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.