GT Screen

Review: Carrie (2013)

We check out the remake of the classic cult horror

Imagine a cross between The Exorcist, Mean Girls and Matilda. There were moments of terror, tension and some moments that were a bit ridiculous; notably a shower scene and some bizarre bloody handprints.

The film follows a social outcast in the weeks leading to her prom. It starts with Carrie getting her first period and ends in mass murder. The plot offers an edgier alternative to any films where a teenager develops powers. Carrie is an underdog and when she reaches her breaking point she goes crazy.

A remake of classic films can feel a bit redundant. Like another Carrie, we had to wonder why the horror film was being remade? If you’ve not seen the original then you might see the new version - so it is reaching a new audience. We suppose that’s reason enough. If you know Carrie then you know the final scene is widely referenced in other films and TV shows, including the most recent series of Glee. With such an infamous finale we were worried the film would lack tension because you know what’s coming. We were wrong. The film was intense. Carrie had us shaking and looking over our shoulder. Despite what you may think of the film it did produce a physical reaction.

The film is a horror, there is a lot of blood but not all of it is that scary. As a whole it’s more tense than scary. There isn’t much gore throughout the film but the last third does bring it up a notch. That said, the gore and the special effects don’t feel gratuitous for the most part. The film looks good, with little nods to the original film in the dated decor of Carrie’s home. The prom is beautiful, straight out of a Stephanie Meyer novel.

We’re huge fans of Moritz. Like the rest of the world we dream our future teenage daughter is half as cool and level headed. Her portrayal of Hit Girl in Kick Ass 1&2 completely made the films. There is little doubt that she is a star in the rising. As Moritz steps into Carrie’s shoes, less Monolo and more Birkenstock, she certainly brings her own style. Visually she fits the role wonderfully. The only trouble is her constant pain stricken face. It's hard to believe someone so sociably backward would manage to get to her final year of high school without someone informing social services that she’s not coping. You could describe her performance as a tad contrived, but we don’t want to because she’s usually such a great gal. Don’t tar Chloe with Carrie’s brush.

The rest of the cast aren’t much better, including Julianne Moore, whose hair conveys insanity before she even opens her mouth. The film does not scream Oscar but Julianne’s hair stylist should definitely expect some sort of award. Julianne is a stunning actress but her involvement with Carrie does beg the question why did she do this film? There is a sexual undertone to the Moore/Moritz mother/daughter dynamic, which seems a bit obvious. The whole film seems a bit obvious. Classic horror, girls, period and blood themes with religion and sex sprinkled throughout. The film isn’t saying anything new or exciting although it is enjoyable.

So should you go see it? We did and we don’t regret it. There was only one other person in the cinema but she left before the end, which might be telling. Probably to ask for her money back. Fans of the original will probably hate the film. Cinema fans that have never gotten around to seeing the first film would probably benefit from watching this version as it hits all of the major Carrie points with an updated feel. We can assure you that although you won’t get carried away, you certainly will know her name by the end of the film.

GT Gives this a: 3 out of 5, because although it’s unoriginal it’s not terrible.

Words: Martin Dixon (@MartinJDixon)

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