Carrie Could Make You See Red
- Friday, October 18, 2013
Release Date: October 18, 2013
Run Time: 100 min.
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Actors: Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, Gabriella Wilde, Portia Doubleday, Ansel Elgort, Alex Russell
Does this sound familiar? Budding young star Chloe Grace Moretz gives the lead performance in a remake of a highly regarded horror classic that ends in a scene where her character unleashes horrendous carnage.
Maybe you've heard the latest version of Carrie fits that description, but it also fits the 2010 Moretz vehicle Let Me In, an update of Let the Right One In (2008), a Swedish film about a bullied young boy and the vampire who befriends him.
Since then, Moretz has starred in higher-profile controversial films like Kick-A--, its sequel and Hugo, the latter two being commercial underperformers. The chances that the young actress will finally have a breakout hit seem stronger with Carrie, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. The original adaptation, directed by Brian De Palma in 1976, starred Sissy Spacek as an adolescent girl raised in fear and ignorance by a mother (Piper Laurie, nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for this role) who twisted Scripture to justify shielding her daughter from the facts of life.
This update follows the same basic storyline. Carrie White is a loner, the kind of girl who has to be coaxed by her gym teacher, Ms. Desjardin (Judy Greer, The Descendants), to participate in class. Afterward, while showering, Carrie screams in concern when she menstruates for the first time. Raised by an unstable mother who sees her daughter as the result of wickedness, Carrie is, until that moment, ignorant of how the female body changes during puberty. Her screams and fears are captured by amused, taunting classmates who record the episode on video and post it online.
Desjardin becomes Carrie's advocate, comforting her while also punishing the classmates who hurt her, specifically Chris (Portia Doubleday, Youth in Revolt) and Sue (Gabriella Wilde). Sue feels remorse for her actions, but Chris refuses to apologize or admit wrongdoing. Her lack of repentance earns her a suspension that prevents her from attending prom. Sue, still regretting her involvement in Carrie's embarrassment, prompts her boyfriend, Tommy (Ansel Elgort), to ask Carrie to the prom.
Her teacher's intervention on her behalf, combined with Tommy's seemingly genuine interest in Carrie, begins to change the girl's recessive, reluctant personality. Along with the recognition that others care about her comes Carrie's increasing resistance to the attempts of her mother (Julianne Moore, Don Jon) to shield her from the outside world and, especially, from the opposite sex.
There's another aspect of Carrie's personality that's coming to the fore: her telekinetic powers. She doesn't call on any deity or spiritual being to exercise these powers; instead, they manifest in moments of anger and rage. Carrie struggles to control those outbursts, whether toward the school principal, an obnoxious neighborhood boy or her own mother.
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