If you walk into the theater to see “Carrie” (2013) with the idea that the 21st century would convert the story into a new-age masterpiece, you might be in for a rough night.
However, if you settle into your seat with the expectation that it’ll be a ridiculous remake as my friend and I did last week (or, even better, if you go in with no expectations at all), you will be guaranteed a good time.
I will admit that my friend and I may share a sense of humor that some would deem slightly peculiar, since we tend to find parts of the original “Carrie” (1976) rather hilarious as well (such as the locker room “Plug it up!” scene).
It took a great amount of effort for us to stifle our snickering throughout the entire movie. I won’t reveal too much, but let’s just say that, for example, Carrie (played by actress Chloë Grace Moretz) has a moment of aerial movement at Prom that had me cracking up into the scarf that I was wearing for a straight five minutes.
Honestly, it was astonishing to me that the rest of the audience took the film so seriously. Well, they did, and so on the serious poorly-drawn popcorn scale, “Carrie” (2013) earns a 1 1/2 out of 5.
To be fair, Julianne Moore played the part of the mother well, and Moretz did not disappoint. The downfall of this film was not the result of their performances.
So, what were some of the issues?
Well, the parts of the original “Carrie” (1976) kept in this remake do not seem to capture the same effect as those in the original, and the addition of technology really does not seem to make such a big impact on the film as a whole.
Moving the shower scene with Carrie away from its slot near the opening of the film and removing the steam enveloping the locker room in that scene was a big no-no for me. This is a moment that I respect in the original, and one that I detest in the remake. A scene in the original delicately highlighting the innocence of a budding young woman (and a scene that serves to open up Carrie’s withdrawn world to us) has transformed into nothing more than the drawn-out footage of a girl washing her face, hair and body with an unusual intensity. The original “Carrie” eases into the scene, and is filmed in an almost ethereal way. The remake attempts to recreate this gentle moment, but moves into it so abruptly that it comes off as silly (as in quite a few other parts of the film). The remake took away any real depth that could have been associated with the scene.
Regarding the new-age aspect of the film: yes, those nasty girls in that high school did create a potentially devastating fake profile for Carrie online. However, seeing as Carrie herself did not have an account, she couldn’t have been aware of what any of them were writing about her. Thus, the destructive force of online bullying is an aspect of the film partly left untouched. Really, the main reason that I wanted to watch this film was to see how they would bring social media into play. And here I am now, slightly disappointed.
END OF SPOILERS
As I said before, however, this film can still offer up an enjoyable experience. The portions of the film that are meant to be funny fulfill that goal, and the portions that are not meant to stir up laughter do it anyway (though, I’m not sure how much was intentional and how much wasn’t). Everything depends on the attitude that you, as an audience member, take on as you view this picture.
As such, the film earns a 3 out of 5 on the lighthearted poorly-drawn popcorn scale.
So, in the end, you have the power. It’s up to the audience members to decide whether or not the film can be considered entertaining.
If you have a relatively twisted sense of humor like my friend and I do, please go. You’ll enjoy it, for sure.
If you don’t really see things the way we do, you might want to wait for this film to come out on DVD.