Autumn is my favorite time of year. One of the many things that makes it great is getting your fill of scary movies. I do love a good chill every now and then. The trouble is (and this is common to many of my fellow scaremongers out there) there aren't really that many good scary movies. You kind of have to forget your normal movie standards for the sake of cheap thrills. But there are really excellent ones, every once in a while, that make the rest worth the time.
So I went to see Carrie. To be honest from the get go, it wasn't great. But it wasn't not worth it, either. The good parts and the faulty parts kind of balance each other out in the spirit of the season and it was entertaining enough for a weeknight I might have otherwise spent reading for my British Lit class.
Carrie asks what happens if that one person you don't know how to get along with and therefore avoid and ridicule develops telekinetic powers. It was originally the book that put Stephen King on the map, and is pretty iconic on its own. So I think the group of filmmakers who decided to adapt it again had their work cut out for them. In that sense I pity them, and even wonder "Was there no other project to do?"
The movie's one big problem from which every other disappointing thing stems is the writing. The performances (considering what the actors are given) are fair and even good, and the technical aspects of it are strong. It just wasn't sketched out well beforehand. The dialog is weak and sometimes tacky. The characters feel like they've been reduced to their basic elements and left that way. They are often only caricatures drawn with wide lines and colored crudely. The lapse in writing also effects the film's overall structure, not leaving enough time for it to rise and only letting it partially cook.
On the other hand, it does try to offer a fair thematic update. We commonly deal with things like cyberbullying and there are more and more people we can't fit into a mold and therefore don't know how to deal with. If every emotional outburst from one who feels mistreated resulted in telekinetic destruction, maybe we'd treat them a little more seriously.
In the end, I will say that it might be more worth it to rent it next year at Halloween, as part two of your double feature with Hocus Pocus or something. But what is your favorite scary movie? What says Halloween to you?
Carrie features Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, and Judy Greer, and is rated R because, well, it's Carrie. What did you expect?
by Chase Harrison