Well, of course most people are going to jump in this movie, no matter what, simply because its' a remake of a well known and even somewhat classic horror movie. But in this case rightfully so! It's a pointless remake, that isn't really trying to be new or any different from the 1976 original and it in every way is an absolutely inferior movie.

Don't worry, I'm not constantly going to compare this movie to the 1976 original (or well, maybe I am), since even remakes should be judged on their own merits but I still feel I should mention some things, explaining why this movie isn't half as great or effective as the vastly superior Brian De Palma movie, while it so easily could have been. The potential for it was there but there are just too many problems with the execution of the movie.

First of all, this is the rare case of a movie that should have been longer! With an extra 30 minutes of running time, the movie could have expanded further on its characters and their relationships, while it slowly kept building up to its inevitable ending, that we all know is coming, even if you aren't familiar with the 1976 original movie or the Stephen King novel that it's based on. That way, I would have felt more emotionally invested with its characters and story and the ending would have worked out as something more tense and gripping as well. But it doesn't ever feels like the film-makers truly understood the core story and main characters of the movie. It results in a pretty shallow and simplistic movie, that plays things far too safe and formulaic.

One of the things this movie completely missed the mark with was with the, well know and therefore not too spoilerish, prom scene, at which Carrie snaps. Well, that's the problem; She doesn't really snap, she's just very pissed! It was the best night of her life. For the fist time ever she felt truly welcomed and loved and wasn't hiding herself anymore. Then, within a split second, it all changes. She gets pranked, humiliated but more importantly, she realized that the best night of her life turned out to be a lie and nothing but a joke for others. After that she simply broke down and lost control over her powers. Something snapped inside of her and a good lawyer would have claimed it was a case of temporary insanity, at which Carrie lost the control over herself. That at least is the way the 1976 movie handles it. In this 'modern' remake she's just very angry and only wants one thing; revenge. The problem with this is that she feels in complete control of herself all the time and knows perfectly well what she is doing. What perhaps bothered me even more about it was that she genuinely seemed to enjoy it. It was hard to sympathize with her at that- and after that point for me.

Another thing Carrie feels far too much in control with, is the power she has over her mother. Her mother, in this movie played by Julianne Moore. is the only truly genuinely creepy character in the movie, that keeps her daughter down and isn't afraid to punish her for any of her 'sins'. However, in this movie it becomes obvious, pretty early on already, that Carrie can easily take on her mother when she wants- or needs to and is far more powerful and in control, due to her special 'powers'. It makes the mother character less of a treat and scary one, despite of all of Julianne Moore's great efforts. For me, the relationship between the mother and daughter was always the core of the story, since it explained Carrie's character and mousy behavior. Something that gets mostly neglected in this movie.

And that's really another problem as well; Carrie doesn't feel like a mousy enough character. Not that Chloë Grace Moretz is a bad actress or that I have anything against her but she feels truly miscast in this movie. She's is already far too 'normal' and pretty looking to be a convincing Carrie. She doesn't look like a person that people would pick on at school, because she's an easy target. She's playing her character as an awkward and reluctant one but that's the problem with it; she's clearly acting all of it. It never feels convincing and real enough and she just really doesn't look the part.

I'm also quite surprised to hear people say that this is a great modernization- and re-imagining of the story. First of all, it's following the exact same story patterns as the original. All of the classic and important moments from the first movie are present in this one as well and sometimes it even feels like a shot by shot remake. And the more modern elements in this movie...well, I'm sorry but it all feels a bit too forced the way how cellphones and the internet gets incorporated into the story. And besides, by just throwing a bunch of cellphones and computers into your movie, doesn't mean you are being very inventive or creative with modernizing anything. It's disappointing that the movie isn't really doing anything new with its story but it's even more disappointing that it isn't a very effective or great movie with the few things that it's doing.

The movie, also on its own right, really isn't the most effective, surprise or best one you can watch. Not that this movie is ever a terrible one but you are definitely way better off watching the 1976 Brian De Palma movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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