“Carrie” (2013) Directed by Kimberly Peirce
It has been quite a few years since I saw the original “Carrie” starring Sissy Spacek, and I think I’ve only seen it once. I remember it being creepy, but not terrifying. That’s how I’d describe the newest version of this horror classic. Chloë Grace Moretz does a so-so job portraying the isolated and bullied Carrie White, a social pariah at her high school who suffers the brunt of her mother’s extreme religious zeal at home. She is humiliated in the communal shower after gym class one day and all the other girls taunt and laugh at her. One of them takes a video of the incident and posts it on the internet. Carrie’s life at school becomes even more unbearable and she begins to tap into telekinetic powers she previously hadn’t known she possessed. She uses her power to defend herself from her mother and things around Carrie often break or explode when she gets upset.
Feeling guilty about the incident in the shower, Sue Snell, one of the popular girls tells her boyfriend, the star of the lacrosse team, to take Carrie to prom because she knows Carrie likes him. After initially turning him down from fear, Carrie is convinced by a well-meaning gym teacher to accept the boy’s offer to prom. Carrie stands up to her mother for the first time and convinces her to allow her to attend by using her newly acquired skills. She ends up locking her mother in the “prayer closet” normally reserved as a punishment for Carrie. Carrie lets her guard way down when she attends the prom, which makes what happens to her even worse.
A stark contrast from the character of Sue Sell is her popular counterpart Chris Hargensen. Chris is the one who takes the video and posts it online. She is much less apologetic about humiliating Carrie and is suspended from school and banned from the prom for her behavior. It is Chris and her boyfriend who arrange the pig’s blood booby trap at the prom and rig the votes for Prom Queen.
The movie progresses pretty much exactly like the original. Carrie has one night of carefree teenage bliss, only to tragically get covered in about a gallon of pig’s blood as she accepts her crown for Prom Queen. Her rage boils over and her powers explode. She locks everyone in the gym and systematically kills them all with anything she can lift and throw with her mind. She flies, she makes weird telekinesis faces while she tries to look scary and she spares the well-meaning gym teacher. After killing most of her classmates, she sets fire to the gym and runs home to her mother, who she then ends up sort of accidentally killing.
I think the one difference about this movie is the fact that Chris takes a video and posts it online. This movie is a pretty good retelling of the original Sissy horror flick, and it also brings attention to the problem of bullying and online harassment, which is a huge problem in our country right now.