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Amongst the many actors and actresses who I love seeing in films or television shows, is Chloe Moretz. Though mostly known for being the foul-mouthed Hit Girl in Kick Ass, and often being the little girl who seems more mature than how we usually picture 16-year-olds, in this film we are reminded that as much as she has the ability to be strong, ferocious, and cunning, at the same time, as shown in part in Kick-Ass 2, she is still very much a young girl. Which leads to why Carrie perhaps was the perfect role for her, for it seems to continue to show her evolution as an actress and show she isn’t a one trick pony.
However, I would be doing a disservice to the movie if I didn’t mention her co-stars who really help push Carrie into a figure who you not only feel sympathy for but want to see get revenge. First I must mention Julianne Moore who plays Margaret White, Carrie’s mother, who is a haunting presence with intense eyes and intense beliefs, which makes her the parent you would only wish on enemies. Also, I must mention Portia Doubleday as school bully Chris. She takes on the very familiar role of the popular girl who bullies a helpless girl and gives it new life. Then, there is Gabrielle Wilde, as the sort of innocent, and seeking redemption Sue; Judy Greer as Miss Desjardin, the school gym teacher who is one of the few, and first, to stick up for Chloe; and then there is Ansel Elgort who plays Tommy, the boy who Carrie gets a crush on, is Sue’s boyfriend, and is the one who takes her to that fateful prom.
Now, I’m sure most of you know the story since pretty much the trailer gives it away. A young quiet girl has a religious zealot for a mother and finds herself constantly bullied at school. One incident though begins to push her too far and with this, she has an almost X-Men like awakening in which powers manifest. At first, she is confused, then intrigued, but as life gets harder and people become more difficult to deal with, she stops being the victim to circumstances, largely out of her control and decides to get revenge on those who have long been hurting her. Needless to say, it is an interesting movie to release on Spirit Day.
As for praise when it comes to this film, though highly cliché to say, I must admit that the film was a bit intense, but it is all thanks to Julianne Moore’s performance. Her work as Margaret White is terrifying to the point where she could be the mother of all horror icons, the one who nurtured them in such a way that no wonder they all became twisted, that is how good she is. Her intensity, her use of religious madness, and the gruesomeness of the acts she commits against herself and Carrie, make your heart race and sometimes makes you want to turn your head due to the things she does. As for Chloe Moretz, she continues what we saw in Kick-Ass 2, which is showing that as much as she is capable of being bad-ass, she can also play soft, someone you can sympathize with, even imagine in a romance movie. And ultimately I feel that those who don’t know the story may even have hope that all would work out in the end for her. Then with Portia Doubleday’s Chris, I feel she breaks the mold when it comes to what we think of when it comes to teenaged female villains. For a long time, the standard has been based on Mean Girls, Regina George specifically, but I feel Portia has found a way to set a new precedent of the type of bully you love to hate. Lastly, I must mention that one of the main things this remake benefits from is the special effects. Between Chloe’s powers and the death of some characters, you see some of the things which help justify the remake past making money.
But, no movie is without fault. First and foremost, the amount of powers displayed by Carrie made me think I was watching a long introduction of a new X-Men character or an alternate Jean Grey backstory. How often, and how open, she was with using telekinesis and studying it made it so that when it came to the big finish, it didn’t seem as grand as it did in the original movie. Also, as much as I love Moore’s performance, it can be divisive due to it possibly being seen as over the top, and maybe clichéd considering she is a Christian who twists the bible to fit her sense of morality. But probably my biggest issue was the whole revenge plot which came from almost getting suspended and not getting to go to prom. It seems so ridiculous and juvenile that though you are willing to go with it, at the same time as you see the effort put into the revenge, you can’t help but roll your eyes.
Overall: Worth Seeing
Those who saw the original only have reason to see this due to the special effects you wish the original had and because Moore definitely goes further than the original mom. As for newcomers, though not the best horror or thriller out there, the performances and gore are sure to entertain you and give you something to talk about. However, I don’t know if this is the type of film I would rush to see since it is good but certainly doesn’t have the makings of a classic. Still, I think it made for a nice way to spend a little more than an hour and a half.