The latest modernization of the Stephen King novel, Carrie (2013), is an entertaining, eerie re-imagining that is truly a heart wrenching tragedy. It’s a great coming of age story with horror overtones, which first appeared on the book shelves in April of 1974 when it became Stephen King's debut novel. Just two years after that the original movie was released, a lackluster TV movie was broadcast in 2002, making this the third film adaption of the book.
But although this new film debuted nearly 40 years after the release of the book, the subject matter that comprises the story of Carrie is as relevant as ever. The themes that the film is based on are nearly timeless and universal, and are pertinent for every generation - bullying, being an outcast, seeking acceptance, jealousy, and envy.
One of the biggest detractors of the movie amongst horror fans is that it’s nearly devoid of the scare factor, there really aren’t many, if any, true chills in this film. Consequently, it’s hard to classify this a true horror movie, even though it has links to the genre, it’s more disturbing and supernatural than true horror. But what Carrie undeniably is, is a true tale of tragedy, and the 2013 version of the story does a great job at showing how heartbreaking the story really is by appealing to your sympathetic nature.
This new version of Carrie has a talented cast led by Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore, and both actresses provide some of their best work. Moore is the real treat of the film as Carrie’s mother, Margaret White. She gives a disturbingly dark performance, much of the tension and nearly all of the chills, whilst adding to you sympathy for her daughter. Moretz continues to extend her resume with another very strong performance. She breathes life into Carrie, and makes her feel very real to the audience, allowing us to feel for her on her doomed journey.
Although Carrie is relatively slow paced, and doesn’t offer a lot of action before the climax, it does a great job in creating tension and anticipation which keeps you intrigued throughout. However, this is a movie that would always be judged by 'the end' because Carrie has one of the most famous climaxes in cinematic history. It's likely that even if you have never seen the original then you are probably familiar with it, and the iconic image from that scene, so this version had to get that right if nothing else. Thankfully it does, magnificently so. This sets up the final act which is worthy, classic, and extraordinary. When Carrie is unleashed the devastation is grand. It lives up to the original in every way and outdoes it in others.
With every remake it will always draw comparisons, and fans of the original are likely to pre-judge and assume a new version can never be as good. If you love the original and go in with an open mind here you are likely to be surprised, even the most hard core of fans of the 1976 movie may just find that there are elements that work better in the 2013 version. However, if you've never read the book or seen the original in its entirety then you can't fail to find this extremely enjoyable.
Da’Mon is a writer and artist, a graduate of Coppin State University and an avid, life-long lover of film. Da'Mon has been actively writing movie reviews since 2011. Check out more of his work at Examiner.com, where he has published over 400 reviews. Visit his Blog and follow him on Twitter.