Keep calm and Car­rie on


Kapi-Mana News - - ENTERTAINMENT -

The Steven King novel, Car­rie, and the 1976 Brian De Palma film based on it, were won­der­fully chill­ing takes on the hor­rors of bur­geon­ing adult­hood in the fish­bowl of high school.

Given that be­ing a teenager is so much more fraught th­ese days, you’d ex­pect di­rec­tor Kim­berly Peirce’s do- over might have some­thing new and in­sight­ful to say about the crum­mi­ness of at­tend­ing an Amer­i­can high school to­day.

In­stead, her Car­rie treads fa­mil­iarly cruel and sense­less ground, al­beit with a pre­dictable phone-cam twist.

When a group of teenage girls taunts class- weirdo Car­rie White ( Chloe Grace Moretz), and posts a video of the at­tack online, the ring leader, Chris ( Por­tia Dou­bleday), is banned from at­tend­ing se­nior prom.

Car­rie’s best friend, Sue (Gabriella Wilde), ap­palled by what they’ve done, plans to make amends by hav­ing her pop­u­lar sports star boyfriend take Car­rie to prom in her stead.

Car­rie has se­crets, not the least of which is the abuse her re­li­gious nut mother, Mar­garet (Ju­lianne Moore), in­flicts on her.

So when Chris makes a fi­nal stab at Car­rie’s dig­nity dur­ing the prom, Car­rie snaps and takes a ter­ri­ble vengeance of her own.

Car­rie White is such a com­pelling char­ac­ter it’s sur­pris­ing Hol­ly­wood took so long to re­make a film about the bul­lied teen who man­i­fests awe­some pow­ers and wreaks re­venge on her tor­men­tors.

Last year’s Chron­i­cle, about a group of boys who de­velop su­per­pow­ers that promptly go to their heads, comes close, but King’s creepy, tragic tale about the over­pow­er­ing tu­mult of teenage hor­mones still takes the cake for scares.

Be­com­ing a woman could not have a more clas­sic metaphor in the ugly duck­ling girl with pow­ers she can’t con­trol or un­der­stand.

De Palma’s orig­i­nal adap­ta­tion was chill­ing, aided in no small part by the oth­er­worldly face of Sissy Spacek as Car­rie.

The mod­ern ver­sion, ham­pered by a weak lead in Moretz, seems squea­mish around the topic of fe­male sex­u­al­ity.

With a weirdly mo­ral­is­ing tone, Peirce’s film seems to side more with the pu­ri­tan­i­cal rant­ing of Car­rie’s mother ( Ju­lianne Moore) than the teenagers, the life-chang­ing and of­ten life-end­ing con­se­quences for be­ing ‘‘bad’’ vis­ited upon the teens like sense­less acts of God.

Even Car­rie’s pow­ers seem ex­plained, overly so, as ac­tual di­vine pun­ish­ment. All this might have been fine, ex­cept it feels forced, heavy-handed and shod­dily put to­gether, with pacing all over the place and cheap spe­cial ef­fects that do lit­tle to sell the drama – a pretty bum of­fer­ing from the di­rec­tor of Boys Don’t Cry (1996), which seemed to cap­ture teenage des­per­a­tion so per­fectly.

In the end, it seems like a se­ries of missed op­por­tu­ni­ties, for great frights, great roles for women and great so­cial com­ment - some­thing 70s horror used to do with ease.

If one good thing comes from the film, let it be Car­rie drag­ging the cur­rent ma­nia for re­mak­ing al­ready per­fect films back to hell with her.

Re­peat per­for­mance: Chloe Grace Moretz stars in the mod­ern take of Car­rie.

Star­ring: Ju­lianne Moore, Chloe Grace Moretz, Por­tia Dou­bleday and Gabriella Wilde. Di­rected by Kim­berly Peirce. Writ­ten by Roberto Aguir­reSa­casa. Horror. 1hr 39min. R16 for vi­o­lence, horror, of­fen­sive lan­guage and sex­ual themes. Now show­ing at Read­ing and Event cine­mas.

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