Carrie (2013)

carrie poster 2013 movie remake
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

Sometimes captures the emotions better than the original version

Loses emotional punch at the end

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Carrie

Studio:  Misher Films

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  October 18, 2013

MPAA Rating:  R

carrie remake plug it up period scene chloe grace moretz

Well at least my life can’t get worse…right?

Carrie White (Chloë Grace Moretz) is an outcast at school and sheltered by her religious and abusive mother (Julianne Moore).  When Carrie has her first period at school, she is mocked and the whole incident is recorded and posted YouTube.  The girls who mocked Carrie are punished by their gym teacher Desjardin (Judy Greer), and while Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday) seeks revenge on Carrie with her boyfriend Billy Noland (Alex Russell), Sue Snell (Gabrielle Wilde) seeks atonement by having her boyfriend Tommy Ross (Ansel Elgort) take Carrie to prom.  With her adulthood, Carrie discovers she has the power of telekinesis…and will never be hurt again.

Directed by Kimberly Pierce, Carrie is the third adaptation of Stephen King’s 1974 novel.  The movie was originally scheduled for a spring release but was pushed back to fall for an October release.  The movie was met with average reviews, and underperformance at the box office with harsh comparisons to the 1976 Brian De Palma version.

I have to go on the record and say that I love the 1976 Brian De Palma Carrie and find the Carrie White character one of the most sympathetic characters in Stephen King’s collection of “villains”.  With that being said, the new Carrie movie does some things right, but it does a lot of things wrong.

carrie remake tommy ross killed ansel elgort chloe grace moretz

To be fair, what prom doesn’t end up with a dead prom king and a bucket of blood?

The story of Carrie is a combination of the novel and the original film.  Much of King’s novel was used for the De Palma script and this movie also takes from it.  The origins of Carrie’s birth are shown at the open of the film, and an end sequence with Carrie and Sue is a bit more true to the original end.  The fact that the original novel is an epistolary novel focusing on the post-prom investigation into the event is also touched upon in a scene that closes the movie.

Carrie is softened in the movie, but the end segment completely negates it.  I was buying the sadness of the story for the most part, and how you really don’t want what appears to be the best day of a girl’s short life to go bad…but Carrie’s break from reality isn’t as powerful as the original film.  In the first film, you have a hard time separating Carrie’s version from reality.  Here, Carrie goes nuts, and a majority of the students escape, it appears.  That is good because you can see that they are shocked…if Carrie is delusional, she shouldn’t have seen this and would have killed them all because she does believe that they are all laughing at her.  Plus, the killing of Desjardin was tragic in that Desjardin was on her side…here she’s spared as if the makers couldn’t go through with a good person dying.

carrie remake kills chris hargensen portia doubleday chloe grace moretz

Jesus, I’ll sign your yearbook already!!!

The movie attempts to modernize Carrie which is an interesting subject.  In the age of Columbine and other school shootings, the idea of a victim lashing out at her bullies is a bit more difficult to portray without bringing up bad memories of real life massacres.  Here, the idea that a YouTube video of a girl being tortured by girls in the bathroom wouldn’t garner news or even national attention on its own is pretty foolish with anti-bullying laws and rules…the movie doesn’t really modernize the story enough in this sense.

Chloë Grace Moretz plays the shrinking violet a bit too much.  She does tap into the sympathetic nature of the story however and succeeds until the end of the film and her break from reality.  Both Sissy Spacek and Angela Bettis from the 2002 version were better matches (even if the Bettis version was not very good).  Julianne Moore was good as the mother, but I wish that the movie had gone the way of the novel and made her a bigger woman that is also physically more overpowering but abuse comes in all forms.  Judy Greer gives a bit of levity to the script but seems to be emulating Betty Buckley’s performance.  Gabrielle Wilde is a good Sue Snell, but Ansel Elgort is a bit much as the perfect Tommy Ross.  Unfortunately Portia Doubleday and the other bullies need more development and individuality (like P.J. Soles and her trademark pigtails from the original version).

carrie remake kills mother julianne moore

Ok, my stab her once in the back and hope for the best plan didn’t quite work out as I hoped…

Visually, the movie couldn’t decide if it was going to try to do something new or simply remake the original movie.  Many of the visuals are completely ripped from the original and even match up in scene-for-scene.  I wish that the movie had been more distinctive since De Palma’s massacre was so memorable…here, it might be modernized, but it doesn’t make it interesting.

Carrie is a complex movie and worth seeing simply to see what you like and don’t like about changes made to the story.  It would be interesting to have a real blended version of all three films to capture a story that King even admits was a bit underdeveloped.  Carrie is about the emotional ride of a teenage girl and what happens when bullying goes too far…this version gets some of it right, but probably should never have been made.

Related Links:

Carrie by Stephen King

Carrie (1976)

Carrie (2002)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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