News

MOVIE REVIEW: Updated ‘Carrie’ stays true to the book

MOVIE REVIEW: Updated ‘Carrie’ stays true to the book

'CARRIE' STILL SCARY: Julianne Moore (left), Kimberly Peirce,Chloë Grace Moretz (right) at the "Carrie" premiere. Photo: WENN

By: George Wolf

Back in ’76, Brian De Palma brought Stephen King’s first novel, “Carrie,” to the screen and a terrifying vision of persecution and comeuppance emerged.

But that was almost 25 years before Columbine, and the image of the bullied and confused wreaking bloody revenge at a high school has taken on a different tenor.

That’s no doubt why King’s tale made its way to television in 2002 with a fresh take on the horror.

But things in high school have changed again, and the story of Carrie White takes on particular tragedy in a wired time where another innocent high school girl takes her life almost weekly due to bullying. Perhaps that’s what drew filmmaker Kimberly Pierce, whose “Boys Don’t Cry” also outlines the tragedy that befalls a young woman violently unaccepted for who she is.

In Pierce’s hands, “Carrie” offers more stripped-down drama – none of the scenery chewing of the De Palma original. There’s no humor to be found in the reboot, but realistic performances and updated context give the film enough bite to keep you watching.

Chloe Grace Moretz takes on lead duties as the youngster whose first monthly flow triggers all manner of havoc, from the most unconscionable bullying to telekenetic powers. Oh, and her mom tries to kill her. So, not the blessing those Health Ed books try to say it is.

Moretz has a big prom dress to fill, and though she has always been a reliable talent, her turn here is unconvincing. Sissy Spacek truly was that innocent, a girl so repressed by her religious mother that she had no conscious knowledge of appropriate social behavior. Moretz is a cute, shy girl the mean kids dislike. It’s not the same.

The always exquisite Julianne Moore actually has an even larger task cut out for her.

The role of Margaret White is a juicy one. Even the TV version drew the great Patricia Clarkson to the project. And Moore is characteristically strong, clearly defining role in a terrifying yet almost sympathetic way. But she’s no Piper Laurie.

Laurie brought such vitality and insanity to the role that the prom became almost secondary, and her chemistry with Spacek was eerily perfect.
The supporting cast of high schoolers is fairly unimpressive, though the ever-reliable Judy Greer adds some fresh depth to the role of Carrie’s sympathetic gym teacher.

This “Carrie” is a bit more faithful to the book, and actually delivers a more violent, bloody finale than the original film, which seems to fit with the tensions of today.

The updated context casts a truly saddening shadow over the film, making a major thematic adjustment without even trying. Stephen King wrote a story about hysteria over the dawning of womanhood. But today, the story carries an even darker message. “Carrie” is a cautionary tale about sending your kids to high school.

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Maria Sharapova beats Peng in 4th round at Australian Open

Maria Sharapova of Russia chases down on a shot to Petra Martic of Croatia during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 19, 2015.

Second-seeded Maria Sharapova is through to the Australian Open quarterfinals after a 6-3, 6-0 win over China's Peng Shuai on Sunday.

in Sports

Cubs great Ernie Banks dies

File Photo: Ernie Banks 2013
Credit :	Travis Jourdain/WENN.com
Special Instructions :

The Chicago Cubs say Hall of Famer and two-time MVP Ernie Banks was 83 when he died Friday night. The team did not provide a cause of death.

in Sports

Belichick on deflated balls

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines in the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Carolina Panthers, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, in Foxborough, Mass.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is defending the way his team preps its game balls…

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

In this film publicity image released by 20th Century Fox, the character Neytiri, voiced by Zoe Saldana, left, and the character Jake, voiced by Sam Worthington are shown in a scene from, "Avatar." The film was nominated Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010 for an Oscar for best picture. The 82nd Academy Awards will be presented on March 7.

A look back on some of Hollywood's most notable headlines.

in Sports

Kobe to be re-examined before deciding injury fate

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) drives against New Orleans Pelicans guard Quincy Pondexter (20) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in New Orleans. The Pelicans won 96-80.

Bryant was examined Friday in Los Angeles. He tore his rotator cuff Wednesday in New Orleans.

Bellingham Traffic