“Carrie”, the marketing materials will have you believe, is a “reimagining” of the classic tale of Carrie White, the shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply demented mother, who finally gets her comeuppance at the school dance, in this rather insipid, superfluous shadowing of an earlier, better movie.
You know how, when you send your iPhone or Galaxy away for repairs they offer you a functional replacement to hold you over until it’s fixed? Kimberly Peirce’s remake (and I say ‘remake’, because it’s clearly crushing on Brian De Palma’s original film version; nobody seems to have even bothered with referring to the source material, the Stephen King novel) is that loan phone: it does the trick, it might even have some bells and whistles the other one didn’t have, but in no way, shape or form does it compare with the original – it just ‘gets you through’. 2013’s cinematic recital of Carrie White’s wiki bio will lead to nothing less than a greater appreciation of what you had before.
A mostly purposeless remake that seems only to exist for those unfortunate teenagers who’ve yet to experience De Palma’s film (and I guess, to be fair, many haven’t), Peirce’s point-and-shoot re-tread simply sings the exact same notes of the previous composition – not adding any new highs or surprising new riffs. In fact, the only thing the new film seems to encompass that the original didn’t is a bigger effects budget, contemporary musts like the internet and cell phones, and an actual teenager (as opposed to Sissy Spacek, who was in her late twenties when 1976’s “Carrie” was made) playing the title character.
Headline act Chloe Grace Moretz (“Kick Ass”, “Let Me In”), who cinemagoers have watched grow both physically and as an actress in front of their eyes in recent years, absolutely embodies the role of the messed-up spawn of a nut (Julianne Moore in the role made memorable by Piper Laurie). From her awkward, somewhat unsettling walk to her closed-book demeanor, she’s gone to great lengths to perfect her ‘Carrie’. Another fine slice for your show reel, dear.
Unfortunately, Moretz is let down by director Peirce – and surprisingly so, considering she’s served up nothing but very solid films to date, “Boy’s Don’t Cry” and “Stop-Loss”; maybe she had some bills to urgently pay!? – and writers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Lawrence D. Cohen, who seem content on simply running the first film take through a copier – and with flat bulbs. From the ‘tampon scene’ to the ‘prom scene’, near each moment in the film essentially – well, with the addition of some computer generated trickery – plays the same as the first. There’s not an ounce of originality or freshness here, it’s just hard buns being plonked in the microwave for a few seconds.
Carrie On… nothing to see here.