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« Oscar Preview Time: The Tentative Release Dates | Main | Four Reasons Why Jurassic Park's Visuals Still Amaze »
Saturday
Apr062013

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Carrie 2013"

If you remake Carrie they're all going to laugh at you!

the Mean Girls of Thomas Ewen Consolidated High School.

Or, if not laugh, than shake their heads in annoyance that you've dared to keep company with a 70s classic. I've never disguised or hedged my opinion here. I think Carrie (1976) is a GREAT motion picture. Not just a good one. Since it can't really be improved upon (specifically in the performance arena since Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie both did risky revelatory Oscar worthy work) there's no reason to remake it. Unless of course you have a fresh take on it, which is the only reason to ever remake anything that's great to begin with.

The teaser which featured merely voiceover about the telekinetic PMSing high school misfit over a zoom in on Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie White as Firestarter was a hit as teasers often are (leave them wanting more!) but the new trailer basically says "hey, I'm just the same as the old Carrie only with actors you kids know. Look, it's all the famous scenes including the climax. Come see me in October!"

Pray for forgiveness Julianne! You're risking ANOTHER iconic do over?!

Having clearly stated my bias -- I'm a "no" ahead of time on principle -- let's break it down anyway after the jump with as much of an open mind as I can muster on this one.

YES

  • Though I think it a stupid film to remake, I'm a Julianne Moore completist. When I told Julianne this in person a few years ago she laughed and said "You've seen some bad movies then!" So I'll be there for her as I always am though maybe she was prematurely warning me about this one before she even knew she was making it?
  • Speaking of Julianne as Margaret White, I kind of love the trailer edit of her banging her head against the closet door where she's locked her daughter up. It's creepy in a mundane way which is a good sign.
  • I even like the door cracking though I fear on the big screen it will be obviously CGI when the practical effect of a door suddenly splitting in the middle would be way scarier. 
  • Judy Greer in the Betty Buckley role? This is totally acceptable. 
  • Kimberly Peirce's previous pictures, the totally excellent Boys Don't Cry and the semi-good Stop Loss are strong enough as a twofer to demand a little goodwill going in. 

Smirk Forthcoming. Carrie is a smidge delighted rather than all-terrified of her powers this time.

NO

  • The last time Julianne Moore took on someone else's iconic role (Jodie Foster's) it didn't turn out so well. It's a shame she's trying this again as she's a unique enough film star to have her own iconic roles and it's annoying that they keep trying to give her other people's.
  • I can't imagine that the 2013 film will be as daring as the 1976 film in terms of its sexual and therefore metaphoric content. The cinema has regressed a lot when it comes to sexuality and nudity and all of that. Complicating matters: Sixteen-year-old Chloe Moretz in the shower is NEVER going to be as vulnerable as twenty-seven year old Sissy Spacek in the shower (nor should she be). Still, Sissy's total emotional, psycho-sexual, and physical vulnerability was the whole unsettling foundation of the original thanks to that sick-making "plug it up! plug it up!" title sequence. And what kind of mood will the new Carrie be able to muster without an opening sequence that bold?
  • I get beat up about this all the time in the comments but I swear my aversion to Chloe Moretz in this role (Errr, I guess she's going by Chloe Grace Moretz again? Make up your mind, girl) is NOT due to my aversion to Chloe Moretz in general. See, I'd totally buy her as Carrie's arch-nemesis Chris "eat shit" Hargensen (Nancy Allen in the original, Portia Doubleday in the remake) but as tiny fragile awkward shy Carrie White? When Chloe's screen persona is the polar opposite of all of these attributes and her previous screen roles laugh at the very suggestion of these weaknesses? It's just such weird casting no matter how big of a draw she is. (Or isn't. She's famous but still untested as a headliner and even this film won't truly test her bankability because it's Carrie as Famous Brand that sells tickets.)


 

MAYBE SO

  • HOWEVER --  and here's why I show the remake some good will despite the uninspiring paint by numbers "all the famous scenes!" trailer -- IF the casting of Moretz is part and parcel of a perverse and fresh take on the story and role wherein a young teenager's conversion to massacre monster is treated as subversive destiny rather than a sad "look what became of her?!" tragedy like the original Carrie (1976) or that classic Pearl Jam "Jeremy" video, then I'll be interested if grossed out while watching it. See, I totally buy the Chloe Moretz I'm seeing once she's killing people. I love the car stopping bit -- which looks endearing fake in the original film but filmed differently this time -- and especially the tilt of Chloe's shoulders when she coopts destructive fire as flattering backlight. 
  • In other words reinterpret or go home; the original still holds up in 2013. 

