Carrie Review: Stephen King’s Novel Gets Covered in CGI

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Horror remakes are rarely good, as any rightful movie buff knows. But there are those few exceptions that keep us wishing films like this “reimagining” of Carrie can break the mold.

It doesn’t for a number of annoying reasons.

The most annoying being the sheer lack of imagination put into this adaptation. Typically when an artist adapts another artist’s work they add there own mark, which in this case would make Carrie 2013 separate from Carrie 1976 and Stephen King’s novel. But the mark director Kimberly Peirce seems to want to leave is improved special effects in regards to Carrie’s telekinetic powers. They are impressive, of course, but don’t warrant the amount of time and money put into this project.

The story is a classic. Carrie is a loner at school. Her mother is that blend of religious and insane that can cause a child to be a loner (she refers to her breasts as “dirty pillows”, it’s 2013 for Christ’s sake!). But Carrie discovers she might be special as she moves objects around her with her mind. She never intends to use her powers for anything too dastardly until she is humiliated at prom.

Luckily, many of the story’s beats land and by the end you have that conflicted feeling of “these kids deserve it” and “Carrie, please stop!”. The story, unchanged here, is what keeps this version Carrie afloat.

It also helps that we have a wonderfully mature performance from Chloe Grace Moretz that innocently guides us through this tragic tale.

Julianne Moore, while good, never really brings anything new to the mother character.

But unfortunately the true star here is the special effects. They come early and often, hardly letting any tension build for Carrie’s growth into her powers. While the climax is a strong blend of much-deserved revenge and CGI spectacle, it would have landed much stronger had Carrie’s powers built more naturally.

Still though, there is enough in this version of Carrie for people to enjoy. The story is still great and the lead performance is refreshingly powerful for a horror movie. Just don’t expect to get anything that different from the 1976 version other than a few extra cars flying around. Grade: B-

By Matt Dougherty

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