We’re 89 minutes into the “Carrie” reboot before it starts to get good. The movie is 100 minutes long.
There is absolutely no reason for anyone to make another “Carrie.” Brian De Palma’s masterfully directed 1976 original is pretty close to perfect as it is, and this utterly pointless remake does nothing but remind you how much more effective the 37-year-old De Palma version is. Dismal and silly where the original was creepy and disturbing, it’s a total waste of time.
The movie’s problems begin with the casting of 16-year-old Chloe Grace Moretz in the title role. Moretz is a good enough actress (she’s was great in films like “Kick-Ass” and “Hugo”), but she is much too pretty to be playing an outcast high-schooler who develops telekinetic superpowers with which she uses to exact revenge on the mean girls who’re wrecking her life. Sissy Spacek, in contrast, was a perfect choice because, let’s face it — she was already inherently scary-looking.
Julianne Moore is equally outmatched by Piper Laurie as Carrie’s overprotective (read: psychopathic) mother, who quotes verses from the Bible while simultaneously slapping her daughter around and locking her in a closet. Laurie’s take on the character is much more threatening, more menacing, but I’m more inclined to blame director Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don’t Cry”) for haphazardly editing Moore’s scenes that make the Oscar nominee come off hammier than the pigs who provide the blood for the movie’s most iconic sequence.
Yes, this “Carrie” still builds to the utter-chaos-at-the-prom finale first detailed in the novel by Stephen King, but this version doesn’t do a whole lot with the bloody mayhem, frankly. Once Carrie is doused in blood and begins telekinetically wreaking havoc on her peers, the movie becomes laughable rather than frightening because Peirce’s filmmaking lacks the vitality and sense of doom necessary when, you know, dozens of people are being murdered.
It was Carrie’s mom who said it best in both versions of the story: “They’re all going to laugh at you.”
Turns out the old bat was right. This is one of the more laughably idiotic horror films to get distribution in a long time.
★ out of ★★★★
Rated R. 100 minutes.
Director: Kimberly Peirce. Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore.