Carrie (2013)

Carrie_remake_posterThe levee cannot hold, about to be breached by the crushing tide of terrible remakes. “Plug it up” indeed.

Carrie (2013) is another dud, another remake, like its ugly spiritual cousin Prom Night, which features a cast of people too good looking, with choppers far too gleaming, to inhabit any high school on this terrestrial sphere. You know you’re in trouble when the title homely outcast is the lovely Chloë Grace Moretz.

What made the first one so endearing was the terrific Sissy Spacek, unconventional-looking with her eyes widely set apart, believable as a pariah, and a damn terrific actress to boot. Here, Chloë shrugs and slouches her way to “awkwardness” and we aren’t buying in; she’s Belle of the Ball before dropping the hammer.

The kids at Maine’s Ewen High run the gamut from good looking, to even better looking – from the grinning, Calvin Klein cut-out Demetrius Joyette (Degrassi) to model Gabriella Wilde (Endless Love).

And that’s a shame because the beginning is dynamite, straight out of the gate pulse-weakening terror, with sharpened scissors at Carrie’s birth. But things spiral out of control thereafter.

And there is room in the horror world for a Carrie remake, especially as the phenomenon of online bullying has become part of the popular discourse, with even POTUS and the First Lady chiming in. But director Kimberly Peirce drops the ball here, touching on it here with an uploaded video of Carrie’s change room period, but not in a way that’s compelling or interesting.

The religious affectations are all the same, and it’s hard to separate this now from its horror progeny, as lit candles abound in every movie featuring biblical literalists these days.

It’s hard to believe Carrie’s mom here is Julianne Moore, beyond ridiculous and far removed from her stellar work in Short Cuts and Still Alice. Carrie_remake_2013Judy Greer (Mrs Desjardin, pictured) steals the show as the disciplinarian gym teacher, although it’s hard to believe her throwback tough love would pass muster in the crybaby- feelings, first brigade culture of your average high school.

Carrie 2.0 flirts with visual style (after all, someone sunk $30 million into this), with incline camera angles and Evil Dead zoomy-zooms, but it still has a glossiness that’s off-putting. It’s only fitting to quote Stephen King here, re: bad films: “[it] has a big budget; [and] it has a sparkly look that is still somehow cheesy—it’s like a dead rat in a Lucite block.”

Paul Kael called the original, “lyrical.” With Carrie 2013, don’t expect sewing needle-sharp dialogue that you’d get from say, a high school standout film like Election.

*1/2 (out of 5)

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