Carrie – 2.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

CarrieCarrie – 2.5/5 – This is going to be a review for a remake of a classic horror/thriller movie.  When you hear ‘Carrie,’ a lot of people will remember what that is.  A very much revered film from back in the day, it follows a lonely girl who has ‘powers’, and how her mistreatment at school leads to an unforgettable situation.  The original is definitely one that stands out as a great film, whereas this remake just feels like a rehashing of what we have seen.  With the add flavor of modernization, the film basically follows the trek of the previous film.  Even with this, this version of Carrie is one that you will find something creepy about.

Premise: A reimaging of a classic horror tale; the film follows Carrie White, a shy girl to all the teenagers at high school because she was sheltered by an over religious mother.  Through all the hate and teasing, Carrie unleashes a deeply scary power, which will change the lives of all around her, and seal fates at the high school prom, forever.

In the lead role of Carrie is up and coming actress, Chloe Grace Moretz.  In this role, she provides affluence and value to this revered character.  As Carrie, she creates a deeply and truthful ‘lonely’ girl persona, who is affected by a lot of social aspects that weren’t part of her upbringing.  With this, the confliction of school, adolescents and home life helps create a fragile sense in her psyche.  With the creation through her acting, it is a very strong part of the film because she creates a layered and intriguing person, which helps create an attachment that is part empathetic and cautious.  For all the worth in the humanistic values, you still know she has these ‘powers’ that are starting to bubble on the surface.   A lot of this bubbling of her powers comes from her interaction with students, the gym teacher, and most of all, her mother.  With the scenes that involve her mother, you see a confliction of desires, but also a creation of realistic tension that could only be felt in a ‘mother/daughter’ situation.  The mother of Carrie (Margaret) is played by famed actress Julianne Moore.  Out of all the roles I’ve seen her in; this is one that breaks the limits of greatness.  She, along with Chloe, provides great wealth to the character through how she creates someone that is homely in her conviction.  Through those convictions, it is deeply disturbing as you get eerie feeling through her dialogue and treatment of her daughter.  She is completely religious, and attempts to be that rod of morality for Carrie.  She has disdain for modern society, and finds everything about it to be ‘sinful’.  With this she tries to instill in Carrie, which creates that deep conflict of the ‘mother/daughter’ scenario.  These scenes are also heightened through their dialogue and frightening handlings.  This causes a great affect on both the film’s entertainment as well as the progression of characters.  Beyond these two actress, the rest of the supporting cast is as clichéd as the horror genre itself.  You have the typical ‘good and bad’ teenagers, teachers, and parents.  They are wooden in their portrayal of ‘common life’, but know it is needed to create some kind of conflict for Carrie at school.  The one stand out is Judy Greer as the gym teacher.  She helps add the quality to the opposing lifestyle Carrie lives at home.  Through this, she becomes a caricature of ‘reason’ throughout the film, even when it is obviously predictable.

The direction of this film is one that follows most thrillers, but in a much faster pace.  The film goes as followed:

Basic introduction of the main characters

Main and supporting characters with ‘movies’ create formulaic situations

Situations begin to weave into a puzzle

Puzzle complete, climax commences, resolution

In the intro, we are shown the birth of Carrie, and the omen that she seems brings to herself and her mother.  After this quick setup, the film fast forwards to her as she is a senior in high school.  From here, the film moves along a fast pace, creating situations where it shows Carrie’s apprehension to being part of school ‘social’ life or staying true to her home life.  The situations at school are very mundane with the usage of common bullying, but you stay entertained by the other half of her home life, because of the overzealous mother.  There isn’t much explanation to all what is happening, you just have to go along the fast pacing and accept what the situations at face value.  All the audience is left to do is linking situations together to see where the conflicts will lie between the main players of the story.  What each scene becomes is as followed:

A situation occurs > dialogue of opposing viewpoints > creation of conflict > move forward to new situation

Each of these situations are part of the main story like a ‘puzzle’ (as mentioned above) and you are left with these specific to mark motives and purpose, which helps creates the bridge from the first ‘face pace’ first half to the hopefully ‘moment filled’ second half, which involves the prom night.  The one thing that keeps you watching is the extent of the dialogue between Carrie and her mother.  This helps add tension to a generic thriller tone, as well as help add to the curiosity behind Carrie’s ‘powers’.  A lot of the reaction from the audience is based on the emotional reactions of Carrie, and how there are ‘subtle’ points where the powers look like they will lead to some bigger tragedy.  This pressure helps keep you involved, watching and waiting for all these pieces to fall into a perfection placement for the ultimate showdown.  As the film progresses, Along with the building tension and her powers, she also becomes the figure of both ‘redemption’ and ‘revenge’ for two sects of teenagers.  This part of the film is where the generalities of everyday life seem to come through, but the tone it gives off seems to contrast eerie feeling that is the main overarching tone.  It fragments some scenes, and causes a ‘hiccup’ in the direction when it tends to go smooth.  What it does is drag the film down, causing the simplistic situations to seem shoehorned so you have an explanation for things.  Once Carrie gets invited to Prom, the movies tension stays strong, but it also strikes a predictable tone.  Once this sets in, you’re just waiting the game, like before.  Once the film gets to Prom Night, it becomes a train wreck of underwhelming moments; one after another.  All the buildup created through the great tension of Carrie and her mother, her ‘subtle’ usage of those eerie powers  and the bullying teenagers putting their plans in place to embarrass Carrie all get tossed aside because of the lazy use of horror styled stage props and action sequences, predictable deaths (which weren’t shocking) and trivial underlining music.  As the film continues through this climax, the unfolding of the pieces coming together bring some closure, but there isn’t any thrills in the ending.

The visuals of the film are left to a feeling of ‘creepiness’ and ‘generalities’ of society.  With this conflicting of visuals, it helps create a persona for the film, even when it’s broad in tone.  In the second half, the uses of horror props (even though underwelming for the direction) helps add some sensational value, but nothing more than just being props.  The score is mute to affecting anything in the film, but it is something worth noting since it is in the film.

Overall, Carrie had some great qualities when it came to the main characters, but there isn’t anything else worth noting.  The story structure, while modernized, isn’t as shocking in revelation to what you already known in the original story.  If you’re a fan of the original, I’d check this out as a matinee, but don’t expect anything of a thrill.

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