Jan 222014
 

Carrie had the potential to be good with two fine leads in Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore but instead it proves to be yet another remake that wasn’t needed. Not helping matters is a cast that failed to make much of an impression and in the case of Moretz, had one particular scene which was silly.

 

 

 


Carrie (2013)


REVIEW NAVIGATION

The Movie
| Special Features | Video Quality | Audio Quality | Overall

 

Genre(s): Horror, Fantasy, Drama
Fox | R – 100 min. – $29.99 | January 14, 2014

MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Kimberly Peirce
Writer(s): Stephen King (novel); Lawrence D. Cohen and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (screenplay)
Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Judy Greer, Portia Doubleday, Gabriella Wilde, Ansel Elgort, Julianne Moore

Theatrical Release Date: October 18, 2013

DISC INFO:
Features:
Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted/Alternate Scenes, Theatrical Trailer, DVD Copy, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 35.2 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE – 2.0/5

Note: This review does contain spoilers.

“Plug it up! Plug it up!”

It’s been said Hollywood has run out of ideas green-lighting numerous sequels and remaking movies that needn’t to be remade. This year (2014) alone we get RoboCop which is controversial given the popularity of the original, and last year’s was Carrie, a film that didn’t need to exist but even standing on its own and not comparing it to the 1976 classic based on Stephen King’s novel, this is a bad, bad, bad movie. I mean, really bad.

The story focuses on shy/awkward teen girl Carrie (CHLOE GRACE MORETZ) who struggles through high school and is the brunt of brutal jokes by the other girls, led by bitch and all around bully Chris (PORTIA DOUBLEDAY) culminating with her posse, and other girls, throwing tampons after Carrie experiences… um… bleeding for the first time. It doesn’t help matters that her home life is chaotic with her ultra-religious mother (JULIANNE MOORE) who doesn’t teach her daughter the ways of womanhood and also leads to social discomfort as well. But Carrie’s nightmare has only just begun as cruel girl Chris posts the humiliating video online for all to see.

Carrie does receive support from gym teacher Ms. Desjardin (JUDY GREER) who not only helps Carrie through the situation but also punishes Chris banning her from prom which only enrages Chris to plot revenge. If you’ve seen the trailers or the original, you know what she’s planning… All I’ll say is pig’s blood and multiple angles are involved.

In any case, we also meet Sue Snell (GABRIELLA WILDE) who participated in the tampon tossing but almost immediately felt bad and in an attempt to make up for her cruelty, she somehow convinces her boyfriend to take Carrie to the prom. At first Carrie is, of course, hesitant believing it to be a trick but soon enough accepts, as not for her mother to find out, and starts to gain confidence to the point of making her own dress which clearly looks tailor made. She also manages to stand up to her mother utilizing recently discovered telekinetic powers able to lift books, entire human beings and even start fires!

Ok, I wasn’t looking forward to this latest remake/re-tooling of a classic but as with Total Recall, I was willing to give Carrie a chance to maybe offer something new but instead we get something that not only unnecessary but poorly constructed as well.

First up, the performances are downright ridiculous. I know one positive many negative reviews point to is Julianne Moore but, at the beginning at least, she was downright cartoony in her delivery though she does even out towards the end. Moore is a great actress making even the spectacularly awful Hannibal semi-bearable but she’s not in this nearly enough to overcome issues with the screenplay (co-written by Lawrence D. Cohen who was involved in the original 1976 script).

With regards to Chloe Grace Moretz whom I thought might’ve been the strong point of the movie when seeing the trailers, came across absolutely goofy at times and when the big prom scene came, theatrical to the extreme with excessive hand gestures to the point where the scene which is supposed to be horrific and thrilling was instead laughable. Obviously one can’t place complete blame on Moretz as director Kimberly Peirce evidently felt the takes that made it were good enough.

The rest of the cast is either completely forgettable or woefully underutilized. Judy Greer has a few good scenes with Moretz, and plays one of the few truly good characters, but she’s more or less an afterthought; Portia Doubleday as the main antagonist was chuckle-worthy seemingly thinking she’s a Bond villain; and Gabriella Wilde gets the toughest job as Sue yet her motivations didn’t come across as genuine… in fact, I hardly found any of these actors (both main and supporting) genuine in the way they were written.

In the end, Carrie is yet another film that didn’t need to exist despite the filmmakers’ attempts to update the material and apparently give a truer adaptation of Stephen King’s novel. I don’t know how well it was adapted but it’s clear that this was made in the hopes to rope in the angst teen girl demo that went to see Twilight and Hunger Games in droves.

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5

The initial pressing comes with a lenticular-front slip cover. Inside is a download code for the UltraViolet Digital Copy and a standard bare-bones DVD Copy.

