Chloe's interpretation of Carrie was more human than Sissy Spaceks version. Chloe's had more empathy to the people who were trying to be friendly towards her, while Sissy's one was more cold-hearted and "zombie like". I especially liked how the modern one dispatched of the bully, it seemed more cathartic than simply having the car explode and tumble away from her as it was in the original.
The remorse of the character Sue Snell seemed more authentic as well, and even after all of the horrors of the Prom night, I'd think that she would still have a soft spot for Carrie. She seemed not as horrified as the original movie portrayed.
Also I liked the fact that there were some other survivors from the prom, it wasn't as bloodthirsty as the original.
I give the movie 4 out of 5, as it was more enjoyable than the original.
The original Carrie worked because - among other things - Brian DePalma, knew how to create the proper atmosphere. 'Sides being wonderfully acted, this film is expertly crafted, as well. And this is what lacks from Kimberly Pierce's take on the same material: she just doesn't shine as far as craftsmanship is concerned. I'm not saying she is a bad director. "Boys don't cry" was a very good film, for example and it was good because it focused on it's characters, it made the audience care for them. From a tech. standpoint, "Boys don't cry" is unremarkable, but it doesn't matter.
But when Carrie's craftsmanship revolves around cheap cliches, it matters, because: 1. there is a predecessor, which is far superior 2. the actors are miscast and the overall approach is as cliched as the film's special effects.
There is a good thing to come to this, however: everything about this film is so stunningly bad that you only need 15 random minutes, at most, to realize that watching the entire flick would be a waste of time.
DePalma's film remains a permanent fixture of our popular culture because he understood that the foundation of Stephen King's best work comes from his ability to pry supernatural events out of a foundation of realism - i.e. the more realistic his environment, the scarier the magical stuff plays out. Plus, it had the added bonus of a previously unknown actress named Sissy Spacek in a brilliant performance that made her a star. Knowing that, it may be possible that no filmmaker could have revised this material. By this point there may not be anything new to explore. After the book, the 1976 movie, a 1999 sequel and a 2002 TV movie, we know this story so well that the narrative of a remake is more or less perfunctory. It becomes less a story and more of a checklist keywords: prom, dirty pillows, pig blood, tampons, prayer closet, telekinesis. The pieces are here, but there are very few surprises.
The story is one of alienation. We know that the world is populated with more young people like Carrie then than the prom queens who torment her, and with all the news stories lately about the horrors of bullying, this new film might have been a good chance to shed some light on the subject. Yet, there seems to have been no ambition to expand on the original idea. Peirce understand alienation. She previously made "Boys Don't Cry," the story of Brandon Teena, a girl suffering a sexual identity crisis (for that film Hilary Swank won an Oscar for Best Actress). She also made "Stop-Loss" about a soldier who returns home from Iraq, but refuses to go back. Here, in her first big commercial film, she seems to have lost her creative edge. The theme is present but what happens in the film is more inevitable than meaningful..
One of the biggest problems lies in the casting of actress ChloŽ Grace Moretz in the title role. She's so conventionally pretty that we have trouble believing that she could ever be a wallflower. This is a story about a girl who is so spaced away from the world that she might as well be invisible. Added to that, she's trapped in a body that offers a telekinetic ability that she can neither control nor adequately explain. Moretz is not a bad actress, but she has such a strong screen presence that we don't feel her defenselessness. She plays the mystery of her condition with an heir of indifference, as if she's taken up karate. The movie is missing the crucial scenes where she is amazed - or frightened - by her otherwordly ability.
The people around Carrie don't have individual personalities. They are written as standard movie requirements. There's the snobbish queen bee (Portia Doubleday) who torments Carrie at school. There's her lunkhead boyfriend (Alex Russell) who acquires the pig blood. There's the nice guy (Ansel Elgort) who agrees to take Carrie to prom. There's the P.E. coach (Judy Greer) who defends Carrie against her tormentors. There's the principal (Barry Shabaka Henley), a man so petrified of a lawsuit that he can hardly speak. These characters aren't given personalities; they are just functions of the plot.
The one performance in the film that does work is Julianne Moore as Carrie's religious fundamentalist mother, Margaret. Moore does a nice job of playing a woman so entombed in her own God-fearing paranoia that she shuts out a world that she feels pleasures itself at the altar of a fallen creation - which includes pretty much everyone. The worst effects of Margaret's hateful vantage point are forced on Carrie herself. She locks her in a closet and declares that her special power makes her a tool of the devil. That closet, and in fact the rest of the house, are a brought to life by some very creative set decoration by Nigel Churcher, who does a good job creating Margaret and Carrie's home as a sponge-cleaned den of claustrophobia and blandness.
The scenes between Carrie and her mother are the best parts of this story because they reveal two broken personalities that eventually face off in a final conflict that seems to have been preordained from the moment that Carrie came into the world. The rest of the movie is pretty much a tired march through a story that's been told three times before. There are some nice touches. The prom scene is well made. Peirce allows Moretz to wave her arms during the final telekinetic fury as if she were conducting a symphony of terror and mayhem. Yet, it's a moment of originality so clever that you wish the rest of the movie had followed.
Is "Carrie" entertaining? Not really. If you know this story already, there's no real reason to see this one. It only goes to further the mystery of why remakes are even necessary. Why remake this movie beyond the attempt to cash in on a brand name? Why not remake movies that were bad? Make them better. 37 years after the Brian DePalma's masterwork, horror fans are still talking about it. This film is so forgettable that 37 years after this remake, horror fans may have to be reminded that it was ever made in the first place.