Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Carrie (2013) Movie Review – "The Other Kids, They Think I'm Weird."

Runtime: 100 minutes
Release Date: October 18, 2013
Rating: R
Director: Kimberly Peirce

Margaret is one hot mess, especially when she finds herself giving birth at home. Grabbing a pair of scissors, she starts to kill her new baby before changing her mind. Years later, Carrie is a grown woman who most guys would find hot, but since this is a Hollywood film, everyone finds her weird. After starting her period after gym class, she thinks that she's dying because her mother never took the time to tell her about puberty. The other girls laugh and taunt her, throwing tampons and pads at her and chanting at her to "plug it up."

Ms. Desjardin, her gym teacher, stops the girls, but not before one, Chris, films it with her cell phone camera. During a meeting at the principal's office, we learn that Margaret home-schooled Carrie for several years before the district forced her to send her daughter to school. The principal eventually suspends Chris and another girl Sue, which means that they'll miss the high school prom. Though Sue is okay with missing prom because she realizes that it was wrong for them to tease Carrie, Chris vows revenge. She gets Billy and a few of her other classmates to help her get back at her in the middle of prom.

Sue feels so bad that she convinces her boyfriend Tommy to take Carrie to the prom. Though Carrie initially turns him down, she later changes her mind and even goes against her mother's wishes to sew her own prom dress. Once prom night arrives, Chris arranges for her and Tommy to win prom king and queen. As they stand on stage, she and Billy dump a bucket of pig's blood on the girl. Carrie snaps and all hell breaks loose.

I could probably write an entire blog post about the things I didn't like about the Carrie remake, but let's start with the casting of Chloe Grace Moretz. By the time Kick Ass 2 came around, she had already lost that gangly awkward teenage girl look that she had. Even though she's still a teenager, she looks like the type of girl every guy in her high school would want to ask to prom. Watching her trying to be awkward and unlikeable in this film just felt...awkward.

It doesn't help that the movie felt like it skipped over much of the teasing and taunting that Carrie went through. The original "plug it up" scene upset one of my friends in junior high so bad that she got up, left the room, and refused to watch the rest of the movie. With Chris standing in the background and waving her cell phone around in the air, the scene ended up feeling forced and unrealistic. It didn't seem like they disliked her as much as they did in the original or that she went through as much. It was more like two scenes of ridicule and then, boom, it's prom night.

As much as I love Julianne Moore in pretty much everything she does, she almost felt like an afterthought in this movie. I had high hopes for her, which increased after seeing the opening scene. By the time the credits rolled, it felt like she could have been just about anyone. Piper Laurie was so dark and twisted in the original film that it's hard to imagine anyone else in the role. Hell, Patricia Clarkson managed to nail the role in the 2002 remake. In this version, it almost seems like Margaret didn't need to be there. Had they left the role out completely, I'm not sure I would have even noticed.

So, was there anything I did like about the movie? Yes, and that one good thing is Judy Greer. Greer, who I always think about as Kitty from Arrested Development, can handle comic roles effortlessly, but it was nice to see her in something a little more dramatic. That didn't stop me from wishing she would crack a joke or add some comedic relief, but I still liked her as the gym teacher and one of the only few people who truly cared about Carrie.

After watching the Carrie remake with a friend, we both turned to each other and shrugged. The movie wasn't horrible, but it doesn't hold a candle to the original. It's sad that some younger people will probably see this one and never even bother with the original.

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