Growing up can be tough enough if you don’t have the confidence or the support needed. However, in an era where everything can be digitalised into a state of absolute permeance and displayed to a wide audience of your peers. It is this environment that can amplify alienation, isolation, and bullying. In 2013, the classic tale of a peculiar girl’s break point was remade, so a new always-connected generation will feel the dark wrath of Carrie.
To recite the plot point of Carrie at this point feels a tad redundant, as the same story preservers. You have a young woman who mainly keeps to herself, you have her puritanical mother making her life hard enough, even without the alienation felt by her peers. You have one girl who takes her vindictiveness to the limit, bringing the town to an almost apocalyptic assault. While there are some new touches here and there, Carrie remains the same story that generations still will be familiar with.
There might be some who would question the decision to remake Carrie, as we have had about 1.5 remakes before. It is no secret that the proliferation of teenagers’ relation to technology and how, if used maliciously, can fuel negative and in some cases, deadly results. Elements that are sprinkled into this version, the underlying story, isn’t completely updated; classic scenes like the prom and the gallons of blood are here. Along with a growing section of younger viewers, not willing to seek out films (or other works of art made before they were born), a modern retelling can be a gateway to a familiar story.
In this version, the character of Margaret is put more into focus, and Julianne Moore naturally fits the role of Carrie’s mother. Delving more into Margaret’s character is an inspired path for the film to take, as Moore approaches Margaret from an altered angle. Presenting a woman, who most probably has some undiagnosed or underlying psychological issues and the violent and dogmatic ways that they can manifest, adds an extra layer to the familiar characterisation of Carrie’s mother. Meanwhile, Carrie herself is now played by Chloë Grace Moretz, with her storied career in films like The Amityville Horror and especially seeing her in other projects such as Movie 43 and beyond. Comedy legend, Judy Greer, also appears as Carrie’s teacher, and it is always a treat to see Michael Bluth’s secretary branching out into a lot more serious role.
Adapting Carrie in an era of cyberbullying is a logical step for a modern adaptation to take, as is exploring more of the puritanical elements of Carrie’s mom. Purist’s qualms can be allayed, however, as the same story remains, only now more accessible for a younger audience, who might be put off by the age and style of the classic film. They will have an opportunity to see the blood-drenched prom on screen, or wherever they get films. Times do change, but the legacy of King’s imagination will forever scar and reflect the lives of many to come.
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