It seems that the folks in Hollywood have finally run out of original ideas. Either that or they’re under pressure to make a box office hit with as little effort as possible and are thus following current fashion trends and trying to bring decades pre-dating the internet, back. In our not too distant future Robocop with receive the make-over treatment, Poltergeist too is to be re-imagined by Pulitzer-prize winning screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), which brings me to Carrie.
In 1976 a fresh faced Sissy Spacek went all exorcist on audiences and created one of the most iconic (and nightmarish) Prom films of all time. It was the first time anything written by Stephen King was seen on the big screen and launched the careers of many great film actors, from John Travolta to 80s genre extraordinaire Nancy Allen. In many many ways the film is a classic, which begs the question; why would you try to remake it?
Veteran child actress Chloë Grace Moretz now plays Carrie with her abusive mother played by the usually stunning Julianne Moore. The pair are incredibly talented but really bring nothing new to the roles. However the film did produce some fine performances from newcomers such as Gabriella Wilde, a former fish vampire on Doctor Who, and Ansel Elgort, who plays a fine nice-guy football star in this, his first film. The emphasis of the film is less about the dangers of believing verbatim the writings in the Bible and more don’t-bully-the-weird-kid-at-school-or-they-might-develop-telekinetic-powers-and-kill-you-horribly. America seemingly has a huge bullying problem at the moment (if day-time television is anything to go by) and perhaps some executive in his office in Hollywood thought a remake of Carrie would be a great lesson for new audiences.
The build up of tension in the film is laughably weak and the pay-off not nearly gruesome enough. Boys Don’t Cry director Kimberly Peirce tread the line between serious horror film and B-grade homage a little too carefully and what we’re left with is a film that ought to make us whoop and cheer but leaves audiences with a dissatisfied taste in their mouths. The music should have down more, we should have been sunk right down into our seats when we couldn’t wait any longer for the pigs-blood to hit the proverbial fan. If you have seen the original, don’t waste your money seeing this one too, in a single word it is entirely unnecessary.
Carrie is in Australian cinemas from 28 November through Sony Pictures.