 

Are you a YES, NO or MAYBE SO? Tell us why in the comments. 

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    OMG ! you've the creaziest thought ever, as you tend to remake this film.

Reader Comments (63)

Hmmm, definitely no here. I border on indifferent/dislike with CGM. And I'm not quite the Julianne completist that you are. But you hit the big point right on the head for me: the original can't be improved upon. Why not just TRY for an entirely new, original film?

This reminds me of Gus Van Sant's 1998 Psycho remake. And like that film, I can't wait for it to come and go and be generally disregarded, and (nearly) forgotten.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

the trailer is bad, it just is...

how often a bad trailer ends up being a good movie? -> very rarely.

The number 1 problem is, as millions on the Internet have already mentioned:

Chloe looks too self-aware. Almost embarrassingly self-aware. Even for a non-Carrie.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

I'm a Maybe So on this one. Here's what peaks my interest. Having actual teenagers as opposed to actors nearing 30 in the High School roles. As much as I love Sissy Spacek ADN think she as amazing as Carrie, I never bought that she was in High School. Thenagain, I never bougth that anyone in that cast was in High School. It's still a great movie, but I really want to ser what can be done with an actual teenage cast of actors who are experiencing those vulnerabilities rather than digging back and remembering them. I think that will make the performances interesting this time around, especially if Kimberly Pierce is going for something less campy and more gritty than the 1976 movie (which is very campy, and darn proud of it, which is why I think it's brilliant). As for the trailer, let's face it, familiarity sells. Why are we so surprised that it's selling so many of the same plot points? I'm still curious to see what the movie does with those plot points....

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

i don't think this review is finished until somebody calls carrie - 1 (207) 404-2604 - and tells us what she has to say...

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpar3182

Interesting work. Thank you for writing.From a fellow writer of film.
For interest please see my blog address below. Thank you.
http://dvdcolumnbydavid.blogspot.ca/

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I think the 76 version and it's lead performances are iconic in the annals of film and horror in general,this looks like the omen remake in 2006 and moretz is off although i do like the track that plays in the final 1 min of the trailer.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark

I will probably see it for the same reason you will. I always end up falling in love with actresses from my home state (Julianne Moore, Ava Gardner, Jennifer Ehle, Pam Grier, etc. - except Evan Rachel Wood - I can't get behind her for some reason). North Carolinians have talent!

You should really do one of these for the new Gatsby trailer. It is too beautiful to be believed.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

this is not a trailer, i's a summary of the movie. What's the point?

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

I'm a no. As I am on most remakes.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Has there ever been a good remake of Carrie? There have been four or five so far, I think, and they were all duds. This remake has a more A-list cast than the others, but still . . .
A big problem with updating Carrie to the modern age is the original film is so very 70s in its mores (I mean this in a good way; it's very 70s in the same way Swing Time is very 30s) that updating it will mean tossing out large parts of what made the original great. I agree with you, Nathaniel, for this to work it will have to be a complete re-imaging of the source material.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

no because what need to pay to see the movie when the trailer tells all the story? Chloe is too hot and her wig is ugly.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterfrench girl

Doesn't that trailer alone qualify as a remake already?

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

I'm a "NO".

I don't mind Moretz but even she doesn't seem to be invested in this character/her supposed awkwardness. I know it's just a trailer, but it's a terrible one.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Psycho, Hannibal, Carrie

Julianne Moore just can't stay away from mantling iconic horror sequels or remakes.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJesper L

Julianne Moore looks like she'll be great, as always, but I'm pretty much a no on this. Chloe looks bad. And they showed the whole movie in the trailer. Where's the fun in that, even if most people already know the plot?

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I'm a yes because even if it's awful I'll end up seeing it out of curiosity.
and the trailler looks sort of (sort of) interesting. although yes, chloe seems too self-aware, like she can't play plain shyness/weirdness and insists on trying to be cute and wanting us to pity her. (but of course this is just a trailer)

btw, wasn't megan hilty supposed to be on this? I tried finding news on why she dropped out (and what was her part) but could not find any.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

I love that Nathaniel's like "Chloe would be awesome as a bitch!"

Can you imagine Almodovar making his English language debut with a film starring Zellweger, Swank, Moretz and Clint Eastwood? His head might explode.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Pointless remake, terrible trailer (which is a shame since the teaser was quite fantastic). And we already have had the displeasure to see C.G.M. awkwardly as a 70s-era teenager in Dark Shadows. Next.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Not really a fan of the original, not a fan of horror films in general (especially modern ones), and definitely not a fan of remakes.

