Movie Review: Carrie
If you think Carrie is just another horror-gore film that leaves you cringing in your seat, you are going to be disappointed. The modern interpretation of the complex characters will frustrate you as they develop their story for the majority of the film. The detrimental effects of bullying on young people will feel like they are in the way of the blood bath you paid money for. When the credits roll the attention to detail as far as authenticity to the original will have only confused you.
It’s not your fault; the advertising for Carrie has made it out to be a typical horror film, probably to sell tickets. Even with the original that was released in 1976, the hype surrounding the movie was from the gore genre. Luckily the classic story remained more or less the same.
Carrie is that weird girl at school with the crazy mother who’s always babbling about judgment day and hell. After an embarrassing run-in with nature, a cruel video of Carrie being bullied is posted online for the entire world to see. Suffering at both school and home, Carrie develops telekinetic power for reasons she and the audience do not fully understand. As the torment continues, Carrie becomes increasingly violent, culminating in the destruction of her high school prom.
The original Carrie is more terrified of her power than anything. However, in this revision the filmmakers are playing to a different audience. Carrie is given more time to develop and understand her power, allowing her fear of it to dissipate. Actress Chloe Grace Moretz displays the innocent and demonic side of Carrie respectively, wielding a sinister smile as she uncovers the treacherous potential of her telekinesis.
The audience sees her more childlike personality when faced with her (literally) bible-thumping mother played by Julianne Moore. Taking on a role dominated by Piper Laurie back in the 70s, Moore slipped in to the character eerily well. Her hay-like hair, possessed eyes and mumbled prayers make her unpredictable and terrifying. It is clear that Moore has studied the persona of an overly radical Christian woman as she throws herself about the house and self-mutilates.
The updated version of Carrie keeps the characters accurate, but changes the plot around a bit. For instance, taking a video with your phone and uploading it to YouTube was not possible back in 1976, but nowadays such clips of bullying are found all over the internet. Also, the 2013 edition adds a second kind of mean girl: the one that is just trying to go along the route of least resistance. Gabriella White (who plays pretty-but-kind popular girl Sue Snell) convinces the audience that she genuinely cares about the girl she once laughed at.
The costumes and make-up of each character also serve to categorize them as good or bad. Mother Julianne Moore has her tawny hair and wrinkled, papery features. Pseudo-mean girl Sue Snell is often sporting attractive, classy clothing. Only Carrie is left somewhere in the middle, wearing a black bathing suit in the first scene and modest covering throughout the film. Of course, her infamous pink dress is almost perfectly recreated for the massacre.
While Carrie is known for its maniacal characters and bloody ending, it has a theme that has endured for four decades. Carrie is given her powers because she is bullied by her mother and classmates. Their continuous torment is what leads her to exact revenge. The scariest part about Carrie is how many young people can identify with the lead. In the end, the most terrifying monster is the one society creates.