To come up with a Carrie remake that’s only a 15 seems to be betraying the original just a little. Don’t they know that this is a film that’s supposed to scare you out of your wits?
But maybe there’s little point comparing Carrie 2013 with Carrie 1976. The only question is whether Carrie 2013 actually works, and the answer is most definitely yes.
Chloe Grace Moretz is excellent as the gawky disadvantaged teenager who famously doesn’t have a clue what’s happening when womanhood arrives – not least because it suddenly unleashes in her all the weird supernatural powers which will ultimately be her means to revenge for all the humiliation she’s about to suffer. The clever thing about this remake is that it is Carrie for the Facebook age. Carrie is cruelly bullied by bullies ready and willing to exploit the full bullying potential modern media – and that’s what helps give the film its nasty edge in a first two-thirds which are offer a surprisingly amount of psychological subtlety... before it all degenerates into fairly-standard blood, guts and gore horror. Until that point, there’s something horribly compelling about Moretz’s Carrie, a girl so damaged that she reacts with just as much suspicion towards kindness as she does towards torment.
Julianne Moore is terrifically, unsettlingly-foul as the mother from hell; Portia Doubleday is excellent as the bully in chief; but maybe the best supporting performances come from Judy Greer as the sweet, but ineffective gym teacher and Hampshire-born Gabriella Wilde as Sue, the decent-hearted girl who tries desperately to make amends after initially joining in all the nastiness. Trapped in the middle of it all is poor Carrie, with Moretz brilliantly capturing all the uncertainty of the traumatised teen – a worm about to turn spectacularly. Basically, it’s high-school revenge movie – and a good one.