I'll pass.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

What they should have done is made the musical stage version into a film. Now that would have been well worth my hard-earned coins.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

No interest in seeing this remake. There is no way the performances can. eclipse
the brilliance of Spacek and Laurie.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark

1976's Carrie already had too much going on (in a good way). I'm not sure it's possible to do Carrie in 2013 without being a trainwreck. Piper Laurie was already playing it both as comedy and horror. It was already a discordant mix of "American Graffiti" and "Rosemary's Baby." It was already self-aware and campy and emphatically it's own thing, in 1976!

So what are you going to in 2013? Play it for real? Play it as if 1976 had played it for real? No, there's nothing you can do! Remake "Firestarter" or "Christine" or "Pet Semetery," but not this, anything but this.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Mason

Troy -- ABSOLUTELY. ohmygod but i love Margaret White's climactic solo ""When There's No One"

April 6, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

No. I'll save the two hours for a new story. The original was too brilliant. Is Piper Laurie still with us? I remember her in a strange adaptation of "Tim" with Mel Gibson.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

It has Julianne Moore, so I'm going, even if it's terrible. This brings up a complaint I have with the original though (which was awesome) - why is it so hard to make a truly ugly, awkward teenager? There's a few in every high school class. I don't understand why the look of an unpopular girl is hard to capture in these films.

With that said, Piper Laurie was gloriously over the top in the original, and I love that Julianne seems a bit more terrified and almost lost here. Smart direction to take that character. Maybe she will outshine the other nonsense. (Moretz was wildly miscast. Doesn't this scream for Ronan? Moretz could have that Mormonfest Host movie.)

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

um no, I just saw the trailer. lol what's the point?

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

No, no, absolutely no, and I'm not even a fan of the original. Moretz - not a favorite of mine, admittedly - would be my absolute last choice of major under-20 actresses for this part. Either Fanning would be better; Abigail Breslin would be better. A friend of mine went so far as to suggest that Quvenzhane Wallis would be better, and he was only mostly joking.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTim

I agree with everything you have said here. I am a no.

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

Netflix. Maybe.

April 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

@ Tyler

both Julianne Moore and Jennifer Ehle have an incredibly international background, it's funny that you should claim them as North Carolinians, plus both have a non-American mother. Julianne sounds like she's from Boston and Jennifer often slips in English-sounding words. I'm in a similar position and I don't have that useless sense of belonging and I truly doubt these smart and deeply intelligent women do.

April 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

LOL that was terrible. I was at least expecting another "Julianne Moore disastrous thriller/horror flick; aka my own guilty pleasure" but ¡Moretz ruins even THAT possibility! c'mon gurrrl

April 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdeerleonard.

btw, i'm going to get serious now but..i'm not a fan of remakes, i don't tend to find them necessary at all. Sometimes, though, I appreciate them because they try to add something new to the original (not even dare to say that the make a better one), see Wright's Karenina or the Coens' Ladykillers, True Grit. Ok, I get that and sometimes (just sometimes) I even enjoy them...But seriously, what's the point of this mess when the only "upgrade" from the original (besides a much worse Carrie) seems to be that....that...we have Iphones now? No, just NO

April 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdeerleonard.

I say Yes.
This isn't a remake, it's a re-imagination of modern day bullying. Kimberley Peirce is trying to stay true to the novel, unlike the original film. Chloe is not "too hot" for the role, I think she's perfect. Yes, from the way she looks, she differs from the way Carrie was described in the novel, but, what director would have a casting call for "ugly people"? Sissy Spacek was 26 when she was casted as Carrie, Moretz is 15; so for those of you who are saying she's "too young" for the role, think again - it's only a 2 year difference.

And since a majority of people know what the story of Carrie is about, why are you all complaining about the trailer? Are they just going to show Chloe screaming in the closet the entire time? We all have to remember that Kimberley Peirce is the one who directed "Boys Don't Cry" and "Stop Loss"; both box office and critic success'. Carrie is a must watch on my list.

April 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenny York

I'm going to see it and hoot at the screen. It looks like a total misfire of Carrie 2: The Rage proportions. It won't be at total disaster like the Broadway musical but might be a dull disappointment like the Off-Broadway revival of the musical. I can't get past Julianne Moore banging her head into walls. Really? That's your shocking "she's not right" metaphor for Margaret White?

As for Chloe Moretz, I think she's a very talented young actor. She really hasn't been asked to do heavy lifting in a vulnerable role yet. The closest was the remake of Let the Right One In and there you're supposed to doubt the sincerity of the young girl who randomly shows up in the middle of the night and asks for help.

