I had high hopes for the remake of this Stephen King story ever since it was reported to be done with Chloë Grace Moretz in the title role. She’s done a lot of great movies even at a young age and she was praised in each and one of them. It also didn’t hurt that Julianne Moore, a seasoned actress who made impressions with her previous movies Hannibal and The Hours, was cast for the role of Carrie’s mother. I have guessed that they would have a good chemistry as the problematic mother-daughter pair in this movie. And I was not wrong. Chloë Grace Moretz lived up to her famous role as Carrie White, a high school outcast who found comfort in her psychic abilities and hope in the hands of a few, good people. Her eyes made the audience feel her shyness and naivety at the start of the movie. The very same eyes made them uneasy during her vengeance to the people who wronged her towards the end. Julianne Moore held her own as the crazed ultra-religious mother of Carrie, making the audience cringe with her self-injurious behaviors and abominable hatred against her daughter.
Beside Moretz and Moore, a couple of actors in the supporting cast were good. Judy Greer displayed both toughness and softness with her role as the gym school teacher who looked after Carrie in school. Ansel Elgort, the school’s Alpha guy, was endearing as Chloe’s date in the prom night. Portia Doubleday whose wicked acts and ways made the audience hating her all throughout the screening of the movie, was very effective as the villainous classmate of Carrie.
I’ve seen the original and with today’s advanced technologies I thought many aspects of the story that require special effects could be enhanced in many ways. However, the movie has only fairly achieved in this aspect. While striking awe at times, the special effects displayed when Carrie was using her powers could have made a better mark. Kimberly Pierce, the movie’s director, could have used these visual effects to inspire awe and wonder to the audience. But she was not able to do so, thanks to uneven editing and seemingly uninspired directing.
With many American horror films banking on the obsession of today’s youth in hyper-sexuality and pop culture, the movie has teased some skin, insinuated wild intentions and mentioned a lot of pop culture references. It would be a good guess that this was one way the director wanted the movie to be relevant. She succeeded in a way, but ultimately failed. I understand that she has a lot on her shoulders doing a remake of a beloved horror classic but she was lost in trying to put her own footprint in this movie. It felt like the movie tried to be so many things all at the same time. The director may have wanted to retain the good of the original while trying to be so relevant. The result was a coercion that did not pan out smoothly. There were potentials for some scenes to achieve greatness status and yet each one was drained due to lack of amazing wow factor. I had goosebumps while watching the original but in this movie, I almost always had one but came short every single time.
Carrie’s movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 3 out of 5