The original 1976 version of “Carrie” not only had better acting, but was also scarier than Kimberly Pierce’s 2013 version. It’s apparent that not all horror classics should be redone just because they can.
Anyone who has seen the original “Carrie” will claim that the 1970’s acting was overdramatized and corny at parts and I do not disagree. I will be the first to say that most classic horror movies from that era seem to always have actors that are great at making the almost comedic “horrified” expressions that ultimately make them look like they are trying too hard.
Although acting is vital for a horror film, a good story line is equally important. “Carrie” is about a young girl who, to anyone outside of her household, has extreme anxiety issues. She is a classic representation of a high school outcast with unfavorable physical features- at least in the first film she did-and a shy, vulnerable personality. On top of this, she lives in an old house with an insane bible-thumper of a mother.
Carrie gets made fun of at school regularly and sometimes the mocking gets to be over-the-top, especially when tampons are thrown at her in the shower of the locker room after she sees that she is having her first period and freaks out. In the midst of all this chaos, she finds that she can manipulate surrounding objects when she is in distress.
She then befriends her gym teacher, who at first seems to be the only person who has compassion for Carrie during this traumatic event. To add to her horror, Carrie’s mother fiercely reprimands her and recites bible verses about becoming a woman. All this is shocking to Carrie because her mother has been able to keep her ignorant from the outside world.
Back at school, the gym teacher is punishing all the girls who tormented Carrie. One of the main instigators, Chris, is infuriated- so infuriated that she gets suspended and her prom privileges revoked. On the other hand, the other instigator, Sue, feels remorse for what she did and decides that her prom date, Tommy, should take Carrie to the prom instead of herself.
When Tommy asks her to the dance, Carrie immediately assumes that this is another mean prank but with effort, he is able to get her to agree. When she hears Carrie is going to be attending the senior prom, Chris begins to plot the worst prank to date.
Carrie knows her mother will not let her go to the prom and because of this she decides she will not take no for an answer. She goes the prom with Tommy and has a magical night until the two of them are voted prom king and queen. That is when Chris pulls her most malicious trick and Carrie is drenched in pig blood. Then all hell breaks loose.
What is great about the original “Carrie” was the way the director was able to add intensity to the scenes, even without special effects. That was one of the main elements this new rendition lacked. Although modern production capabilities make for cool visual effects, one does not feel the same passion they might be hoping to feel.
On top of that, I was unhappy with the way Carrie was depicted by actress Chloe Grace Moretz. The character of Carrie is supposed to be shy and awkward as well as aesthetically below average. While Moretz was able to pull off the awkward aspect, she was too cute to be called an outcast.
I was very pleased, however, with how well her mother was played by actress Julianne Moore. Moore was able to portray the sheltering Christian extremist mother very well and ended up being the most frightening part of the movie.
This is why I would only recommend this movie to anyone who is okay with just special effects and attractive actors and actresses in their horror movies.
If you are looking for a truly haunting movie this Halloween, “Carrie” is not it.