*spoilers for all content mentioned*
2013 has already treated us with some great horror films. As a fan of this genre, I was looking forward to the remake of Carrie based on the Stephen Kind novel. Like most film fans, I adore Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore is a treasure of an actress, and I am quite a fan of Judy Greer. I saw the first trailer and knew it was a film I had to see before the year ends.
Simply put, I really enjoyed this film. Far more than I thought I would. With some new films, I had to shuffle my favourite films of the year so far. Man of Steel still takes the number 1 position, Thor: The Dark World goes to number 2, Pacific Rim rounds out the top 3, with Carrie and Star Trek: Into Darkness taking 4 and 5 respectively. I haven’t had the opportunity to watch 12 Years a Slave, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Wolf of Wall Street, and really look forward to seeing where these will place among the top 10.
Carrie was quite an enjoyable film. The opening scene is a great introduction to Carrie White and understanding where she comes from and how she views the world. The interactions with different characters made her complexity visible to audiences. We see her timid nature in response to the bully Chris Hargensen and the conflicted Sue Snell. We feel uneasy and fear for her.
The scene involving Carrie’s menstrual period was well directed. It was cruel, vicious and slightly disturbing. There was a certain amount of realism in this scene, with not all girls tormenting her and having one or two feel remorse, but at the same time resorting to peer pressure. Kimberly Peirce should be credited for doing justice to a pivotal scene.
The interaction between Carrie and her mother, Margaret White, played out incredibly well. Julianne Moore is an elite actress who produced a mix of terror and disgust for her character, with nothing but respect for her performance. I’m a big fan of villains and antagonists, and had to remind myself in this film that ‘it’s Julianne Moore. We like her.’
The use of technology was a great plot device to modernise the film. It felt natural girls would record the scene. It felt natural that they would distribute it around. Although the fear exists with digital tracing, it wasn’t too much of a stretch that the bullies would upload the video online. I liked this addition and could relate to the position Carrie was placed into. Taunting words will eventually fade out, but soft copy evidence is a different situation.
One puzzling characteristic of Carrie was that she is a surprisingly normal child. Despite being shy and introverted, she is not unlike my friends or peers in many ways. This felt odd considering her upbringing and lack of a general social life.I let this issue slide, since her persistence to become normal may have been a force towards this. It was more intriguing than a general complaint.
An issue I had with the film was that the bullies seem far too determined to ruin Carrie’s life. I understand that these type of issues are present in real life, but the way it was portrayed seemed a tad fake. Chris and her boyfriend, Billy, were psychopaths. They seemed far too concerned to torment and try to murder Carrie, which was a small issue. I had to suspend my disbelief to appreciate this.
Judy Greer is one of my favourite celebrities. Her appearances in various television shows and films show her quirky and fun personality shine. My first experience with this film was discovering she would portray Miss Desjardin, Carrie’s gym teacher. She added some comedic relief, but also the support for Carrie. I think she played the role extremely well and was a very likable character. Her chemistry with Carrie played out in an incredibly real way, as I would expect a teacher to do. She filled out the role of the best friend in authority, and it added to the pleasure. The hardest part of being Carrie is that she never finds solace from school or home. She never has a chance to just relax and be safe. This made Miss Desjardin such an important character.
As far as horror films go, this was not among the scariest or most chilling. The film was more about emotions and understanding the pain of a character. I became surprisingly attached to the lead character, again credit goes to Chloe Grace Moretz under the direction of Kimberly Peirce, and was genuinely concerned with her well-being during the course of the film. Seeing a young girl almost being tortured was difficult to watch, but engaging at the same time.
As mentioned, I enjoyed Carrie far more than I thought I would. I enjoyed Chronicle, which has similar themes and plot points, but found this story more pleasant. With Chronicle, I believe the focus was on the powers and the birth of a villain. Carrie’s strength was the humanity which was made the focus. I’ll give Carrie an 8/10 and look forward to revisiting the film, and relieving a unique emotional experience.
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