Alternate Ending is included where you can watch with the movie (you can choose this or the theatrical version) and after watching it, obviously it hardly makes the movie any better and in fact this one is actually sillier.

Audio Commentary – Director Kimberly Peirce sits down for a track talking about the project, her approach to filming some scenes and working with the various actors.

Deleted/Alternate Scenes (10:18; HD) – There are 9 scenes which were trimmed or completely cut from the final movie and some of them aren’t bad, but also would served as padding to a film that didn’t need to be longer.

Tina on Fire: Stunt Double Dailies (2:18; HD) is a look at the footage of the character Tina flailing around while on fire during the prom scene towards the end.

Creating Carrie (21:07; HD) is a behind-the-scenes featurette which delves into how the project came about, what the filmmakers wanted to accomplish and chatting about the characters. It’s nothing amazing but fairly informative.

The Power of Telekinesis (4:02; HD) explores Carrie’s powers in the movie and whether the filmmakers believe in it. This is a throwaway featurette.

Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise (2:39; HD) is a stunt done as a way to advertise the film.

Theatrical Trailer (1:56; HD)

PreviewsRoboCop (how fitting), Paranoia


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Twentieth Century Fox distributes Carrie on Blu-ray presented in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Unsurprisingly, the picture looks near perfect with excellent detail levels throughout, decent black levels for the darker or nighttime scenes and well balanced colors. There is a fair amount of noise but it only helps to enhance the high-definition and gives it a natural theatrical feel.

AUDIO – 4.5/5

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track included offers a wide range from crisp and clear dialogue through the center speaker while the action elements, mainly during the prom sequence and its aftermath, makes use of the front and rear channels. This all-encompassing lossless track is well done and provides that home theater vibe.



OVERALL – 3.0/5

Overall, Carrie had the potential to be good with two fine leads in Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore but instead it proves to be yet another remake that wasn’t needed. Not helping matters is a cast that failed to make much of an impression and in the case of Moretz, had one particular scene which was silly. The Blu-ray does feature great audio/video transfers while the bonus materials actually aren’t that bad.

 

Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Published: 01/22/2014

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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  One Response to “Review: Carrie BD + Screen Caps”

Comments (1)
  1. Having read the original screenplay by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, I can safely say that the original script didn’t follow the same structure as the 1976 film. Yes, there were a few homages here and there, but it was a whole new take on the story. Before the film was delayed in January 2013, there was a lot of positive feedback from those who attended the first test screenings in December 2012. A number of people confirmed that the original cut was longer and a lot different than the theatrical cut. I remember watching a video on YouTube where two guys reviewed the film (without giving away spoilers) based on what they saw at the test screenings. They confirmed that the film was a lot different to Brian De Palma’s film and was more closer to the Stephen King novel. I personally believe that the studios interfered with the editing of the film. The theatrical cut wasn’t what Kimberly Peirce wanted to release in theatres. It’s like they re-cut the film and gave us a remake of Brian De Palma’s film. I knew it wasn’t Kimberly’s voice in the movie — it was the studios.

    A friend of mine, who is a filmmaker, gave their two cents as to what might have happened…

    The original cut was all ready to go in March, then the studios looked at the release date and thought they could make more money on “Carrie” during the Halloween season. So they demanded re-shoots to make it more Horror. Re-edits to make it a generic Horror film. Push it out at Halloween to make a quick buck. It would explain why the writer of the 1976 film was credited after the 2013 film was delayed — they re-shot a lot of scenes from the 1976 screenplay. Obviously a Halloween release would sound appropriate for the film, but it would have involved a lot of re-editing to fit the running time. The downside to the re-shoots and re-edits is that a lot of scenes would have to be dropped or trimmed to fit the required running time by the studios. The shorter the film, the more viewing sessions the film has.

    Based on fan speculation, test audience feedback, and certain confirmed details concerning the film — the deleted and/or extended scenes include:

    -The original opening was a flashback of Carrie as a little girl spying through a fence on a female neighbor who is sunbathing. The young woman notices Carrie and starts to make conversation with her. Carrie tells her that she can see her “dirty pillows” and the neighbor explains to her that it is normal for women to develop breasts when they get older. That’s when Margaret White appears and snatches up Carrie, screaming and yelling at the neighbor. She calls the young lady a whore, telling her to stay away from her child, and Carrie gets upset and begins to cry. Suddenly, it starts hailing. Pellets of ice come down on top of Carrie’s home while Margaret runs into the house trying to console her daughter. The neighbor just stares in disbelief as the hail rains down on the White residence, and only the White residence.

