Not much has changed since the 1970s. Teenage girls can still be pure evil. And now they come with iPhones. So that ‘plug it up’ tampon scene – when Carrie gets her first period – ends up on YouTube in this remake starring Chloë Moretz and Julianne Moore as her God-bothering mum. As remakes go, it isn’t as lame as it could be. Director Kimberly Peirce (who made ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, another film about an outcast trapped by smalltown bullies) gets inside the psychology of her characters more than Brian De Palma did in 1976. But her ‘Carrie’ is no match for the spooks and shocks of the original – which still gives ‘The Shining’ a run for its money as the best film of a Stephen King novel.
Moretz is unnervingly talented, but Carrie is not a role she was born to play. She hasn’t a victim’s bone in her body and fluffs the early scenes when the mean girls pick on her. Moretz’s Carrie comes into her own when she wreaks havoc at the prom and in the afterparty rampage scene. It’s only in the final 20 minutes, after the pig’s blood scene (nothing new there), that ‘Carrie’ grabs you by the throat with a fireworks display of Carrie’s telekinetic freakouts. Too little, a little too late.