Stephen King’s bestselling horror novel about a girl with telekinetic powers gets its third movie adaptation (the first, of course, being Brian De Palma’s 1976 shocker, the second a forgettable 2002 TV movie). Firmly aimed at teens who haven’t seen the original (or aren’t old enough to – it’s an 18, so not reviewed on this site), it’s a decent – though scare-free – reworking of the story, with Chloe Grace Moretz as young Carrie and Julianne Moore as her god-fearing mother.
Beginning from the new perspective of Carrie’s mother Margaret writhing on a bed believing she’s dying (she’s actually giving birth), the film then jumps to the present day where shy, awkward Carrie is attending high school. Unfortunately it is in the gym showers there one day that she gets her first period, and petrified, cries out for help only for her schoolmates to pelt her with tampons and, in a 21st century twist, film her distress on their phones. Not surprisingly, this triggers the first sign of her telekinesis as a light explodes above her while she’s being comforted by her sympathetic gym teacher (Greer). Popular girl Sue (Wilde), meanwhile, feels guilty for being one of the girls involved, and encourages her boyfriend Tommy to take Carrie to the prom, just as mean girl Chris (Portia Doubleday) plots the ultimate – and infamous – humiliation for Carrie on prom night.
Fans of the novel and original film will all know where this is leading, and it’s hard not to compare this reworking from director Kimberly Peirce with Brian De Palma’s deliciously screaming shockfest and its leading ladies’ (Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie) memorable performances. Moretz and Moore sensibly don’t try to emulate them, and instead give their own interesting interpretations of tortured teen Carrie and devout Margaret (Moore’s mum-from-hell is less hysterical here, more quietly bonkers), while Peirce delivers a slightly bloody drama for older teens rather than an all-out horror movie.
Is Carrie suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This film is a 15 certificate so is not suitable for younger children and the under-15s.
Sensitive viewers may be upset by the childbirth scene at the start.
The movie also includes a scene in which teens slit the throat of a pig, and empty the pig’s blood on a student.
Late in the movie, a character smashes through a car windscreen and we see their face covered in glass which is unpleasant.
There is also a multiple stabbing.
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