I'm currently in the process of re-buying certain films on Blu-Ray, and the 2013 remake Carrie was one of the first of the batch to be re-bought in glorious 1080p quality. I really enjoyed this film back when I first saw it in 2013, and almost four years later, Carrie still thrills me. The original Carrie starring Sissy Spacek holds up really well thanks to a gripping story of a girl with extraordinarily dangerous powers and strong performances. This remake tells the same story as well as boasting strong performances, and thanks to the ever-increasing capabilities of visual effects as of late this is a visually stunning remake with a mighty finale filled with shock and awe.
Some of the characters in this film are despicable people that deserve their comeuppance. The story follows Carrie White, as she is mercilessly tormented by her peers for being different. Her devoted Christian mother is overbearing and strict, forcing her views upon poor Carrie until she obeys her. Realising she has telekinetic powers, Carrie breaks under the stress of her bullies and unleashes her true power leaving a bloodbath behind her. Vengeance has never been so glorious, as those who pushed Carrie truly get butchered. This film comes off as more of a tragedy, with moments of thrills, as director Kimberly Pierce does a brilliant job of placing the titular character in the centre of the frame, surrounded by everything that ails her. Chloe Grace Moretz' performance is terrific, she makes you feel constant sympathy for the girl, and you worry for her, this is a great combination of a confident director and a talented actress.
Whilst some of the bullying scenes are a hard watch, as dozens of mean-spirited teens really do sickening things to Carrie, the 18 rating never truly peaks. I'd say this were a hard 15, much like Deadpool. There is gore, suggested animal violence, bad language and creepy moments but there's never anything truly horrific, though the opening scene involving a newborn baby, a pair of scissors and some bloody bed sheets already gives you an idea of what you're getting into with this remake.
All performances are wicked in this remake. Gabriella Wilde is great as a girl who regrets her actions, and tries to find forgiveness from Carrie, though fears the outcome. Portia Doubleday is also really good as a despicable human being, the main perpetrator of Carrie's harassment. Alex Russell is just plain nasty and it's a cool turn from the actor, Ansel Engort is pretty cool as a jock who eventually begins to see that Carrie isn't the freak everyone sees her as, and Judy Greer is as welcome as ever, the most underrated actress shines here as a outspoken and witty gym teacher Ms. Desjardin. Julianne Moore, however, is excellent as Carrie's devout Christian mother. Moore nails the unhinged mannerisms and total nutcase personality of this tragically lonesome and mental character, she's one of my favourite actresses and here she delivers another gripping performance in a career full of them.
The iconic prom scene from the original film remains a classic moment of horror, with Sissy Spacek stepping up her performance and the whole film coming together for a moment of pure shock and violent awe. Does this remake exceed that of the original prom scene, or does it not, or is it level? To me, it's just as good. The advancements in visual effects mean more fire, more chaos, graphic deaths and one insanely satisfying end for Portia Doubleday's Chris Hargensen, who gets a death worthy of her nasty actions involving shards of glass and an exploding petrol station. The prom scene is awash with red, the blood, the fire, the ruined eyeliner on girls as they run crying in fear, and the sweat and blood pouring over all the prom attendees. It's such an epic climax, a release for Carrie, but a shocking ending for her mother and Carrie's tragic, unfair life.
For horror fans this will serve a treat, whilst it's not true horror it's got moments of creepiness, haunting images and a tonne of wicked performances that all add heft to the characters' deaths in the blood-soaked finale. Here's a remake that works! Rating: 8/10