Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Carrie (Blu-ray Review) - Fox

Directed By: Kimberly Peirce
Written By: Stephen King, Lawrence D. Cohen, Roberto Aguierre Sacasa
Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer
Color/100 Minutes/Rated R
Region A

The Film
In 1976 the film adaptation of Stephen King’s acclaimed novel about a sheltered, religiously oppressed and bullied teen taking revenge on her tormentors after discovering telekinetic abilities was released. Brian De Palma’s CARRIE went on to worldwide success and has since become widely considered a classic of the horror genre. Sissy Spacek starred as Carrie White, the teen in question who was eventually covered in pig’s blood at the senior prom. Reaching her breaking point, Carrie’s powers reached a boiling point and she brought the school to its proverbial knees after opening up the gymnasium floor to expose the pool beneath and engrossing the building in flames.

Skip ahead 36 years and while the remake trend move on full steam ahead it was only a matter of time before CARRIE got the remake treatment. This time instead of Sissy Spacek in the titular lead role we get Chloe Grace Moretz, a true star on the rise who I’m sure will be winning an Academy Award before too long. Moretz has been starring and co-starring in motion pictures for several years now, from 500 Days Of Summer to Kick-Ass, she is no stranger to big parts. Her abusive, bible humping mother is played by the great Julianne Moore (previously played by Piper Laurie to near perfection). Carrie is very conservative, wearing frumpy homemade clothes, studying the bible after school and having no social life, the kids at school tease her and talk behind her back. When Carrie has her first period in the shower after gym class she freaks out not knowing what is happening to her and of course in the age of social media every girl there whips out a cell phone to record the show. Carrie’s torture continues. When one popular girl feels bad and has a change of heart she has her boyfriend ask Carrie to prom to make it up to the poor young girl but another popular girl who has been banned from prom has other plans and sets up a trap for Carrie. When a great night at prom takes a horrendous turn for Carrie the school will burn and everyone inside will pay.

Ah CARRIE, the wonderfully accurate tale of how awful high school can be to some kids. Of course with all sorts of fire and brimstone added in for our enjoyment. Moretz is good in the lead, as expected the main problem here is that she simply doesn’t look like a teen that would be getting harassed endlessly. She’s a normal looking girl, with clear skin, she isn’t fat and she tries to be normal. The only thing really weird about her is that her incredibly religious mother is fucking crazy and pushes it on Carrie which has sheltered the poor girl. In an age where movies rarely star someone that isn’t attractive they really should have went a different route than Moretz. Sissy Spacek had a very particular look to her in the original, she looked beaten down and frail, scared and unfortunate. Moretz, good acting or not, simply doesn’t have that look. And that is the look I associate with Carrie White. Julianne Moore did a decent job as the mother, a bit over the top at times but never becoming a parody of the nut bag she was portraying.

CARRIE is an okay film. It does very little to separate itself from the original and even less to try and improve on it. To put it bluntly, CARRIE is a pointless film that simply was not needed. It is a shinier, newer version of a superior vehicle. While it is prettier to look at it won’t ever reach the mileage that the original has.

The Audio & Video
CARRIE comes to Blu-ray in a gorgeous presentation from MGM/Fox. As you’d expect from a new Hollywood production being released in HD the film shines. The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer shines, with the big budget special effects in the climax looking great. Detail is rich, skin tones are natural and black levels are deep. There is plenty of texture visible throughout. The 5.1 DTS HD audio track is full and bold and will use the entire spectrum of your sound system. This is a fantastic looking and sounding release.

Please note: Screen shots do NOT represent Blu-ray quality.

The Extras
A long with excellent A/V quality the disc features quite the slew of extras and a DVD copy and Ultraviolet digital copy of the film.

-Audio commentary with director Kimberly Peirce
-Alternate ending
-Deleted and alternate scenes
-”Creating CARRIE” featurette
-”The Power Of Telekenesis” featurette
-Telekenetic Coffee Shop Surprise

The Bottom Line
While I don’t find the film to be at all necessary or as good as the original it certainly has its fans. It isn’t a terrible film by any means, it just exists in a world where a more complete and better version of the film exists. MGM/Fox did create a winner of a home video release however and if you’re curious about the film and special features surrounding it the Blu-ray is worth checking out.

CARRIE is available HERE

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