Review: Carrie brings down prom night and everything else with it

Poor Carrie White, she just wanted to be like everyone else. Sometimes it’s okay to be a little different though, something the film struggles with from the get-go. Kimberly Peirce’s take on Stephen King’s classic novel of the same name tries much to hard to please the wrong audience and ends up being a missed opportunity. Carrie is a horror tale about Carrie White, a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother, who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.

The characters really bugged me on this one. They were so one-dimensional and dull that it was almost like they were pulled straight out of a middle-of-the-road horror flick that we’ve all seen a dozen times. Aside from both Julianne Moore and Chloe Moretz, there was absolutely no reason to care about any of the characters. It’s like they were just sort of there taking up space and time until the final act. Moretz, who we all knew was going to be great, definitely did her best to bring Carrie White to life and was easily one of the only shining lights in the film. Moore was also fantastic, again… no surprises here, and she did an amazing job of playing a batshit crazy mother. I actually thought she was the scariest element of the film. Other than that though, everyone else was just so-so.

While the characters were basically cardboard and the film itself lacked any real heart and soul, the CGI absolutely killed any momentum that it had going its way. We all showed up for prom night, right? So if we get one hell of an unforgettable final act where Carrie decides to go ape-shit on everyone, then maybe, just maybe we can forgive everything leading up to it. A lot of horror films are sub-par until an amazing finish that brings a smile to our horror loving faces, and we’re willing to look past its flaws because of it. Well, this one doesn’t do that. Not even close. What starts out very promising was completely ruined by an overuse of flying CGI objects. I totally get it; it’s not easy making a film like Carrie without CGI, but would it kill you to find a practical way to make some of it work? The film’s only real chance at making horror fans fall in love with it was its finale, and unfortunately it all comes crashing down along with the prom. Moretz was cool, and she looked good soaked in blood, everything else was just half assed.

I can’t help but feel like Peirce missed a huge opportunity here, and it’s unfortunate because the story itself has so much potential. I was under the impression that this was going to be a more faithful adaptation of King’s work, but it didn’t even come close. Hell, it didn’t even try. I hope that if we ever see someone brave enough to tackle this iconic character again that they pull from the pages of King’s brilliant novel instead of looking at what came before it like Brian De Palma’s 1976 classic.

2/5

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If you are ever attacked by a gorilla just sit back and relax while you enjoy the once in a life time feeling of your limbs being ripped off.

22 thoughts on “Review: Carrie brings down prom night and everything else with it

  1. Ryan, what are you talking about? There’s nothing scarier in a horror film than CGI fire!! 🙂

    I was actually considering seeing this sometime this week. I doubt I will now. Good review!

  2. Oh, bummer. I was also under the impression that it was going to be more faithful to King’s novel, which was pretty much the only reason I was looking forward to seeing it. I love the De Palma version, but I’ve always wanted to see a more direct adaptation of the book, which is one of my all-time favorite horror novels. Looks like I’ll be skipping this one!

    1. Yea, I absolutely loved the novel as well and was disappointed to find out they didn’t stay faithful to the novel as much as they said they were going to. Definitely wait to check it out, that’s for sure.

  3. With the money it takes to make frame-by-frame CGI they could have easily set up practical effects for a fraction of the price. It just takes a little more (okay a lot more) brainwork to get everything timed and lined up right with practical effects – but isn’t that a directors job? Instead of handing everything over to ILM and saying, I want stuff flying around so it looks scary a director should do his or her job.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, man. Especially when you look at an earlier remake this year in Evil Dead which was shot using almost nothing but practical effects. The use of CGI here hurt a movie that was already going down hill though. Oh well, you win some you lose some!

  4. ;( NOOOO! I keep hearing bad things about this, and about how disappointing it is and all that.

    I was really hoping to see something fresh, new and closer to the book.

    Pity is disappointed, I know you were hoping for something good!

  5. I was anticipating your review all weekend, and I must say- I’m glad you feel the same way.. I walked in with so many- probably too many expectations for this film.. every movie poster and teaser I saw made me more impatient to see it.. then I walked out just feeling ‘meh’ about the whole thing. Moretz and Moore were great but neither one really shined, in my opinion. I also agree on all of the other characters, they’re vapor! I wanted to like Sue but even she seemed flat and borderline flaky at times. Thanks for your review Ryan! I love your blog, keep up the awesome work!!

    1. Thanks Whitney! You’re right, ‘meh’ sums this one up perfectly. I also went in with high expectations and wanted to believe they could truly make a solid remake. Unfortunately this one just falls under the category of remakes that they should have just left alone.

  6. I didn’t see this. I’m not sure I’ll bother. I thought the casting was ridiculous. It’s not very believable to me that a beautiful young girl with pretty hair and big old bambi eyes would be relentlessly teased to the point that she murders her graduating class.
    I don’t know, Sissy Spacek was Carrie. Chloe Mortez is the girl that throws tampons at her.

    1. That’s a great point and one of the major concerns a lot of people had with the flick from the get-go. I think they ultimately wanted some star appeal to get people in the seats despite how believable Moretz was for the role. That being said, Moretz was the least of the films problems.

  7. Ryan, after finally watching the original and hating it, I decided to go check this one out, and I actually thought the remake was pretty good – at least compared to the original.

    So much of the original was choppy and unclear due to bad execution, but the remake rectified most of those mistakes. I agree that most of the characters were one dimensional, but I actually think that’s due to the content of the novel.

    I also agree with you it’d be awesome to get a version of this based on different material from the original film.

    We’ve been disagreeing a lot lately. Don’t unfollow me! lol. I need to catch up with some of your recent entries I haven’t checked out yet. Will try to soon.

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