A new Carrie means, by and large, more of everything: more twitchiness from a now excruciatingly shy shut-in (Chloë Grace Moretz), more amplified shame via viral videos posted by catty mean girls, more pig’s blood (from five different camera angles). Only Julianne Moore, as the Bible-thumping mom, has an instinct to go softer—how couldn’t she, after Piper Laurie?—and paradoxically, it’s a move that feels wrong, the role requiring its cantatory bigness.
Director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) understands the crude power of Stephen King’s first published novel, soaked in menstrual panic and the hauteur of do-gooders. But her serviceable remake feels depressingly yoked to the look and feel of Brian De Palma’s 1976 classic, down to the set design. (There’s even a hint of locker-room slo-mo.) It should have been an opportunity for a transfusion of timeliness: How about an Adderall-spiked college applicant and one of those overbearing tiger moms?
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