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 Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: July 28

beatles

A look back at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Sports

Sunday Night Baseball on KPUG: First-place Dodgers complete sweep of Giants

Los Angeles Dodgers logo. Courtesy of Major League Baseball.

Carl Crawford hit an RBI triple to back Hyun-Jin Ryu's third straight victory, and the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers completed a sweep of the San Francisco Giants with a 4-3 victory Sunday night.

in Sports

LeBron to wear 23 in return with Cavs

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James celebrates during Game 1 in the second round of the NBA basketball playoff series against the Boston Celtics Saturday, May 1, 2010, in Cleveland.

LeBron James tweeted that he would wear 23 again after heading back to the Cavaliers from Miami, where he wore No. 6.

in Sports

Byron Scott confirms he has been hired by Lakers

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott during an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cleveland.

Byron Scott says "it's a dream come true" to come back and be the new coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

in Sports

Tour de France: Nibali captures title

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali crosses the finish line to win the eighteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 145.5 kilometers (90.4 miles) with start in Pau and finish in Hautacam, Pyrenees region, France, Thursday, July 24, 2014.

Vincenzo Nibali, a 29-year-old Sicilian who calls himself "a flag-bearer of anti-doping," won the Tour de France on Sunday, the first Italian to do so in 16 years.

Bellingham Traffic