Carrie (Blu-ray / DVD)
Directed by Kimberly Peirce
Distributed by Fox
The Stephen King tale of the mistreated teen who goes on a rampage of telekinetic terror has been told many different times. From print to the stellar Brian De Palma film to a pretty okay TV movie... hell, there were even two different stage plays and a rancid sequel. Yet, at no time in the last several decades has the story of Carrie been told as pointlessly as it was here in Kimberly Peirce's remake. It's not that her version of Carrie is a bad film. It just doesn't bring anything new to the table.
This is usually the point in a review at which I rehash the story a bit. Doing so would be about as senseless as the film itself because you already know the plot. There are some slight differences here and there though, like the opening in which we get to see Margaret White (played by a stand-out Julianne Moore) giving birth, alone, to her baby with the intention of killing it because it was born out of sin. It must have also been born via immaculate conception because while she's cradling her newborn, its umbilical chord magically disappears. But whatever... she decides to keep her baby, and we fast forward a few years to meet Carrie White, who is played by a nearly miscast Chloe Grace Moretz. I say "miscast" because Moretz, simply put, is just too damned pretty and recognizable to play an awkward outcast, and that's what Carrie needed to be. A fresh face would have better served the role, but it's Moretz's performance that keeps her in the game because she's big time talented and it shows. Anyway, you know the rest... telekinetic powers... bitchy classmates... pig's blood at the prom... fiery revenge. It's all there, at times line for line with the 1976 film, whose writer, Lawrence D. Cohen, gets a story credit here because his dialog is actually recycled in some scenes. Why even bother?
This movie is a near carbon copy version of the original film. Whatever new things are introduced, like Margaret White's need to self-mutilate, are quickly forgotten in favor of following the road that was paved years and years ago. The only thing not borrowed from the original film was the ending in which Carrie's hand rises from the grave to grab the arm of a very sorry Sue Snell. In this version all we get to see is Carrie's tombstone crack. Big deal. That being said, there's also an alternate ending which plays cleverly on the arm grab gag... but why should that have been included when the movie was in theatres? Maybe because it strayed too far from the source material, which was obviously De Palma's movie and not Stephen King's book. The whole affair is just so utterly senseless. Talk about a missed opportunity.
The Blu-ray itself is home to several features not included with its standard def DVD cousin, including the option to watch the film straight through with the much better alternate ending touched upon above. There are also some deleted and extended scenes and a commentary by Peirce which is as dry as they come. Include a quick featurette about telekinesis, and that's it for the extra Blu-ray goodies. All that's left are your standard making-of featurette, the hilarious coffee shop prank (which was better than just about anything in the movie) and a trailer.
Somewhere, someday, someone will look at the Stephen King novel and try to do it justice. That's not to say De Palma didn't as his Carrie is without question a classic, but there's so much more to do. The scope is so much bigger. Who wouldn't want to see Carrie go on a town destroying rampage and not just a prom killing spree. Maybe one day we'll get the definitive telling. This just isn't it.
2 1/2 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5