Well hello again. I’m back after a lengthy hiatus to talk about the new Carrie. Let’s just pretend like there haven’t been a slew of movies since the 2012 Oscars, okay? Thank you.
In preparing to see the remake of Carrie, of course I had to go back and watch the 1976 classic. I found an excuse to do this while at work, with six strangers. If you do not recall how much supposedly-high-school-girl full frontal seventies bush shows up in the first ten minutes or so of this film–well watching it with strangers at your job is a great way to re-experience that.
At its heart, Carrie is the story of an isolated, abused girl, a girl who is trying hard to be good, and a horrible girl. Three teen-aged girls, three unique points of view. The 2013 remake still has that core, and retains most of the good stuff from the original film (and the book).
Heavy-handed acting and terrible hair aside, 1976 Carrie is a better movie. The emotions are raw, they play with some gray areas that the 2013 film doesn’t address, and there’s Sissy Spacek. Look, clearly Hollywood recognizes that Chloë Grace Moretz looks good with blood all over her. We saw that in Let Me In (another good movie based on a better movie). And don’t get me wrong–she does a great job of being vulnerable and sweet and sad and broken. But you can see CGM is a pretty girl from the very beginning. Spacek transforms when she puts on that prom dress. She goes from incredibly plain to almost pretty. Her smile is radiant. CGM is always pretty. Even when they fuck up her hair and put her in a denim jumper, she still looks like the most popular girl at school.
While the 2013 remake gives the bullying a 21st century spin that I think was well handled, the shower scene just doesn’t feel as visceral. It may be because they omitted all the nudity (What the hell you guys? It’s not like you got a PG-13. Let’s keep it real.). But some of it is just that the 2013 girls don’t seem as vicious.
I do want to give a special shout-out to Julianne Moore, because she is captivating as Carrie’s mom. I had a lady boner for Julianne Moore anyway, because she’s fucking amazing. But as Margaret White, she is scary, you guys. She is so believable. Every time she was on screen, my eyes were drawn to her. This is excellent casting, and part of why this film rises from “mediocre” to “good.”
Really, I was happy with this movie for about 80% of it, which is not bad at all for a remake of a classic horror film. There were some choices at the end that I disagreed with, though, which left me with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. If you’re going to do a remake, you honor the source material. I understand that you want it to be glossy and polished and feel like a current movie while putting your own unique spin on it. But you can do all of that without taking things that are awesome and making them stupid. Since I keep my reviews spoiler free, you’ll just have to see it yourself if you want to know what I’m talking about. I do think that it’s worth seeing, though.
Also, look, I wasn’t alive in the 70s. Somebody tell me for real–was Taylor Swift’s hair really a desirable feature on guys then?
Other movies that I’ve seen and enjoyed recently include: Prisoners, Captain Phillips, Don Jon, Blue Jasmine and Enough Said. You should see all of those when you have the time. Not included in that list because of reasons: Gravity. Viewing that one is totally optional.