    -The White Commission [The film had integrated several courtroom scenes with witnesses giving testimonies of their experiences with Carrie White leading to the prom incident, essentially structuring the film as a series of flashbacks and recollections. The neighbor from the alternate opening scene is shown at first, now an adult woman, recounting her experience. There is also a scene featuring a TK Specialist discussing telekinesis and saying something to the effect of Carrie being one of many people who may be born with this genetic anomaly. It’s been said that the White Commission scenes revealed too many prom survivors which the filmmaker’s felt spoiled the climax]

    -There was ‘found footage’ that played a role in the film. That’s why you see Freddy ‘Beak’ Holt carrying his camera around and filming everything.

    -There was more scenes detailing more in depth character development.

    -There was more scenes involving school life, social media and bullying.

    -“Wipe that smile off your face.” – Chris to Carrie at the pool.

    -Chris and Tina kiss [Extended]

    -Scenes involving Facebook, the e-mail sent from Chris to Donna Kellogg. “So I’m out of prom and my [censored] father says he won’t give them what they deserve.”

    -Billy’s wild ride [The “blow— scene” – similar to the 1976 version]

    -An interaction between Chris and Carrie outside the dress shop.

    -The confrontation between Sue and the mean girls

    -Carrie levitates Margaret [Extended]

    -Drive to the pig farm [Extended]

    -After Tommy leaves the table to get some drinks, Carrie and Miss Desjardin have a friendly and meaningful conversation.

    -Carrie and Tommy kiss.

    -Billy kisses Chris.

    -Margaret claws her way out of the closet and goes over to the sink where she retrieves a butcher knife and cuts herself.

    -Sue tries to call Tommy from outside the school to warn him that something bad is about to happen. He rejects the call.

    -The prom scene as a whole, which was said to be longer and more violent than the theatrical version.

    -Tina on fire [Extended]

    -A scene or shot which reveals George’s and Erika’s fate.

    -There were some really creepy stuff that was unfortunately cut during post-production, like some “dancing” dead students. My source is not completely certain about this detail or its placement within the film. But it was either in a deleted scene where Carrie snaps the limbs of prom-goers or during the electrocution scene which was supposed to be more graphic and longer. In the novel, it was described as a “crazy puppet dance”.

    -The scene of Carrie levitating outside of the burning school was actually re-shot. In the original version of that scene, Carrie was standing in the centre of the lawn, waiting for the remaining students to come out of the burning school before telekinetically picking them off one by one.

    -After Carrie leaves the school, she begins to destroy part of the town by causing explosions, bringing down power lines as she follows Billy and Chris. You can see a few seconds of it from the aerial view. If you look behind Carrie, you can see that several cars are in flames.

    -When Sue is outside the school with Miss Desjardin, she sees Tommy’s body being carried out on a stretcher. Miss Desjardin tells Sue that she’s sorry and Sue walks away with determination to find Carrie.

    -Margaret’s original death scene – possibly similar to the book version which depicts a heart attack caused by Carrie’s power.

    -The multiple endings

    1) The first ending is very similar to the ending of the 1976 film but without the final twist: Sue Snell actually gets killed when Carrie pulls her into the ground.

    2) The second ending is an exact replica of the original film where Snell gets pulled into the ground by Carrie but wakes up in her bed to find it’s just a dream.

    3) The third ending is after Carrie saves Sue by pushing her out of the house, which collapses from the falling stones. There’s a bird’s eye view of the wreckage of what used to be Carrie’s home before we get a quick CGI zoom through a pit of debris, to a close-up of a now bloodied Carrie snapping her eyes open.

    4) The fourth ending is of Sue making a final speech to the court where she says the line heard in the teaser trailer about Carrie being just a girl, not a monster. This is spoken over scenes of Sue and her family visiting the cemetery. Sue goes to Carrie’s grave, which shows the headstone tagged up and vandalized. She leaves her flowers and just walks away. Nothing scary, just a very somber closing shot of the headstone.

    5) The fifth ending is after Carrie’s house is destroyed by the falling stones, the movie flashes forward to several months later. We see Sue in the hospital surrounded by doctors and nurses, ready to give birth. They’re trying to calm her down but Sue begins to struggle, saying she feels something is wrong. Suddenly, a very bloody hand (covered in afterbirth) erupts from between Sue’s legs, reaching up and gripping her arm. She screams in terror and we see that she is having a nightmare, being held down by her parents while the camera pans over to a wall where we are shown a large crucifix hanging in her room.

    6) The sixth ending is described as a “morning after voice over” by Sue Snell as we see the town coping with what happened.

    7) The seventh ending shows the town the morning after Carrie’s attack filled with news crews, reporters, and cops talking about the whole thing. What’s bizarre about this scene is that Carrie’s destruction of the city is being described as “a conspiracy.” Apparently the town is “trying to cover up what really happened.”

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