Sunday, 8 December 2013

Carrie (2013) - Horror Film Review

I hate to be one of those people who complain about remakes, but often they seem to be made purely as a way to try and squeeze cash out of the public, bringing nothing new to the table. I figured that is the route the latest version of Carrie would go, especially when the original is held (rightly so) in such high regard. While the film states it is based on the story by Stephen King it would be more truthful to say it is based on the film that was based on the story by Stephen King.

The story is already very well known so is pointless to warn about spoilers. Carrie; a shy, awkward teen comes late onto the onset of womanhood and with it comes the emergence of physic powers. Bullied by her class mates and her domineering, religion obsessed mother she nonetheless finds joy in being invited to the end of year prom by popular Tommy (as a means for his girlfriend Sue to make amends for her part in the bullying). However as everyone knows a prank involving a bucket of pigs blood triggers the breakdown of Carries sanity and the unleashing of her terrible powers.

Carrie does not do anything offensive, it is not badly made and has some solid acting at times yet it is scared to stand on it's own two feet, forever aping Brian De Palma's 1976 effort. Sissy Spacek worked as Carrie as she was not particularly beautiful, Chloe Grace Moretz in no way looks average though and all the badly combed hair and self consciousness in the world cannot change that so makes her status as weird loner a bit harder to believe.

The characters are for the most part such stereotypes that they don't come across as real people. Tommy, Sue, and especially gym teacher Ms.Desjardin are far too nice, bad girl Chris, and her boyfriend on the other hand are just too bad, they have no polarity to them, so one dimensional, so film like, and really remind you that you are just watching a film. A big problem with it was that all these characters have been given their roles but when they are introduced it feels like it is all their first days of existence, it is hard to picture any past for these characters.

The relationship between Carrie and her mother (played by Julianne Moore) is given greater importance here, Moore's character given more time to develop, these two really are the only ones to get any time to show as anything other than bland cookie cutter fillers, at least they stood out.

So as is always the case watching Carrie it is the prom sequence I was really interested in, when Carrie gets her misguided revenge on everyone. In the book half the town is destroyed, the 1976 version could never manage to imitate that, here more happens that does in the book and is all well done but again just feels so pointless. Moretz in her soaked in blood guise looks amazing, that and the actually really good film score for that segment create something that is the highlight of the film, the way the blood drips down over one side of her face and gets in her eyeball is a great style. The main school bullies all get their brutal comeuppance including some fun slow motion smashes. All too soon though it is back to the drudgery of the film with no surprise after no surprise not so much boring me as disappointing me.

To be perfectly honest this remake did everything I expected it to do, but a part of me still held out a sliver of hope that it might make itself it's own film, maybe even follow the twist ending of King's book rather than what it does here in being a less exciting version of the iconic hand coming out the ground. In no ways is this a terrible film, but nor is it a good one, just so...average.


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