It's not that Moretz can't play the victim--I get so much more from the Kick-Ass 2 trailer with the cheerleading tryouts and the meeting with the counselor than I do in the Carrie remake trailer. It's that anyone shoved into this role after Sissy Spacek slayed it is going to look too strong to be believable.

I honestly think the only way they could have cast this to avoid the comparisons would have been to actually take King's lead and cast an overweight and awkward looking girl in the lead. Painting purple lips on Chloe Moretz doesn't make her any less attractive like filming Sissy Spacek without a lick of beauty makeup on her face. I mean, look at that screenshot at the desk. They contoured her face--forehead, cheekbones, and especially the nose--to look prettier and more innocent when a blank canvas compared to too-thick makeup on the other girls would have been more effective.

April 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

I WAS a Yes just for Julianne Moore's performance in the beginning of the trailer. And Chloe Moretz looked good there for a while (and I maintain that she is an interesting, possibly great choice for the role even though Saiorse Ronan would have been better), but about half-way through I detected some... uneasiness with the character that seemed all on her part, NOT on Carrie's part. Yes, she does look a little too self-aware. This might not be a problem in the film as a whole, but it was enough to make me only a Maybe So. Time (and the reviews) will tell.

April 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

I had my doubts when the film was announced but this trailer makes me excited.

Re Chloe Moretz, I agree that she's too pretty/popular etc to be believable, but I'm all hoping that we're all thinking of this in the same way as we did when Michelle Pfeiffer was cast in "Frankie and Johnny" in the role originated by Kathy Bates....yet she surprised everyone (including Bates) with her original take on the character

April 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Richard -- I can't believe you just compared Moretz to Pfeiffer at the Film Experience, of all places :)

April 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJan

Jenny, if you think this is going to be more faithful to the novel, then why is the trailer copying directly from De Palma's film?

April 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Jenny, if you think this is going to be a more faithful adaptation of the novel, then why is the trailer Xeroxing De Palma's film?

April 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

@Jan @Rochard,

Moretz really DOES look like Pfeiffer, they could be mother and daughter, I am glad someone else noticed this too in that vampire movie

I am a definite NO, on this one, but like the homocelebratory/homophobic Enders Game, I will happily spread this one around for free to others who don't wanna spend 10 bucks AND 90 minutes of their life.

Moretz is absolutely HORRIBLE for the role, it's not that she's too pretty, but she's ENTIRELY TOO GLOSSY for this role. She's believable as a mean queen bee, which why Dirty Sexy Money was a good series for her.
She was just as horrible in Let the right one in, and that Cody kid too. They completely disneyfied that film, and made it a run-of-the-mill movie.

And while it's great that teens are played by teens and NOT by 30 year olds, but then PICK TEENS THAT LOOK LIKE TEENS and NOT 10 years older!

Moretz, aside from her glossy/covergirl face, is WAY too busty and voluptuous to play a believable Carrie.

Some remakes are better than the original, invasion of the Bodysnatchers, with Sutherland comes to mind. But this is not gonna be one of them.

April 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCrashTestSmartie

It is a major mistake to remake this movie. There is absolutely no way to improve the original.

April 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

DePalma' s"Carrie" is classic horror movie with two great performances Spacek and Laurie. The new movie does have Julianne Moore as the mother- but the girl playing Carrie looks too pretty even before her prom make over- so then what is the point? The trailer also had some many shots of Carrie's power that instead of destroying the town she should join the X Men.

April 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Here is my problem with calling this a remake rather than a readaptation (for all those who think people calling it a readaptation .)

1. This makes the assumption that everything will be like the original movie, so everyone who calls this a remake obviously hasn't read the book. Chloe's Carrie has to be like Sissy Spacek's Carrie, and Julianne Moore would have to be like Piper's "Mother." Because people have seen the original movie, they make this assumption in their mind that Sissy Spacek acted as Carrie perfectly (which she did act well, but I have problems with how they made her in the movie), and that's why they have a problem with Chloe's carrie because she doesn't act fragile or mouse-like (when she actually wasn't COMPLETELY like that in the book. She was actually very angry, cursed quite a bit, and hated more than loved her mother and tormentors) Oh course Chloe isn't going to act like Sissy Spacek. She's going to act like Carrie. Why do you think she seems to yell and cruelly laugh in the trailer?
2.For those who say this trailer shows the entire movie, what reference are you going by: the movie or the book? Because the original movie was an hour and a half, but this movie is supposed to be 2 hours.
3.At the end of the day, this movie has already lost. Even if it turns out better than the original movie, haters will tear it apart for even daring to challenge the great (yet only managed to create the depth of a horror movie, not a original book-to-movie) Carrie.

