With Halloween right around the corner it’s surprising that more horror movies aren’t being released, however of the limited selection “Carrie” is certainly a winner.
Based on Stephen King’s 1974 novel, and the third film adaptation of the book, this iteration of “Carrie” stays more faithful to the original source material, though it does bring the story up to the present time.
Unlike many of the horror movies that have recently been released, “Carrie” doesn’t rely on jump scares or horrifying images; though it does have its share of painfully bloody moments there is actually very little gore. Instead the film relies on a steady buildup to the climax. The viewer is expected to feel and endure what the main cast does. You feel the strain growing on Carrie, both at school and at home; the ups and downs that slowly wear at her psyche, and when she finally does snap it’s not that hard to feel sympathy, and even take a little bit of enjoyment in watching the climax’s heavy-handed revenge.
Of course the famous prom night surprise is there, and again this film proves that less is more. The scene isn’t overdone, and what could have been incredibly comical comes off as cringe-worthy and horrifying. After a few breathless seconds all hell breaks loose and as before it may be easy to feel a sense of satisfaction even amongst the horror and carnage that is wrought.
There were clichés in this film, just like any horror movie, but as opposed to a slasher flick they aren’t terribly blatant. An exception takes place close to the end, but the last scene more then makes up for it. Fans of the first film’s ending will be pleased, and even though I knew it was coming, found it a very satisfying ending.
The acting is one of the finest points of the film. Julianne Moore plays the overbearing fundamentalist Margaret White perfectly, and while I was surprised to see Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie White after her performances in the first and second “Kickass” movies, but after just a few minutes in all I wanted to do was give her a hug.
Special effects are also limited, and in this film less really is more. There are a few limited appearances of Carrie’s powers early on, but the wow factor doesn’t really kick in until the climax when the powers transition from wonderful to truly terrifying.
Overall the movie was perfect for the season. Even if it were summer this movie could stand on its own two feet. The acting is fantastic for a horror film; the pacing feels very natural, and the horror is there though it’s more psychological than physical. If you replaced the powers with a gun you could call it a drama, so don’t make the mistake of assuming this will be a “Paranormal Activity” or a cheap gory slasher flick, it isn’t, but you certainly should see it.
4 out of 5 stars