Saturday, October 11, 2014


To anyone who has children or is involved in education, the topic of bullying has been at the forefront of discussions regarding the emotional-social climate of a child’s academic experience. Whether your eyes glaze over reading this paragraph or you find yourself nodding in agreement or you’re just skipping to the next paragraph, my personal viewing experience of Carrie has evolved from “bystander,” watching King’s narrative of a secluded girl seeking revenge unfold, to someone who is moved to action to create a safe space so that nobody wants to enact revenge and nobody wants to hurt others to the point of self-mutilation or homicidal thoughts. I see kids attack each other’s vulnerabilities every day and even though I can’t stop every instance, I do what I can to diffuse the stereotype that school can be a social sharktank.

The ‘09 remake of Carrie has the advantage of sticking to the original storyline as well as elaborating the extent to which the eponymous character was bullied. It is set in modern times, so cell phones are used to record the infamous first scene and post it to social media. Unfortunately, it also means that we’ve gotta put up with crappy generic pop music during the prom scene. Even the slow song made me leave the room to refill drinks and get more popcorn.
BRB -- I'm gonna throw up in the punch.
“Hit Girl” Chloe Grace-Moretz does the role justice. Although I see a sweet and beautiful girl and it’s hard to accept that anyone would want to hurt her, Grace-Moretz’s take on Carrie White is authentic and I felt sympathy for her each step of her journey, which begins where 1979’s Carrie didn’t go (reviewed here by AC).

This remake opens with White’s mother, portrayed hauntingly by Julianne Moore, giving birth in-home to her daughter. There is blood everywhere and she thinks she is going to die, until the moment when she hears Carrie’s first cries of life. Throughout the movie, as was seen in the original, blood is a force tantamount to water, capable of giving life or taking it. Both Carrie and her mother see it as a sign of imminent death and react as such. 
...but the effects did, uh, kick ass.
Last year JSP and I had the opportunity to view Carrie: The Musical at a local San Francisco theatre. It gave me a new appreciation for the story which I elaborated in the opening of this review. I didn’t review the musical last year for reasons beyond me but here’s a pic of us at the door, with prom regalia and all:
We won King and Queen! (Not really, they were only props.)


Mr. AC said...

Great review, Crystal! This sounds like a remake worth seeing.

Catfreeek said...

I will respectfully disagree with you on this one. First of all I didn't see a reason for a remake when Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie did such a bang up job in the original. Secondly, I absolutely hated the ending and finally it just didn't pack the same punch for me. I'm not entirely against remakes when there is a reason for them. If the original was shot on a crap budget or with crap actors or if modern day effects would do well to enhance the film. I like both Julianne Moore and "hit girl" but I just didn't feel they added anything to roles.

Trevor said...

First, I love the pic. Very cute. Second, I just finished watching this one today. My review will be up in a day or two. We're very much on the same page, but I think im going with 3.5 stars. Great review.

Landshark said...

Nice choice! I was on the fence on whether to bother checking this one out. Both the book and the original movie are classics, and like Cat, I didn't think it needed to be redone. But if done well, I've got no beef.

AC said...

Sounds like a must-see if for no other reason than to enter the blog debate on the wisdom of the remake.

DCD said...

Hmm. I think I'd have a hard time with Grace-Moretz in that role. I can't see her being able to pull off the haunting vulnerability/crazy of Spacek.

Still - interesting to know the mixed feelings about it.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

When Crystal started watching this I wanted nothing to do with it because I felt it was merely another in a endless line of pointless remakes. However I got sucked in and readily admit it's a poignant and worthy remake. I'm going to review this myself so I'll shut up for now but - excellent review Crystal!