Okay, I’ll admit that I’m a little obsessed with this story since reading the book for the first time. (My review.) Perhaps you could say I’m getting a little CARRIED away with it.
Ahem, anyway, I was really excited to see this film, for two reasons: one, because Carrie is amazing, and the 1976 film was good; and two, because Chloë Grace Moretz stars…
I was a little sceptical about this adaption of Stephen King’s novel, since neither of the previous films quite reached my expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I think this just may be my favourite of the three films.
The producing companies of the film didn’t lie when they said the screenplay was “a more faithful adaption” of the book. Despite critics saying this adaption is pointless and is almost identical to the original, I believe Kimberly Peirce’s adaption stands alone, and brings the book to life better than either the 1976 or 2002 films.
I think the thing I liked most about the film was the ending. Both previous adaptions of Carrie seemed to make a final effort to shock you, make you jump at the last moment, like any horror movie, I suppose. However, they both annoyed me (especially the 2002 TV film. Ugh.) because they made a huge leap from hanging onto the book’s plot, to a scene entirely unrelated to the original story. In the 2013 film, the final moments did, of course, have an air of creepiness, but didn’t overdo it to the extent of being inaccurate. Carrie died, there was a court hearing, and we see her grave. That’s all that was needed, not a bloody hand erupting from the ground, or Sue reviving Carrie and helping her go into hiding. (I am insanely grateful that the alternate ending to this adaption was cut. I would have been furious.)
Of course, it was not without flaws. Although it worked well, I found the modernization of the story a little pointless (and is perhaps the only thing truly making the film a “re-imagining”). As always, Prom Night is always a dangerous scene to adapt, because so many things can go wrong. And they usually do. The part of Carrie’s massacre that I disliked the most, however trivial, was how she saved Miss Desjardin. I am, of course, glad the fitness teacher survived, as she did in the novel, but Carrie consciously protecting someone from harm got to me a little, regardless of how much sense it makes.
Additionally, Carrie herself irritated me a little throughout the last part of the film. It was not expressly stated how Carrie was acting in these scenes in the book, although she had very clear, homicidal thoughts. While reading the book, I imagined her to have been almost possessed by her powers, much like she was in the original film, and not unlike the 2002 adaption. I do not believe Carrie was altogether herself when she was slaughtering hundreds of people, and her completely conscious killing of everyone in the 2013 film irked me. However, that’s just because of my own imagination, I suppose.
Margaret’s death scene was almost exactly the same as the ’76 film, however, and made me sigh in irritation when she Jesus-ed against the wall. Why can filmmakers never get this scene right? Is it really so hard?
I absolutely loved the cast. They all fit their characters quite well (except perhaps, in my own opinion, Miss Desjardin. I think Rena Sofer portrayed her the best). I was glad to see a Sue without bushy hair (where did that trend even come from?) and loved to see a different version of Chris – more casual than her other portrayals, and not a stereotypical super-snobbish fashionista bully.
This adaption of Carrie is quite possibly my favourite of the three (I wish I could see the musical, too!), and definitely stands its own ground, regardless of what the critics say. It is more accurate compared to the book, and the ending is much more satisfying. As all film adaptions of books do, there were some inaccuracies, but I very much enjoyed it.