Thursday, October 17, 2013

Final Cut Call: Carrie

Brought back to the big screen some 37 years after Sissy Spacek had a bucket of pig's blood splattered upon her skull, Chloe Moretz is Carrie, Steven King's telekinetic misfit dealing with both her Bible-thumping, seamstress psycho of a mom (an all-over-the-map Julianne Moore) and the popular posse that revels in tormenting the fair-haired freak show.

Banned from the prom for hurling a flood of feminine hygiene products at Carrie and posting it on YouTube (super-clever way to freshen things up), the ring leader of the cool clique (Portia Doubleday) vows to exact revenge on Carrie for the high crime of being really, really weird.

Things culminate exactly how they did in Brian De Palma's now-campy '76 classic, unmitigated carnage at the prom — Carrie unleashing the full might of her matter-moving mind upon the batch of wholly generic kids jammed into the joint.

Leave it to director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry) to trash the signature scene, delivering the body-fluid dousing three times, in three successive edits. Student filmmakers wouldn't stoop to such stupidity.

Saddled with a script strewn with some of the cheesiest dialogue I've ever encountered – including random references to "famous athletes like Tim Tebow" – Carrie kills it as a comedy, never once approaching horror. Schlockier than a Rolox watch, this Carrie will have panphobes howling with laughter.

For a more resonant – likewise supernatural – take on adolescent anguish, check into another Moretz movie, 2010's near-masterpiece, Let Me In.

It has bite with its blood — and far fewer laughs.

Final Cut Score: 60%