Author’s Note: This is my first movie review for the site. Instead of the typical star rating system, I prefer something a bit more helpful (in my opinion). Movies will be rated on the following grade:
* Full Price (for movies worth full cost of admission)
* Matinee (worth seeing in theaters, but not at full price)
* Rental (Rent it, or see it on television, it’s at least going to be fun there)
* Avoid (Really this movie is not worth the sunk cost of your 2 hours)
So with that out of the way, let’s get on to the review!
Carrie (2013 Remake):
Matinee and/or Rental
I went and saw the new Carrie remake, starring Chloe Grace Moretz in the singular role. Having recently rewatched the original version directed by Brian De Palma, I was ready to try and judge this movie as a remake, and as a stand alone piece. By itself, it is an adequate piece of cinema, that tells it’s story well enough, with some good graphics and acting. As a remake, it sadly adds little to the story, and some of the original performances stand up better than others.
Side by side, I feel Sissy Spacek brought more to the role of Carrie. While Chloe does a very good job, there is an earnestness, and a strength there that never seemed present in Sissy’s Carrie. I prefer my Carrie strange, unsure of herself, slowly growing into herself. Chloe found her strength just a bit too quickly. There is also vengeance in Chloe’s Carrie, so when the most memorable scene in the movie occurs, you can feel the anger there, as well a calculated violence that was not present in Sissy’s Carrie. Sissy’s Carrie simply snaps and loses her mind, attacking everyone–while Chloe’s Carrie seeks out vengeance on some, while sparing others. It is within this scene that the advances in special effects really shows, and while I had been worried it would be over used, I believe that the director did an excellent job of not going too over the top, and created something that stood up well against the other.
While a great deal of the shots and scenes are the same, social media was introduced within the remake, which made it more relevant; with the proliferation of phone camera’s everywhere, it isn’t a surprise that it would be used against Carrie, and help trigger her madness.
But the more I think about this, the more I ask ‘why’. Why did this need to be remade? While I know the easy answer is ‘money’, but I like to believe that people like to do a remake to add something to the story, to try and make it something a bit more. An excellent example of this is the recent remake of True Grit, which stayed a great deal more true to the book, and I think created a more powerful movie, while giving much of the story back to the main female character.
But with Carrie? Besides reminding us that bullying is very much still part of our lives (as it was in the 70s), I feel very little was added. The movie was as close to a shot by shot remake without being one…that I wonder why they didn’t make that choice.
So should you go see the movie? The best answer I can give is maybe. If you enjoyed the original, then by all means, go see it on matinee. But otherwise, I think rental would be best. It is an adequate film, but there isn’t anything added to the story that makes it a must see, in my eyes.