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MikePA's Movie Reviews (137)

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Carrie (2013) 
Review: Carrie
1.5/4 stars

Minor spoilers ahead..........

Brian De Palma's Carrie, back in the 70s, was something of a terrific film - scary, tense, engaging, and above all, nuts. This remake directed by Kimberly Pierce is everything that the original was except engaging, scary and tense. It is nuts. Not merely in a positive view, however. It has most of the plot points pinned to the board (only updated to today's use of social media), but it's missing the overall vibe of uneasiness that oozed out of the original film's core. It fails as a horror film pretty badly - completely lacking the suspenseful buildup to the big prom scene and failing to grip and pull us inside the mind of a paranoid, lonely, stressed out teenager whose going through teenage girl hell. Rather than feeling sympathetic for the character and engaged in her story, we're checking our watches in anticipation for the big bloody stuff. But even that doesn't live up to our expectations.

The relationship between Carrie and her mother is so empty of tension, it's almost unbelievable that the original had so much of it. Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore act off one another very well, which is a plus, but the script doesn't give their characters much justice. The talented young Moretz is solid as the title character, while Moore does a good job overacting as Carrie's freakishly religious mother. Her performance provides more laughs and giggles than grips to the arm rest.

It feels like director Kimberly Pierce is playing things too safe here. Yes, this is a Rated-R film, but come on, man, let's see some Rated-R. Take out some of the curse words and CGI blood, this could easily pass for a PG-13 film. Take some chances. Give us something unique. Be daring. Unfortunately, the prom scene is pretty terrible, as Pierce develops it very, very poorly and decides to overwhelm the scene with unattractive CGI. The original film's prom scene was grounded and realistic - therefore enjoyable and memorable. This prom scene is over-the-top with bad CGI. Seriously, we live in an age where movies like Gravity and Life of Pi are being made, and here we're getting CGI that looks like something out of the original Donkey Kong game.

I'll give the film this - the climax between Carrie and her mother was pretty well done. You'll be glued to what you see and you may even cringe once or twice. But otherwise, this is just as careless, lazy, and forgettable as most other horror movie remakes out there.

1.5/4


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