Carrie vs. Carrie: Carrie-ing on the Carrie Name

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I saw the new 2013 remake of Carrie this week, and instead of doing a normal review, I thought I’d just compare it to the original like a jerk and see which one is better.  The Rage: Carrie 2 will not be discussed.  Ever.

I’ll just go ahead and spoil as much as I want, assuming you’ve seen the original Carrie (or just the new one).  If you’ve seen one of them, then you know what happens in the other, because they don’t really change any plot points.

Chloe Grace Moretz vs. Sissy Spacek

Chloe did a good job in the lead role, but she never made my hair stand up like Sissy did.  I’ve heard the argument that Chloe was too pretty for the role, but I thought her looks worked fine, because she was weird, and weird people become outcasts.  That being said, I thought Sissy just looked the part even better.  The level of acting between the two was probably on the same level, but I’d give the edge to Sissy based solely on the freaky stare she’s got at the end.

Winner:  OLD CARRIE

 

Julianne Moore vs. Piper Laurie

This is a tough one…  Piper’s performance may be a little biased, as it’s a classic.  But if I just look at both performances without context, I think I liked Julianne’s better.  They both played crazy very well, but I think Julianne just took it to a new level.  Maybe it was because of the more graphic nature the film chose to show her lunacy (that’s some quality self-mutilation), but I just liked the new Margaret White a little better.  It’s almost like apples and oranges, and I just have a preference for apples right now.

Winner:  NEW CARRIE

 

The Bullies

One of the biggest updates to the film is the way the bullies torment Carrie.  This time around, they take a camera phone video of her first period, and then upload it to YouTube.  That’s a little scary in itself, thinking about what it would have been like to have camera phones and YouTube when I was in high school (I’m not that old, but high school me missed the whole camera phone thing by about a year or so).  High school sucks enough, but for people to be able to relive getting bullied over and over again via the internet; that would have given me nightmares back then. Other than that, the level of teenage girl bitchiness is about equal in the two movies, so I’ll give the technological upgrade the slight edge.

Winner:  NEW CARRIE

 

John Travolta vs. The dude from the new one

Well, the new “evil boyfriend” guy is just some bro.  The other one is 70s era Travolta.  This category is pretty obvious.

Winner:  OLD CARRIE

 

The Prom (Pre-freakout)

I actually thought that the new one handled all of the events leading up to, and being at the prom in a pretty nice way.  It almost felt John Hughes-y.  It made me feel like the director would be pretty capable of making a decent teen romantic drama/comedy.  Just keep supernatural crap out of your next project!  We don’t need another Mortal Instruments movie.  Society will be fine without it.

Winner:  NEW CARRIE

 

The Prom (after the bucket of blood gets dumped on her head)

Oh wow, it’s no question that the ’76 Carrie had a much better telekinetic revenge murder scene than the new one.  I actually get chills up my spine during the original’s sequence.  And it’s not just the fact that the new one had a handful of bad CGI moments, but the old one trounced the new one in sound design, music score, and editing.  The old one was a masterpiece of destruction, the new one was just kind of a…  thing.

Winner:  OLD CARRIE

 

“They’re all going to laugh at you!”

The line gets delivered in both films, but it’s basically glossed over in the new one.  I guess that was more of just a tribute to the old one.  But it’s a great line, and the ’76 version delivered it way better, and then also used it well during the freak out.  Though, I almost always hear it in Adam Sandler’s voice.

Winner:  OLD CARRIE

 

Camerawork

Other than one cool camera move in the new one where I went “Oh, that was really cool,” it wasn’t nearly as well-shot as the ’76 film.  The new one was shot rather matter-of-factly for the most part.

Winner:  OLD CARRIE

 

Music Score

I, uh, don’t remember anything about the new film’s music score, and I just saw it a couple of days ago.  I can vividly remember the old one though, despite not having watched it in a couple of years.

Winner:  OLD CARRIE

 

The End Gag with Carrie’s Grave

As little sense as the original’s was (I guess it was a dream), with Carrie’s hand exploding out of the ground, it was at least a genuine shock (in addition to being shot in reverse to create a cool, surreal effect).  In the new one, the gravestone cracks a little bit with CGI effects.  It was kind of lame.  In fact, Carrie cracks a lot of things in the new one.  I don’t remember her cracking so many inanimate objects in the original…?

Winner:  OLD CARRIE

 

Final Verdict:  I actually enjoyed the new Carrie for the most part, but it’s not much of an improvement on the old one, in addition to having quite a bit less flair.  Maybe the biggest fault against the new one is that it’s nothing more than a standard horror movie, whereas the old was just supposed to be a standard horror movie, but got elevated above that because of some really good creative choices by Brian De Palma.

I mean, if I wanted to watch Carrie some night in the future, and I had the option to pick one of these two versions, I would think future me would probably never pick the new one over the old one if given the choice.  However I would probably rewatch the new one again on HBO or something.  It’s not terrible.  But I don’t think I’d recommend seeing it in theaters.

New Carrie – 7 out of 10

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