Monday, 16 December 2013
Carrie [2013 version] (4½ Stars)
Is it possible to describe this film without comparing it with the original version? The question everybody will be asking is, "Is it as good as the original?" followed by other questions such as, "Was it worth remaking it?" To be honest, I'm surprised that it's so similar to the original. I would have expected the director (Kimberly Pierce) to experiment with new ideas, even ones that might not have been in Stephen King's book. While watching it I felt like I was seeing an old friend. It's been moved from 1976 into the 21st Century, and the special effects look more realistic, but basically it's the same film. So let's compare!
Sissy Spacek was an inspired choice to play Carrie White in the first film. Chloe Grace Moretz had big shoes to step into, but she does it well. What I like about Chloe is that she isn't a "looker". This might be a disadvantage for her 10 years from now, but at this point in her career it's in her favour. What I mean is that she doesn't really look beautiful. Cute, maybe, but there's something plain about her. Even when she's in her prom dress Carrie doesn't look like the belle of the ball, she looks like a Plain Jane who's had a makeover that will wash off in the morning. Hollywood should use more actresses who look "normal". Just look at all the other girls in Carrie's class. They're all drop dead gorgeous, as if it's a high school for beauty queens. Normal schools aren't like that. In a usual school class there are a few beautiful girls, the majority are plain, and a few are unattractive, for whatever reason.
I liked Piper Laurie as Carrie's mother in the first film, but Julianne Moore is far better. In the original film the mother was a religious fanatic who loved God more than her daughter. She thought she was doing good in the way she was protecting Carrie, but it was obvious to everyone she was doing evil. This still applies in the second film, but she isn't just a fanatic, she's also deranged. Julianne Moore takes the character to the next level.
I was disappointed with the supporting characters, especially Carrie's classmates. In the first film they stood out more, especially Sue and Chris. I felt that I knew them. In the new film they just whiz by in a blur, they're not well developed as characters.
So, was the film worth remaking? It's difficult to say. I enjoyed the original version. I enjoy this version. They're both good. But you don't need to watch both versions.