Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Carrie Review

Some movies, for better or worse, can be defined by one scene. One scene that will be burned into a person's memory until they die. School Days's ending. The Titanic sinking. The first time Jaws attacks. The shower scene from Psycho. Scenes that are so legendary that everyone knows them, even people that haven't scene the movie or TV show. 

I would argue that Carrie has a scene that everyone knows about and only cares about that scene; the prom. Just by saying "Carrie at the prom" should evoke images of slaughter and chaos. It's the one thing that makes the movie stand out and is THE reason you know what Carrie even is. Going into this remake, that's all I was expecting. A really savage and brutal action scene that justifies the entire movie. Seeing horrible people get brutally killed, and feeling like they deserved it. I got that in this movie. Unfortunately, I got nothing else from this movie. 

Uh Carrie, you got something on your face....
I'll be upfront and honest here, since I always am. Everything up until the eponymous prom scene is lifeless and boring. This may sound weird to say, but the colors in this movie seemed very muted. I know that that's a bizarre thing to comment on, but it's true. Everything for the first two acts are full of lifeless colors like tan brown and grays. What makes this really standout though is the fact that they use the bland colors to contrasts with the red in the third act, and by god is there a lot of red. It makes the third act all the more memorable, but to the detriment of the story and characters. 

Speaking of, I was actually looking forward to seeing Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore as Carrie and Margaret White respectively. They both have a credibility to them, and I could have totally imagined them as each character. But after seeing the movie, they're just... okay. Margaret in particular could have been such a fascinating character, having her religious insanity counter balance with her motherly nature. Instead, we get a character who mumbles a lot and just sounds like a crazy person. Yes, she is out of her mind insane, but it's not particularly compelling to watch an old woman mumble to herself. 

As for Carrie herself, if we're being perfectly honest, she's not really a character. I know I may be pissing off the die hard Carrie fans in all of us (or maybe two of us), but she's not really a character. She's more or less a symbol in a sense. To make a very long story short, the entire point of Carrie is about bullying. It pushes the limits of bullying to their logical extremes where people who are reprehensibly evil do terrible things and see their comeuppance for being a bully. Carrie is pretty much a symbol for why you shouldn't bully people. Bully people, face the consequences. In that regard, Carrie isn't much of a character. She gets psychic powers out of nowhere as a means for her to get her revenge, but besides that, she only just says a few things every now and then. When prom happens, everything comes to a head and someone who we've seen made fun of, abused, and bullied gets revenge. Done. Carrie is a symbol of a character, so there's no meat to her. Chloe Grace Moretz does a good job at giving a character with no real discernible personality a character, but it's still barely a character at that. 

You know what, screw it! Prom pictures all the way!
So yeah, the film is boring for the first two acts with bland scenery, bland characters, and only buildup to the mother of all climaxes. And boy is it a climax. I don't even feel the need to put a spoiler warning here because everyone knows how the scene goes. Carrie goes crazy and kills everyone. It was an hour of buildup for this moment, and looking back, it was actually really damned awesome. I won't say that it's as awesome as the climax to the recent Evil Dead movie, but man is it worth it. There's explosions, trampling, people being engulfed in flames, using electrical wires to zap people in water, throwing people into walls, an insane amount of blood, and Carrie's homicidal rage making turning her into an Earth Bender. No really, Carrie destroys concrete and cement to make gaping holes in the ground. And explodes sewers for some reason. 

15 minutes of high intense, gratifying revenge. That's all this movie is. There's an hour of buildup, insanity, then the resolution, which goes back to the underwhelming pace of the first hour. If the movie ended with the climax and Carrie enacting revenge, that'd be perfect. I would have given it a much higher rating for it. But there's still the after prom to deal with, and that I won't spoil. All that you need to know is that the movie goes back to the same boring, trite pace of the first two acts. Plus there's a closing shot that made me roll my eyes for how stupid it was. 

I'm debating on what to give this movie, since I didn't abjectly hate this movie. The buildup was worth it for the climax, which was a fantastic climax at that. However, you have to sit through an hour of underwhelming performances that just make you look forward to the climax even more. In the end though, the climax was worth it. The first half established characters that we hate, see them bully Carrie, then watch them all die horribly during the climax. In that regard, the movie was worth it. Not particularly good in any other respect, but decent. Very close to giving it a lower score, but Carrie just scrapes by with 3 bloody Carries out of 5. 

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