Rickly Reviews: Carrie (early screening)
...Carrie goes beserk? But does the audience?...I got an early peek!
Ever read the Stephen King book? Ever saw the 1976 film? Well, brace yourselves. This adaptation...works. It's a contemporary spin on the tale of a young telekinetic who decides to take years of unabashed abuse from her mother as well as unbridled bullying from her peers and cut loose in the most provocative and gory manner. Seeing it today in the Caribbean market ahead of North America allowed me an early peak into a film I thought, honestly, would tank. This ain't your momma's or daddy's Carrie. I can tell you that much!
Chloe Moretz is what carries this film. She's proven time and time again to have wisdom beyond her years and her talent of painting an angsty, emo teen under heavy duress of her mother (played by Julianne Moore), is perfect to the tee. There are contrasting elements to Sissy Spacek's version as one would expect though. Chloe is awkward and socially inept but more akin to the current-day teen. It was hard to stomach a cute young lady like Chloe in this role, because she was too pretty for Carrie, when I saw the casting. Remember Emily Bergl in The Rage: Carrie 2? She wasn't the prettiest and she had an underlying resentment for society which made you empathize with her (in an otherwise shoddy script and chore of a film). But Moretz really translates her emotions to the audience brilliantly and it's eerie to see her powers and her revenge at work.
The script takes some of the best elements from the book and the films while changes are made to stamp Kimberly Peirce's brand on things. Die-hard fans of the old material may be turned off a tad but there's enough, especially from Moretz's interplay with her mother, to keep you lured in. Moore is phenomenal in making you hate her in a role and this is no different. The cynical and overly protective aspects of her character are the least of what draws you in. Their mother-daughter chemistry is off the charts.
Having Carrie ridiculed and then ensnared into something more sinister, high-school that is, should resonate well, given the spate of bullying, in reality and as CBM would know, online. Judy Greer as Miss Desjardin, Portia Doubleday as Chris Hargensen, Alex Russell as Billy Nolan, Gabriella Wilde as Sue Snell and Ansel Elgort as Tommy Ross, all lend credence to the film as a sound supporting cast because they are all given sufficient screen time to get you to love or hate them. Peirce strikes the balance well with screen-time, character development and plot. They're all interesting and intriguing when need be. The finale of the movie is mindblowing. The visual aesthetic is well-painted throughout - dark, moody, gloomy and brooding - to match the titular character(s) and I won't spoil how this film rounds up...but it's riveting and gut-wrenching. Seeing teens like this definitely speaks to real-world settings these days and it impacts, swiftly and powerfully.
Moretz, from this, would have been ideal in a few years for Wanda Maximoff. I'll end at that. She delivers batsh-t crazy like no other.
RATING = 4/5
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