Carrie is the debut novel by American favorite and behemoth of horror literature Stephen King. Since its publication in 1974, there have been more than a few attempts to adapt it into a movie.
The first came two years later in 1976 by director Brian De Palma and it rapidly became one of the most influential horror movies of all time.
Since then, the idea of a psychic girl covered in pigs’ blood has been one of the staples of the genre, with countless directors and writers using it as inspiration for their own work.
Because the 1976 movie has been so influential and praised by critics, you might be wondering why a team would take the chance of creating a remake.
The 2013 remake of Carrie, directed by Kimberly Peirce and starring Chloe Grace Moretz had big shoes to fill when upon its release. But how good does it stack up versus the original? Is it a good movie in its own right?
In this review, we’re going to give you a general overview of the movie, highlighting some of its massive successes and more subtle failures.
Carrie is a 2013 supernatural horror movie and the second direct adaptation of the 1974 Stephen King novel.
Although it is the fourth movie in the Carrie franchise, it aims at creating a unique take on the novel’s contents and updating it for a modern-day audience.
The screenplay was written by Lawrence D. Cohen and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and it was produced by Kevin Misher. It is one of the first of the many modern Stephen King Adaptations that have come out over the course of the 2010s and early 2020s.
In essence, Carrie is the story of a shy, abused high school student who discovers that they have supernatural powers. After being bullied by her peers, she is subjected to a school prank and this has devastating consequences for the wider community.
Without getting too much into spoilers, the plot of this movie blends supernatural horror with nods to slasher movies from the time period of its original.
Some of the key positives of this movie are how it is able to update the plot and themes of the source material, without losing any of the original grit and heart of the story.
Strong performances mixed with good pacing and fantastic visuals make this a worthy remake.
One of the strengths of this movie is the performances of the main players. Chloe Grace-Moretz who plays the titular character of Carrie is great in the role and spins the character as more internally awkward than 1976’s Sissy Spacek.
One of the great difficulties of playing Carrie is the switch between a shy, bullied high school student to an unhinged killer towards the end of the movie – and Grace-Moretz does this with ease.
Another standout performance is from Julianne Moore as Margaret White, the abusive and obsessively religious mother of Carrie.
It’s a difficult role to play as the character is almost cartoonishly insane, but Moore plays the role with conviction and ends up creating a very believable character who is unnerving to watch on screen.
The Technical Side
The movie is shot in digital with ARRI ALEXA Cameras and the general aesthetic is a modern, sleek look with a few artistic choices that nod to the original.
It’s a lot less gritty-looking than the 1976 version, but this only adds to the modern, updated version of the story that the team has tried to create.
One of the most impressive things about this movie is the special effects in the final act, which achieve a level of realism and nail-biting spectacle that the 1976 version never could have.
It’s not scary in the same way you might expect from other horror movies, but there are enough gory scenes and splatter to satisfy horror veterans.
The infamous prom scene is one of the best-constructed parts of the movie, with a scene that stretches out the little moments to give the audience a real understanding of the slipping gravity of the situation.
This was one of the hardest parts of the novel to adapt, and the linchpin that binds the two halves of the movie together. Ultimately they pass with flying colors, offering a scene that rivals the original.
All in all, Carrie is a worthy adaptation of the source material and a great addition to the Carrie franchise.
Whilst it doesn’t reinvent the wheel and some audience members may be left wondering if it really added much to the story – it’s a great watch if you’re looking for an updated version of this now classic horror story.
If you liked this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower Movie Review‘.