As a huge fan of Stephen King’s work, I have strived to watch as many film adaptations of his books as possible. Naturally, I have seen the original Carrie film before and believe it to be truly one of the greatest horror films ever. When I heard about this remake, it was something I simply had to see.
Taking many aspects from the 1976 version, Carrie is a coming-of-age tale that looks into religious upbringings, bullying, the power of the mind and revenge. All of these themes are explored in great detail and the film stirs up so many feelings. Chloe Moretz’s Carrie White is easy to relate to straightaway. In every class, there is a kid who doesn’t fit in and Moretz plays the awkward teen part perfectly. Due to this instant connection with her, her pain and heartache is immediately felt by you too, therefore drawing you straight into her world, which is after all a dark and lonely place.
Going into this film, I was worried that Moretz would never live up to Sissy Spacek’s Carrie in the original film but the acting from both Moretz and Julianne Moore who plays Carrie’s mother Margaret is very very strong. The scenes between mother and daughter really highlight the damage that religion can do to people and it’s so harrowing and powerful. It’s elements like this that are the most realistic too, which is pretty frightening to consider.
Although the remake even contained some of the same scenes and lines as the original, it was modernised in some areas. For example, the early scene (opening scene of the original) where Carrie gets her period was filmed on Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday)’s mobile phone, which she later posted onto social media. This is a realistic modern element that simply updates the film and puts it into a modern time-frame. There was also much more focus on Carrie’s research into her telekinetic powers. Neither the book nor the original film really touch on Carrie’s intrigue into her own gift but the remake really does. There’s a very Matilda-esque scene where she is practicing her talent in her bedroom with books on the subject and she manages to lift her bed off of the floor. These little extracts allow us a little more private time with the heroine and actually makes her feel much closer to us.
One thing that I felt let it down a bit was the amount of gore. The original film contains violence but nothing as graphic as the remake depicts and so I think the violence was overdone. For example, the scene where Carrie is toying with the car carrying her chief tormentor, Chris was really soaked in gore and wrung out of its blood before it finally ended, which I think was slightly too prolonged. In the original, Carrie simply caused the car to crash and explode in a mountain of flames.
Unless you want to be very shocked and appalled by the events of the film’s story, I strongly suggest you either read the book or see the original film before seeing this version. Knowing the story well beforehand really helped me cope with the graphic scenes of blood and gore, as I was able to prepare for some seriously eye-watering moments. Brace yourself!