If you remake Carrie they're all going to laugh at you!
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!"
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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.