News

MOVIE REVIEW: Updated ‘Carrie’ stays true to the book

MOVIE REVIEW: Updated ‘Carrie’ stays true to the book

'CARRIE' STILL SCARY: Julianne Moore (left), Kimberly Peirce,Chloë Grace Moretz (right) at the "Carrie" premiere. Photo: WENN

By: George Wolf

Back in ’76, Brian De Palma brought Stephen King’s first novel, “Carrie,” to the screen and a terrifying vision of persecution and comeuppance emerged.

But that was almost 25 years before Columbine, and the image of the bullied and confused wreaking bloody revenge at a high school has taken on a different tenor.

That’s no doubt why King’s tale made its way to television in 2002 with a fresh take on the horror.

But things in high school have changed again, and the story of Carrie White takes on particular tragedy in a wired time where another innocent high school girl takes her life almost weekly due to bullying. Perhaps that’s what drew filmmaker Kimberly Pierce, whose “Boys Don’t Cry” also outlines the tragedy that befalls a young woman violently unaccepted for who she is.

In Pierce’s hands, “Carrie” offers more stripped-down drama – none of the scenery chewing of the De Palma original. There’s no humor to be found in the reboot, but realistic performances and updated context give the film enough bite to keep you watching.

Chloe Grace Moretz takes on lead duties as the youngster whose first monthly flow triggers all manner of havoc, from the most unconscionable bullying to telekenetic powers. Oh, and her mom tries to kill her. So, not the blessing those Health Ed books try to say it is.

Moretz has a big prom dress to fill, and though she has always been a reliable talent, her turn here is unconvincing. Sissy Spacek truly was that innocent, a girl so repressed by her religious mother that she had no conscious knowledge of appropriate social behavior. Moretz is a cute, shy girl the mean kids dislike. It’s not the same.

The always exquisite Julianne Moore actually has an even larger task cut out for her.

The role of Margaret White is a juicy one. Even the TV version drew the great Patricia Clarkson to the project. And Moore is characteristically strong, clearly defining role in a terrifying yet almost sympathetic way. But she’s no Piper Laurie.

Laurie brought such vitality and insanity to the role that the prom became almost secondary, and her chemistry with Spacek was eerily perfect.
The supporting cast of high schoolers is fairly unimpressive, though the ever-reliable Judy Greer adds some fresh depth to the role of Carrie’s sympathetic gym teacher.

This “Carrie” is a bit more faithful to the book, and actually delivers a more violent, bloody finale than the original film, which seems to fit with the tensions of today.

The updated context casts a truly saddening shadow over the film, making a major thematic adjustment without even trying. Stephen King wrote a story about hysteria over the dawning of womanhood. But today, the story carries an even darker message. “Carrie” is a cautionary tale about sending your kids to high school.

Recent Headlines

today in Entertainment

REVIEW: Cast keeps ‘Heaven Is for Real’ grounded

This image released by Sony Pictures shows Connor Corum, left, and Greg Kinnear in a scene from "Heaven Is For Real."

Based on the true story described in the best-selling book, the film introduces us to a four year old boy who says he went to heaven.

today in National

Calls for peace at Kansas shooting memorial

kansas

The scene of a hate crime just days ago became the setting for tears, prayers and calls for peace.

today in Local Sports

Amaya tabs Oliver as assistant coach for Bellingham Slam

File Photo: Former Western Washington University guard Rob Oliver. Oliver was named Bellingham Slam assistant coach on April 17th, 2014.

Oliver competed for Western Washington University this past winter and was a member of the 2012-13 Vikings squad which advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Division-II National Championship tournament.

today in National

Obama budget plan would boost U.S. tax revenue, cut deficits

obama

The Congressional Budget Office says the 2015 budget could boost tax revenues while slashing deficits by $1.05 trillion.

today in Sports

Coach K & Duke lose Jabari Parker to the NBA draft 

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski reacts during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Virginia Tech in Durham, N.C., Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Duke won 66-48.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski says in a statement Thursday it was "an honor for us to have him in our program."