tek's rating: ½

Carrie (R)
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This is based on a 1974 Stephen King novel, which I haven't read. The book was first adapted to film in 1976, but I didn't see that film until 2013; I watched it on DVD the same night this movie opened in theaters. And then I didn't get around to watching the 2013 movie until 2019. (I watched it on the night "Greta" opened in theaters, just because both that and this starred Chloe Grace Moretz.) Well... when I watched the original movie, I worried that once I got around to watching this one, I'd like the remake better than the original. And as it happens, I did end up liking this one more, but only slightly. And at least I can say my fear that I would think anyone who prefers the original is horribly wrong, didn't come true. I totally don't blame anyone for preferring the original. (I would be kind of irritated by anyone saying this film is considerably worse than the original, but not irritated enough to argue about it.) I did read probably at least a couple of reviews of the remake that complained it was... okay, but completely unnecessary, because there was virtually nothing new about it. That kind of confused me, because while I was watching it, I thought there were a lot of differences from the original. But maybe that's just because by the time I watched this, I didn't remember many details of the original. But whether or not there were many major changes, I at least preferred the remake for being more modern, with better acting and I guess, better filming technology, or whatever. (Like, sharper audio and video quality.)

Anyway, it begins with a scene of Margaret White (Julianne Moore) bleeding and writhing in agony on her bed, thinking she's dying. It turns out she's actually giving birth, which I got the impression completely surprised her. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seemed to me like she hadn't even realized she was pregnant. But she did think the baby had been sent as a punishment for sinning, I guess. And she was going to kill it, but changed her mind. (I've got to say, throughout the film, Margaret has much the same kind of religious zealotry that led to believing truly insane things as the character did in the original movie. But this time, I couldn't help wondering how Margaret herself got that way, what her own upbringing was like. I don't recall wondering about that when I watched the original, though of course I might have.)

The movie quickly flashes forward to Margaret's daughter, Carrie (Moretz) as a teenage girl in high school. After a game of volleyball (in a pool), the students go to the locker room to shower. Carrie starts pleasuring herself, then starts bleeding. It's obvious she's having her first period, but she didn't know anything about that, and like her mother in the opening scene, she thought she was dying. So naturally she was terrified, but the other girls all laughed at her and threw tampons at her. One girl, Chris, films the whole thing on her phone, and later uploads it to the internet. The only girl who felt bad about what had been done to Carrie was Sue Snell. She and her boyfriend, Tommy, both wanted to make amends, and Sue convinces Tommy to ask Carrie to the prom. (In this movie, it's quite clear that they both really were sincere, whereas in the original, I don't remember that being clear at all.) Another person who is on Carrie's side is the gym teacher, Miss Desjardin (Judy Greer), who in the original movie was named Miss Collins. She makes all the girls who had mocked Carrie do exercises as punishment. Chris refuses, so she gets banned from the prom. This leads to her and her boyfriend, Billy, planning the prank that we all know is coming. (And again, the obtaining of pig's blood is pretty terrible.)

Well... I guess I don't really need to say too much more about the plot. I did feel like Carrie spent a bit more time learning about telekinesis in this movie than in the original, and I liked that. And I liked that Sue and Tommy really did want to help her, even if I don't think they went about it in the best way. And... after the prank, there's a lot more to Carrie's revenge than in the original. Although again, I don't remember a lot of details about the original. It's possible some of the things I thought were better about this movie really weren't so much better, and I'd reevaluate my comparison of the movies if I rewatched the original. But at least I can say with some certainty that the remake didn't have any of the things I actively disliked about the original. In any event... I'm not wild about either movie, and I don't expect to find the remake any more memorable than I do the original. Still, I'm glad to have seen it, I guess.


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