen King story and falters in comparison to the original due to lacklustre direction from Kimberly Pierce and indifferent acting.