Posted on 10/28/13 05:35 AM
Just because the themes present in Stephen King's debut novel are timeless doesn't mean that they should be presented in multiple films. Brian DePalma's 1976 version is generally considered to be a horror classic, so director Kimberly Pierce had a lot to live up to.
The new version does do a few things differently, the best example being the renewed focus on Carrie. The 70s adaptation paid equal attention to all sides, which resulted in insufficient time to actually get to know Carrie as a character. The remake does not make the same mistake. While there are of course some scenes that focus on her antagonistic classmates, all events of importance are seen squarely through Carrie's eyes. A little extra character development goes a long way here. The fact that Chloe Moretz delivers a better performance than Sissy Spacek doesn't hurt, either.
That being said, the pre-prom drama is simply not as compelling as the original, despite the more focused screenplay. I quickly found myself growing bored, impatiently tapping my foot in anticipation of the defining moment. But once that moment is reached, the film truly outdoes itself. But by then, it's too little, too late.