RJ Bayley Reviews: Carrie (2013)

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Carrie isn’t a redundant remake. However for horror aficionados who will undoubtedly have a good knowledge of the 1976 Brian De Palma film, director Kimberly Peirce’s movie feels like watching the original in fast forward, before it does an opera version for the finale.

The story doesn’t take any real deviation from the original, however this is no bad thing. It is still a very strong strong story, which bears repeating to a younger audience who may find the bouffant hair-dos, music, film quality and flared jeans of the original make it inaccessible.

Chloe Moretz continues to show why she is the finest young actress there’s been in decades and delivers a well observed, introverted performance. Its only when she’s displaying telekinetic abilities that she strays into predictable performance, casting the usual ‘summoning’ motions we’ve seen in nearly every witchcraft/telekinesis movie.

Judy Greer is excellent support Miss Desjardin and her interactions with her unruly pupils is believable and at times tense. Julianne Moore plays her role as Carrie’s mother less straight, but is entertaining nonetheless.

The extent to Carrie is able to finely control her powers also dramatically alters the audience’s engagement with the film’s inevitable finale.

In Peirce’s telling of the the tale Carrie is significantly empowered by her abilities, so there is less emphasis on the tragedy of the story and more on revenge. The increased violence is sufficient to root for Carrie though, and its suitably crunchy.

The well known ending throws all kinds of special effects at the screen. However since the film doesn’t have aspirations of being a popcorn flick its all very enjoyable stuff, especially the slow-motion shot of someone’s face going through a windscreen.

There are a lot worse original horror films around and this new spin on an old classic is certainly worth your time.

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★★★

 

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