Carrie Blu-ray Review
latest in a long running string of remakes of much-beloved films in the
genre that includes far too many films to even list or begin to count.
time around, the director is Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't
Cry, Stop-Loss) and the star is the up-and-comer Chloë
Grace Moretz (Hugo, Let Me In, Kick Ass) in the role of Carrie White. The film is
adaptation of the bestselling novel by Stephen King, but it's roots are
connected to director Brian De Palma's 1976 film adaptation, a classic
genre in its own right.
story centers upon the shy,
timid, and unfortunate Carrie. She's an outcast high school student who
close friends and who is considered a loner to everyone around her. In
attending school she is often subject to bullying and many students
with such foul wickedness that she struggles just to get by in her
mother is Margaret White
(Julianne Moore), who is in many ways a religious fanatic: early in the
she compares her daughter having a period to the biblical origins of
Eve, sinning, and creating the future of sin which would be carried
daughter and through others (such as her schoolmates). Margaret White
Carrie knows her... 'Mom') seems incapable of listening to her daughter
there is a clear divide between these two characters.
White doesn't want for Carrie
to know about going through an ordinary thing like puberty or about
period -- Carrie's lack of awareness about having a period is even
that helps leads to a traumatic school experience for Carrie, with
that comes about through the cruelness of her fellow students. Later in
film, Margaret isn't a mother even willing to consider her daughter's
on wanting to go to Prom Night. It doesn't lead to a good relationship
the characters and it leads to more issues within Carrie's story and
groundwork of the film.
is in a number of ways just
a normal girl, but she is someone who is a social outcast too. However,
King had surprises in store back when he wrote his breakthrough
novel. Taking thing a step beyond simple dramatics is the twisty idea
her an ability that sets her apart from her fellow students: Carrie can
telekinesis abilities. Why does she have the capabilities and what good
could come from them? This question mark looms too.
film builds towards the same
climatic ending that begins with the school prom and ends at Carrie
home. Over the course of the film, Carrie winds up getting to go to
Prom with a
popular boy at the school. As an audience, one sees that the boy asked
as a favor to his girlfriend (who had been a part of her school
came to have a change of heart about what she and her friends did to
isn't the entire aspect of this part of the story. One can see that
boy who asks Carrie out actually starts to feel something for her and
Carrie isn't subject to the harshness of her environment she opens up
to break away from her isolation.
there are ways in
which this version of Carrie actually
makes the character less sympathetic than in the original film. This is
because Carrie becomes in control of her powers before the film's end
them to wreck havoc in a way that conflicts with what happens in De
film. Peirce seems to view Carrie as some sort of superhero, but she
more menacing in the film's concluding act with more control over her
revenge is enacted against everyone in the school with a cold
is new to the adaptation.
there are some admirable
attempts being made to update the story for modern audiences, including
who have probably not seen the first film adaptation, I was also
didn't go further in trying to separate itself from the De Palma film
on its own. There are many sequences in the film which seem to mimic
and pacing of the 1976 film and fewer scenes that seem to attempt to do
differently enough to make this version become distinctive enough. Yet
film also lacks some of the distinctive directorial decisions that are
of the De Palma classic, such as the chaotic editing with split-screen
during the prom sequence, which has even become a borrowed style by
like Quentin Tarantino.
biggest new additions to this
film version are some slightly altered characterizations: Carrie was
less sympathetic than before by becoming more calculating with her
while Margaret White becomes more sympathetic with some scenes
performed with a
delicate balance from Julianne Moore and some key moments in the script
suggesting there's more to her than the simply crazed mother portrayed
Laurie in De Palma's film. These characterizations are a element that
Carrie a bit less scary and a bit
more emotionally interesting in a different way than the original film
most of the attention would have been placed on Carrie herself and not
updates to the film also include an element of modernization. This film
a scene in which Carrie White is spending some time on Google looking
newly acquired telekinetic abilities, and the film also tries to tackle
issue of cyber bullying early on. The addition of cell-phones to the
character's world is also a difference that changes up some of the
story a bit
and it's clear that this version of Carrie
was made with the significant technology differences in mind.
some of the technological
updates addressed in the film are also part of the reason this is a
successful version of Carrie than the
film by De Palma. Peirce has many sequences in this film that are
and dramatically lessened by terrible CGI that is featured with over
The Prom sequence apparently utilized real fire for filming, though...
my surprise. I was not that impressed by the scene in general and would
have realized it was filmed at all utilizing real fire for the effect.
regard, I suppose I didn't appreciate the overdone CGI or the
in this production.
Peirce has some good
ideas for her modern update to Carrie.
