Film — 20 October 2013
“Carrie” Goes to Camp

**Piper Laurie voice**

“They’re all going to laugh at you.”

That, sirs and madams, summarizes my reaction to those who dared to remake this classic Brian DePalma film.

The new version was not scary, not memorable, not spooky and certainly not worth over $10 in U.S. currency.  It was a “Lifetime” movie of the week, sans Rob Lowe.

Yet, somehow, it’s on the bubble at 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Allow me, a Stephen King expert if there is one, to break that tie.

Go no further if you don’t want spoilers, but seriously, you do want these spoilers.

1. Mama Drama.

Julianne Moore, gigantic talent that she is, went a little too far in humanizing the woman whom I, and others, firmly believe was the real scary bish in the original.  Instead of the evil, insane and God-fearing harpie who felt she had to kill her daughter to save humanity, Moore approaches the mother as a deeply misguided, troubled but truly loving soul just trying to spare Carrie shame and humiliation.  When Moore meets her ultimate end, you feel sad rather than relieved.  That was the opposite case with Laurie’s manic interpretation.

2.  Scary Carrie?  Nawp.  Chloe Grace Moretz is too cutesy.

No shade intended, but Sissy Spacek is one frightening “Carrie.” She’s got those luminous lost alien eyes, that mouth that never quite closes fully and the otherworldly strangeness you know would never be forgiven or accepted by the popular kids.  Just throwing Chloe into a homemade house dress and teasing her hair with some old Aussie spray ain’t gon’ get it.

sissy

3.  Word to Colin Firth. Was this a period film?

They went too far with the shower scene.  Tooooo far.  The original was unblinking, but in this version, there was more gore in the scene when Carrie gets her period than there is when she goes all Magneto on her pig-blood pouring rivals.  I’ll paint a brief, but vivid picture: Red hand prints on, not one, but two of her co-stars’ clothes,  plus gallons of pink and red on her white towel.  The indication was that the girl was stabbed or attacked by Jaws, rather than undergoing a female rite of passage.

4.  Call James Lipton to come get these anemic actors.

Almost NONE of the supporting characters, from the blonde Abercrombie & Fitch-looking “Sue” to the wicked witch who orchestrated the piggy prank, were good actors.  In fact, they are the ones who really belong on the Lifetime Movie network.  Their innocence, scorn, outrage and everything else all mixed together into a hot mess that wouldn’t be passable in a high school play.  They were far from relate-able, with the exception of the actor who portrayed “Tommy.” Ansel Algort was coming for Chloe in the adorbs category, even when he compared himself to Tim Tebow for escorting the odd-girl-out to prom.  I also loved the gym teacher, as played by Judy Greer.  Wasn’t it just yesterday when she was teen queen “Fern” in “Jawbreaker?”

5. Not so-special-effects. 

Sadly, the benefits of film-making in the age of “Avatar” and “Gravity” didn’t weigh as heavily as you might suspect.  Sure, there was a little more “Final Destination”-level nasty by way of shattered faces, trampled bodies and one exploding car, but honestly, the original telekinetic nightmare still holds up very well in the scare department.  In fact, the only thing that this “Carrie” did manage to achieve was make me super nostalgic for the original.  Pardon me, as I hop into Netflix mode and re-watch Sissy and company doing the damn thing.

 

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