Film: Carrie (2013)

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Directed by Boys Don’t Cry‘s Kimberley Peirce, Steven King’s debut novel’s third screen adaptation finally hit the UK today.

First off, I was very skeptical about the idea of re-making Carrie – was there any need? The original was so brilliantly executed. But what I like about remakes, is that it brings in a whole new generation of fans; something simply re-releasing a film just can’t quite achieve in the same way.

I was very happy to see Kimberley Peirce at the helm, with Hollywood so engrossed by male directors, it feels natural for such a female centric horror film to have a woman’s gaze.

Kick Ass‘s Chloe Moretz was a great choice for the lead – she has the quirky, awkward good looks that lend themself to the character of Carrie. She is also hot off the set of Kick Ass 2, with a feisty role like Hit Girl behind her she can believably do some real damage and attract the viewers. She is a very likeable Carrie, probably more so than Sissy Spacek.

I was excited as soon as I heard Julienne Moore would be taking the role of Carrie’s insane devote mother, as I don’t think there is a role she couldn’t master. Give Moore any vibrant, complex and strong character to work with and she will. Even as Margaret White, she expertly grasps the paradox between loving mother and abusive evangelist, making her both a villain and yet someone to oddly empathise with all at the same time.

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The film stayed true to the book, with some changes from the original script yet plenty of satisfying homages to the 1976 feature. Overall, I felt the film really did women in horror a justice – it stood on it’s own against contemporary horror titles, giving newer viewers a good watch, while keeping Carrie fans happy.

Carrie has an appeal that somehow hits both genders: maybe it’s the name of Stephen King behind it, but to me, it proves that men can enjoy a female fronted horror that doesn’t show women running half naked from a killer, empathising and even relating to the tale of a teenage girl. And Carrie really is very female focused – all the villainous incidents are instigated by women, as well as the gestures of kindness. The males only serve as vehicles for the action, plot devices that encourage and/or instigate the women’s actions.

Carrie is a dark tale, it is horrific but not terrifying. This goes for all the incarnations, and this interpretation definitely maintains the chilling factors that make it a classic.

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One response to “Film: Carrie (2013)

  1. I agree that carrie is a testament that strong female characters in horror films can be enjoyed by everyone. I think the old perception is that men are the main audience demographic with horror films, so they marginalize and fantasize female characters, but that’s a misconception I think. Tons of great movies with female leads. If the character is believable and someone you can root for, their gender doesn’t matter.

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