I enjoyed the film to some extent and found there to be a reasonable
a lot of areas of the film. Yet in a comparison to the classic Carrie I find this remake doesn't differentiate
itself enough and a number of the differences are actually less
While this film is worth watching it certainly doesn't surpass De
and there are still too many clear similarities in the stylistic
call this remake an entirely original attempt.
performances are also a bit
mixed in quality. Julianne Moore is highly effective with her part.
Most of the
scenes with Moore seem to excel from the acting excellence she brings.
Chloë Grace Moretz comes up second and doesn't impress nearly as
scenes featuring Moore it seemed as though the two performers excelled
and the production benefited. Yet on her own, Moretz delivers an
performance that ultimately doesn't work as well as it should.
surprised by how effective
Moretz was in sequences that most probably thought would call her
question. Her performance delivered on the premise of Carrie being an
who doesn't "fit in" with a school of students who don't understand
or try to know Carrie. Yet when Moretz performs Carrie's discovery of
and the scenes in which Carrie enacts revenge on the school she seems,
my surprise, to be over-acting in a way that doesn't benefit the film.
is a highly talented and relative newcomer despite having appeared in
profile films already, and there's real promise for her future career.
was not her most successful performance. It works it spades but it
the film to be as good as it could have been with a stronger lead
for the rest of the cast, I was
almost uniformly underwhelmed by the other actors. There are far too
performances in Carrie as other than
Moore and Moretz the rest of the cast seems to be acting on a
melodrama or soap. It was ridiculous how average most of these
were. I don't know whether to entirely chalk this up to director Peirce
perhaps to the casting agent: regardless, the main roles are the only
the film that are worthy of being in a film based on King's iconic
novel and a
film that is already regarded as classic.
of the De Palma's Carrie won't walk away from this one
feeling too pleased but there are a couple of things going for this
that make it worth checking out at least once. It's got some ambitious
and it does attempt to do some new things with the story. Alas, there
far too many ways in which it seems to borrow from the classic film and
successful enough with doing so. This version is worth some minor
but it seems unlikely that many viewers will walk away from the
satisfied with the results.
presented on Blu-ray in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1.
MPEG-4 AVC encoded presentation maintains an average bit-rate of 28
impressive if not altogether perfect encoding for a modern production.
viewers will be pleased with the results even if there is some small
improvement. The image retains a strong cinematic look and it does a
of reproducing the sleek cinematography by Steve Yedlin (Looper).
seem somewhat muted in
certain scenes, and more expansive in other parts of the film as a part
intended aesthetic. The transfer has good black levels, contrast, and
only falters in having some occasionally soft moments of photography.
little doubt that this transfer retains the intended aesthetic look of
and is a generally fine presentation.
in 24 Bit, The 5.1 DTS-HD
Master Audio is even more impressive than the video presentation. This
quality lossless sound mix has a strong sound design that implements
and surround directionality. The entire film is effectively heightened
first-rate surround usage which highlights good sound effects and a
effective score composed by Marco Beltrami.
of all, this is a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital
HD UV combo pack that provides several ways to watch the film.
Blu-ray supplemental features
are discussed below:
Length Commentary by
director Kimberly Pierce
Shown in Theaters) is an optional selection for the film, which
plays the theatrical version of the film but with a slightly different
(1080p, 10 Min.) consists of nine scenes that were
either removed or edited down for the theatrical release. Optional
is also included.
on Fire Stunt Double Dailies
(1080p, 2 Min.) is a behind the scenes look at how
the prom sequence used actual fire for some of the filming.
21 Min.) is a making of featurette exploring the production of Carrie
interviews with many of the filmmaking participants.
Power of Telekinesis
(1080p, 4 Min.) is a discussion with some of the
filmmakers about the portrayal of telekinesis in the film.
Coffee Shop Surprise
(1080p, 3 Min.) is a video of the publicized
promotional stunt done by the Carrie production team to help raise
the film's release.
(1080p, 2 Min.)
the most successful remake around. There are good
qualities to the film but there are also too many ways in which the
falters or borrows too heavily from the De Palma film to be considered
entirely successful effort. Moore is particularly good in her role as Margaret White but Chloë Grace Moretz
delivers an inconsistent performance as Carrie.
Blu-ray release contains a strong
PQ/AQ presentation and a couple of supplements that should appeal to
the film. If you appreciated this remake enough to own it, this is a
Blu-ray release. Everyone else should consider renting this first to
themselves if it works more or less than the De Palma film. I happen to
this film is a decidedly inferior remake compared to the 1976 version
apparent ambitions. I recommend that newcomers begin with that version
Stephen King's classic story.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.