Carrie (2013) – Review

New contributor Barney reviews 2013’s Carrie.


Allow me to begin by stating that, as with any film adapted from a book more than once, Kimberley Pierce’s Carrie is not a remake.  It is a re-adaptation of a 1974 novel by Stephen King.  Incidentally his first published novel.  Anyone over the age of 25 who has not been living under a rock will be familiar with Brian DePalma’s 1976 adaptation, and will no doubt remember it fondly.


I mean, who can forget the eternally creepy-looking Sissy Spacek’s eyes in the pivotal destruction scene? And, whilst the film was slightly campy and cheesy to our 21st century sensibilities, there is no denying that it was a bloody good film!

However, is the newest adaptation actually any good?


In an age where cyber-bullying is rampant, and we are constantly being subjected to the tragic stories of teenagers taking their own lives because of it, not only is the film good, it is also relevant.  We are shown the childish, cruel and downright evil torments that our protagonist, Carrie White, is forced to endure on a regular basis, and when she finally exacts her rather brutal revenge, we are actually rooting for her.  She really is the ideal representation of the Anti-Hero.

The film isn’t perfect.  I freely admit that it could have been better.  The overt use of CGI was a little jarring, and frankly, the ‘superhero’ antics in the climactic scenes were unnecessary and just plain silly.  I half expected Charles Xavier to come hovering in and saying ‘You’re a wizard, Carrie’ or whatever the protocol is in these scenarios.


One thing some reviews have been uppity about, and which I will defend, is the casting of Chloe Grace Moretz in the lead role.  Yes, she’s beautiful, but she is also a damned good actor.  And anyone who has read the novel will know that Carrie is not described as unattractive and is quite the opposite, in fact.  But Miss Moretz plays the socially inept, shrinking-violet daughter of a religious fanatic with aplomb.

Another actor that deserves mention here is Julianne Moore as the self-harming, overprotective and VERY religious mother of Carrie, Margaret White.  Her performance is truly chilling, although I must admit to laughing at one of her rather brutal actions upon Carrie’s return home from school after her ‘womanly incident’ in the shower.


Admittedly this film does borrow heavily from the ’76 adaptation, even lifting some dialogue directly, but it certainly stands up as a film in its own rights.  And isn’t that what we expect from a film which happens to be the third filmed adaptation of a cult classic novel?

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