Stepping into the blood-soaked prom dress made famous by Sissy Spacek in the 1976 film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name, Chloë Grace Moretz toplines director Kimberly Peirce‘s Carrie, about a shy outcast who ends up unleashing telekinetic terror on her classmates. Passable only as a piece of recast entertainment for those who’ve never heard of the original, much less seen it, Carrie doesn’t plumb the depths of adolescent isolation its premise obliges. There doesn’t seem to be a pronounced rationale, beyond commercial reward, for this relatively undistinguished remake.
At the core of Carrie‘s emotional disconnection, unfortunately, is Moretz’s performance. Spacek’s Oscar-nominated turn in the 1976 film casts a long enough shadow that any young actress would have some trouble escaping it; Spacek tapped into the title character’s pitiable qualities with such a consuming focus that it was at times painful to watch. Moretz, still just 16 years old (almost a decade younger than Spacek was at the time of filming), is a talented young actress, but lacks, at least here, the ability to convey an emotional hopelessness resulting from years of ground down self-esteem. Her Carrie is all over-articulated social shyness and body shame. For the full, original review, from Screen Daily, click here. (Sony/Screen Gems, R, 99 minutes)