May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea Madison

I'm a yes on this one. First of all, this film, just like the 1976 film is based non the novel, so this film should not even be compared to the film from 1976. Second, I don't think Its fair to judge the entire film based on a 2 min trailer. Third, yes the trailer shows the main and Important parts, but again, it's based on the novel and if you haven't read the book or even seen the 1976 film, you have no room to judge. Fourth, We all know her mom is a crazy lunatic that locks her daughter up, We all know that Carrie has telekinesis, we all know Tommy takes her to the prom, we all know she gets pigs blood on her, we all know she kills everyone e...this shouldn't be surprising or giving away anything. Fifth, because I am a fan of the book and the 1976 film, I'm going to see it....all for that reason. To me, it brings back memories of the first page when I read the book and my haunting reaction to Carrie in the locker room scene. I may love or I may hate it. The point is I'm going to watch it and give it a try!

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJlh85

I am a huge Carrie fan and I even wrote my own remake of Carrie on Fanon Wiki. I will see this movie twice, however I am aware of the lies. This bugs the shit out of me. Everyone on set says this movie will be more faithful to the book. "We're taking pieces of the book and chopping it down", "This is less a remake of the original film and more of a re-adaption of the original text", etc. BULLSHIT! I saw the trailer and read a basic synopsis. It's a re-cycling of the original two movie adaptions (more so the first film). Nothing that's been done in the book that hasn't been done in the first two adaptions is in this movie. I know all about the book, therefore I know the differences from the book to the movie. There's so many scenes in the book that have never been in either Carrie films, and I know they won't be in this one. The director of this film is a liar! If you wanna see a new and improved Carrie film adaption, read mine. Just go to "Articles by Nutball5000" (That's my screen name) on Fanon Wiki. On this page, there is a list of my 24 movie articles. One of them is Carrie. Read it!

June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJordan Pressler

I am a horror movie expert and Carrie is one of my favorites. I saw the first two film adaptions and the sequel to the original film. I also know all about the book, thus I know the differences in scenes, characters, etc from the book to the movies. I'm definitely seeing this new remake twice.

June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJordan Pressler

The only thing I'm really hating on in this movie is Zoe Belkin playing Tina Blake. This always crawls at me because Tina Blake is a mean-spirited, perky bully who criminally harasses Carrie, along with her bestie, Chris. Zoe Belkin is a little Canadian girl who is way too "good girl" of an actress to play Tina. Not to mention he gets murdered in Carrie's rampage. Zoe should stick to her Teen Nick stuff, such as getting a larger role on Degrassi. Horror moviesare not for her.

June 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJordan Pressler

Chloe Moretz is not the best choice to play Carrie. The only reason she was picked to play Carrie was becase she's young, fresh and has experience with horror films, such as playing a killer vampire in Let Me In. I get it. But there's a much better actress for the part. Daveigh Chase. She would be the PERFECT Carrie for many reasons. She's 23, but looks 18, She's pretty, but has that "outcast" expression and her performance as the little ghost girl (Samara) on The Ring automatically qualifies her to play Carrie because se wore hat looked like outdated clothing, she looked depressed as a human and she once glared at the screen before killing someone, much like Carrie glaring while others die in her rampage. Daveigh Chase should have been hired immediately!

June 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJordan Pressler

YESSSS! VERY MUCH! THE ORIGINAL WAS OKAY BUT I WASN'T SATISFIED FROM WHAT CARRIE DID TO THE BULLIES. THE REMAKE WAS EPIC AS FUCK AT THE NIGHT OF THE PROM YOU SAW THEM FLY CRASH AND BOOM! DEFINITELY GOING TO SEE THIS! ALSO FUCK THE PEOPLE WHO SAYS NO TO THIS!

July 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterheyitscarrie

The preview was basically the whole original Carrie, just in fast forward and with new actors. How does this even get approved to be made? Maybe, if they really didn't want to hire a writer, they can cannibalize an older movie everyone has forgotten about and redo it, But everyone still remembers this movie. Maybe if they waited another 10-15 years to redo this movie less people will be able to point out that every bit of movie shown in the preview is SSDD (to use another Stephen King reference). But then again, they did that movie the evil dead, so maybe the flood gates are opening and stuff we've seen before is starting to get regurgitated back in our faces and we're supposed to pay full price to re-digest something we've already seen.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTIM

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