HOLLYWOOD—Remakes are common in the horror genre. If it was a movie made in the 1970s or 1980s, there is likelihood a remake of that picture has already been released or is on the horizon.  The year 1976 saw a horror film unlike any other with the adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “Carrie.”  That picture starred Sissy Spacek in a role that garnered her an Oscar nomination.

Almost 40 years later, the audience is delivered a stunning elevation of that cinematic masterpiece starring Julianne Moore and Chloe Grace Moretz.  I’ll be the first to admit, knowing that Moore has been nominated for four Academy Awards and yet to win a single one is almost horrific.  This woman can act and to see her overly religious take on Margaret White is frightening beyond belief.  Not for a moment does the spectator see Moore, we see Margaret and she is cruel when she mentally abuses her daughter. I tell people time and time again, physical abuse is one thing, but mental abuse stays with you.  You can forgive, but you never forget.

Moretz brings a deeper level of sympathy with the title character; she’s the odd ball out. People treat her cruel, she has no one in her corner to root by her side, she feels alone and the audience will identify with that. That is the power of “Carrie” at some point most of us have been victims of bullying in grade school, middle school and high school.  Kids are quite cruel and to see the use of technology to elevate that torture is another horror in this day and age. Director Kimberly Pierce does an excellent job at capturing raw emotion from Moretz who is identifiable as a teen. The audience becomes invested in this character as we eagerly anticipate the moment that she unleashes her holy hell at prom.

That could be the one problem with the picture, as spectators we know the outcome, a bit more suspense of not knowing what will happen provides a bit more of a thrill ride for the moviegoer.  Let’s just say the havoc, Carrie White unleashes on her classmates is deserving. and to see the technical advancement to enact those horrors are well worth it.

Writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa weaves a story that is closely knit to King’s original work.  So it’s not the “Carrie” that audiences saw in 1976, there are differences in character development and storyline. This flick brings a bit more depth to the relationship between Carrie and her mother Margaret.  As much as Carrie wants to cut ties with her mother, she loves her; she is the only person that she has. So it’s a dynamic that is difficult to grasp for some.

Is the 2013 “Carrie” an improvement from the original, in some aspects yes, technically speaking and emotionally.  On a conceptual level, nothing can beat the classic.  The fun part about “Carrie” is to see the audience identify with a character who is bullied.  Rather the victim themselves or the bully who enacted such horrors.  It’s a true tale of self-reflection.

By LaDale Anderson