When fall break begins at Wesleyan, many students return home, some go to Boston, and some go to New York. Instead, my friend and I stayed in Middletown and made a trip to the movie theater to watch the new remake of Stephen King’s “Carrie.” It may not be as cool as watching the sunrise from the Brooklyn Bridge or wandering around Times Square, but it was worth the $7.50 (plus the $6.50 I paid for popcorn). For 99 minutes, I was pulled out of this world and sucked into the dark realm of Ewen High School.
“Carrie” was originally planned for release on March 15, 2013, but it was rightfully postponed because it deserved the label for the Halloween movie of the year. The story focuses on a teenager who has been abused by her classmates and the only person she loves, her mother.
As the movie crawls through its slow-paced beginning, viewers can see the fear and trauma in Carrie’s eyes as her classmates bully her in the worst way imaginable for a teenage girl. When Carrie returns home, we expect a loving parent to comfort her, but instead we learn that the main evil in the movie is her bigoted, religious extremist mother, Margaret. Soon after, Carrie discovers that she has paranormal powers, including the ability to move objects with her mind.
Assuming too quickly that we are familiar with King’s novel, the movie suffers from a slow-paced first half without details about the lives of side characters. However, Chloë Grace Moretz (as the title character) and Julianne Moore (as her mother, Margaret) give brilliant performances that raise the bar for a remake of a classic horror movie.
The movie lacks dialogue between Carrie and Margaret. Instead, emotions take center stage. Carrie and her mother wordlessly convey their tension through, for instance, the look on Margaret’s face when Carrie joyfully tells her that she has been asked to prom, or when Carrie begs her mother for forgiveness so that she won’t spend another day locked in her closet.
During the second half of the movie, it’s nearly impossible to blink or breathe, as a flawless combination of CGI and thriller fills the screen. The action of the notoriously bloody prom scene makes up for the slower opening scenes.
Although I haven’t seen the original 1976 film, I enjoyed the remake. When I asked my friend to compare this remake to the original, I wasn’t surprised to hear that she felt the original movie seemed old enough to deserve a modern remake, and the remake was nothing short of satisfying and even better than what she expected.
“Carrie” was the highlight of my fall break, and I may watch it again over Halloweekend. Now if the force of “Gravity” has already petrified you, be ready to get carried away with “Carrie.”
The online version of this article was updated on October 26 to correct a typo. The sentence originally read “When I asked my friend to compare the this remake to the original, I wasn’t surprised to hear that she felt the original movie seemed old enough to deserve a modern remake, and the remake was nothing short of satisfying and even better than what she expected.”