Supernatural film Carrie lacks power

Supernatural film Carrie lacks power
Carrie starring Julianne Moore (left) and Chloe Grace Moretz.

CARRIE (NC16)

Review Supernatural horror

Duration: 100 minutes

Rating: 2.5/5

The story: Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a misfit at high school and she is taunted by the other girls when she gets her first period in the showers. It seems too good to be true when a popular jock asks her to the prom and her deeply religious mother Margaret (Julianne Moore) warns: "They're all going to laugh at you." When they do, Carrie unleashes her telekinetic powers to horrific effect. This is the third film adaptation of the 1974 Stephen King novel of the same name.

Many a prom has been ruined by a dubious hairdo or what-was-I-thinking fashion choice. But in the history of disastrous proms, none can top the one in Carrie.

Even if you did not watch the classic 1976 version, you might have come across the unforgettable image of Sissy Spacek drenched in blood from head to toe in her prom dress. There was also a film made for television in 2002. If not, the trailer helpfully sums up the entire arc of the latest film. The finale is a messy bloodbath in which Carrie unleashes her powers. The problem is that the lead-up to this all-too- expected ending is simply not very interesting.

Director Kimberly Peirce is best known for the gender-bending romantic drama Boys Don't Cry (1999), which won Hilary Swank a Best Actress Oscar. But here, she seems to have little idea of how to move the story forward. Everything is just too one-note.

Margaret is a sexually uptight religious nutjob and you know she is crazy because her hair looks like it is in desperate need of some tender loving conditioning care.

Her idea of mothering is shutting Carrie up in the "prayer closet" and filling her head with dark talk of sin.

Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right, 2010) makes her creepy, but there is something almost cartoonish about the role.

The rest of the characters are pretty much just plot devices from b****y mean girl Chris (Portia Doubleday) to Sue (Gabriella Wilde), who tries to make amends by getting her boyfriend to ask Carrie out.

At least Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass 2, 2013) makes you care for Carrie as she blossoms from awkward to pretty, and you just wish she could be freed from her mother's clutches.

Perhaps the most disappointing thing about the film is that it barely registers on the scare scale. Maybe telekinesis is too tame in this day and age.

Flying books and cracking mirrors do not offer much thrill when special effects are routinely employed to more dramatic effect in films these days.

Even when the ante is upped at the end with half the school getting butchered, the outcome still falls short of being truly terrifying.


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