CARRIE-United States-100 Mins. 2013
Directed by Kimberly Peirce
Screenplay by Lawrence D. Cohen and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Based on the novel by Stephen King
Carrie is a 1976 film based on the debut novel by Stephen King and starring Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, Amy Irving and Nancy Allen. It is about Carrie White- a ridiculed teen-aged girl who discovers that she has the power of telekinesis and uses it to exact reven-I’m sorry, what did you say? Oh, that’s right! This review is for the 2013 remake of the 1976 film based on the debut novel by Stephen King and starring Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, Amy Irving and Nancy Allen. It is about Carrie White-a ridiculed teen-aged girl who discovers that she has the power of telekinesis and uses it to exact revenge against her tormentors. There. That’s better. Oh, snap! The 2013 film doesn’t star Spacek, Travolta, Irving or Allen. It stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Alex Russell, Gabriella Wilde and Portia Doubleday in the same roles and saying basically the same things that their predecessors did in 1976. Throw in Julianne Moore as Carrie’s über-religious mother spouting about dirty pillows and ‘they’re all going to laugh at you’ and Judy Greer wearing Betty Buckley’s skin as the gym teacher sympathetic to Carrie and you can understand my confusion. I understand that a remake of a film is just that-a remake; but did they have to make nearly shot-for-shot the same damn movie? Do the words Gus Van Sant and Psycho mean anything to anyone?!?
The Carrie of 2013 is not a total loss. Moretz and Moore are excellent in their roles as Carrie White and her mother Margaret and the supporting cast do adequate jobs even if they aren’t given very much to do in the first place. Gabriella Wilde as Sue Snell goes from ‘Plug it up! Plug it up!’ to ‘Poor Carrie’ a bit too hastily and Alex Russell is practically non-existent as bad boy Billy Nolan. Portia Doubleday must have watched Nancy Allen as Carrie’s main antagonist Chris Hargensen so many times that she became the character through osmosis or something to that effect. The same goes for Ansel Elgort as Tommy Ross, the role filled by William Katt in the original film. Let’s not forget the ending to Carrie of 2013; it’s not the same ending as the one in 1976 that left a trail of soiled underpants all across the nation. If you want to see that ending-or at least a ridiculous re-telling of it-then you’ll have to choose the ‘Theatrical Version with Alternate Ending’ feature from the main menu. Don’t waste your time, though; it stinks as bad as the original theatrical ending.
I’m not one of those people who cries foul when the remake of a film is announced. There are those out there among us who hate the idea of their favorite film being re-done-even before setting their eyes upon a single frame of film. I vowed to myself that I would never be one of those people. However, if I were to see another film that is a carbon copy of its original and better self the same way that Carrie of 2013 is to the Carrie of 1976 I believe a change in my policy would be in order. I believe Yogi Berra summed it up perfectly: it’s Déjà vu all over again!
This is the first screen adaptation where Carrie is played by an actual teenager. Chloë Grace Moretz was 15 during filming, whereas Sissy Spacek and Angela Bettis, who played the role in Carrie (1976) and Carrie (2002) respectively, were 26 and 28 when they played Carrie.
To prepare her for the role, director Kimberly Peirce sent star Chloë Grace Moretz to homeless shelters to meet people who had genuinely lived tough lives.
Originally the film was slated to begin with a scene from the book, in which a young Carrie wandered into the yard next door and found her teenage neighbor sunbathing. Margaret flies out of their home in a rage and scoops up Carrie, who throws a tantrum and summons a rain of stones. This prologue was also shot for Carrie (1976) and wound up being deleted from both versions.
Chloë Grace Moretz also appears in Let Me In and Hugo.
Julianne Moore also appears in Don Jon and Savage Grace.
Judy Greer also appears in Cursed and Love & Other Drugs.
Alex Russell also appears in Chronicle and Wasted on the Young.
Gabriella Wilde also appears in Endless Love (2014) and Squatters.
Ansel Elgort also appears in Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars.
Portia Doubleday also appears in Youth in Revolt and Her.