Carrie (2013)

  • Review Date: October 16, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2013

Common Sense Media says

Bloody horror remake focuses heavily on bullying, revenge.
  • Review Date: October 16, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2013

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The overarching positive message is that even people perceived as misfits are human and deserve to be treated with respect and consideration -- not because the bullied person will snap and set their gym on fire but because it's just the decent thing to do.

Positive role models

This isn't a movie chock full of role models, but at least Ms. Desjardin genuinely cares about Carrie and doesn't want the "mean girls" to bully her. On the other hand, Ms. Desjardin slaps Carrie, punishes her gym class, and threatens them with suspension. Sue and Danny sacrifice their prom night together to give Carrie a special night to remember. Mrs. White is a religious zealot who emotionally and physically abuses her daughter.

Violence

Violence includes cruel pranks, murder, and self harm. The movie opens with a bloody unassisted birth after which the mother nearly kills her newborn. Chris is depicted as sadistic; she cuts a pig's throat, pours a bucket of pig's blood on Carrie, and later tries to run over her with a car. Mrs. White self harms by cutting herself and is abusive toward Carrie (she tries to kill her as a newborn and later in the film stabs her). Carrie uses her telekinesis in disturbing ways: she impales people, sets rooms on fire, turns over a car and makes objects hit people. A teenage boy is killed when a bucket falls on his head. There are few close-ups of dead or nearly dead characters. A guy threatens his girlfriend if she gets them arrested.

Sex

Two high-school seniors are depicted having sex in the backseat of a car; his bare back and legs are visible, and she wears just a bra. The scene is brief but realistic: thrusting and moaning. There's also a lot of passionate kissing. Another teenager makes out with her boyfriend who in one scene asks her to kiss her female best friend (the best friend seems willing, but the kiss doesn't come to pass). A teenager finds out she's pregnant. Teen girls are in bras and underwear in the locker room scene.

Language

Strong language includes "f--k," "a--hole," "s--t," "douche," "Goddamn," and more. A teacher tells her students they've done something "s--tty" and punishes them for bullying Carrie. Carrie's mother calls her breasts "dirty pillows." The clique of popular girls makes fun of Carrie by throwing tampons at her and chanting "Plug it up!" and "freak" at her.

Consumerism

iPhone, Jeep Cherokee

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Underage drinking in a couple of scenes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Carrie is the newest adaptation of Stephen King's best-selling 1974 horror novel. Director Kimberly Peirce focuses even more on the bullying angle than her 1976 predecessor Brian De Palma, and the violent sequences are even bloodier: people are impaled, burned, stabbed, and bludgeoned to death; and a mother physically and emotionally abuses her daughter. The humiliation is also just as disturbing: Carrie is ruthlessly ridiculed and even recorded/photographed for being so upset at her first menstruation, and in the film's climax a vicious prank leads to her being covered in pig's blood. Although there's no nudity in the locker room scene, girls do appear in towels or just their bras and panties. There's also a good bit of passionate kissing as well as one sex scene between teens and some underage drinking.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Director Kimberly Peirce's modernization of Carrie, Stephen King's iconic high school horror novel, is a pretty faithful to the book. In small Chamberlain, Maine, formerly home-schooled misfit Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) attempts to keep to herself until the unfortunate day when she gets her first period in the girls' locker room. Instead of quietly helping her, the girls in her gym class play a cruel trick on her, and even record her frightened reaction for school-wide consumption. Feeling remorseful, popular girl Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde), convinces her lacrosse star boyfriend Danny (Ansel Elgort) to ask Carrie to prom. But Carrie's abusive zealot of a mother (Julianne Moore) wants her to decline the invitation and repent for "becoming a woman." Meanwhile, Carrie starts to recognize that she has telekinetic powers, and a sadistic mean girl plans to once again publicly humiliate the social outcast.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It's hard to argue in favor of a remake, especially one of a movie that's considered a classic in its genre. Most of the time, nothing good will come of it, but Peirce does a decent if not novel job at updating De Palma's signature '70s teen horror flick. Much is the same -- the oppressively religious mother, the cruelty of teenage girls, the well-meaning P.E. teacher (played this time by character actress Judy Greer) -- just as King described it. If anything, thanks to today's obsession with social media, the bullying is even more pronounced and disturbing and widespread.

Peirce doesn't shy away from the power of burgeoning adolescent sexuality, but then again, it's not like De Palma glossed over it either. A feminist filmmaker, she makes sure this Carrie isn't just a startled victim to her own powers; Moretz' protagonist owns her abilities, delights in them. When she's enacting her bloody vengeance, Carrie is often half smiling. The performances are good (Moore manages to portray Margaret White as more frightened than crazy), and the story still resonates, but the greater question remains, why remake Carrie when the original is considered so definitive? At least this new version will make Facebook-age teens think about the figurative if not literal horrors of high school humiliation and bullying.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the movie can be considered a cautionary tale to high-school bullying. Is the sort of bullying depicted in the movie realistic, or is it over the top? Does the school handle the bullying incident appropriately?

  • How is coming of age and sexuality portrayed in the movie? Who in the movie has a healthy attitude toward adolescent sexuality? What are Mrs. White's thoughts on sexuality?

  • Does seeing the movie make you interested in reading Stephen King's book? Those who've read the book: Do you consider this version a faithful adaptation? How does it compare to the Brian de Palma version?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 18, 2013
DVD release date:January 14, 2014
Cast:Chloe Grace Moretz, Judy Greer, Julianne Moore
Director:Kimberly Peirce
Studio:Sony Pictures Releasing
Genre:Horror
Topics:Misfits and underdogs
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:bloody violence, disturbing images, language and some sexual content

This review of Carrie (2013) was written by

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Teen, 17 years old Written byB-KMastah October 18, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Remakes are rarely good, and this is a rare example.

Firstly, this is not a remake. This is the third adaptation of the Stephen King novel. It was never the intention to remake a Brian De Palma film. Anyways, on with the review. The 1976 De Palma film is an all-time favorite of mine. I went into this simultaneously mildly excited yet apprehensive, but thank Kimberly Peirce for making a remake that isn't bad. Firstly, let me put it out there that I don't hate remakes/reboots as much as other cinephiles do, because I can always watch and advertise the original, and I'm always interested to see someone else's reimagining of source material. Despite the fact that the script is very similar to the De Palma film, I've read that this is more faithful to the novel, which must be towards the third act. It's very similar and then changes up a bit and goes bonkers. I wasn't bored, though, thanks to the acting. It's actually solid. Julianne Moore is super creepy and Chloë Grace Moretz shows her range as an actress; she has now ranged from badass to cute to innocent, in Kick-Ass, Hugo, and this, respectively. I've heard some stuff about Moretz being miscast and too pretty, but she still pulls it off. However, if I want to nitpick, it's that she's 16 in real life (probably 15 when they filmed this), but she's specifically shown to be 17 of 18. They could have just lowered her age. Also, with the film being reset to 2013, not nearly this quantity of kids would be that mean, much less heartless. It worked in 1976 but in 2013 it seemed over the top; the anti-bullying campaigns around the Internet and growing tolerance of students kind of takes you out of the movie. However, the imagery and religious symbolism stays intact and strong, which of course is thanks to the source material. But to be honest, it's an achievement in itself that they didn't butcher it. They could, however, could have cut the film a bit; even its 99-minute running time is a bit excessive. 8/10, very good, above average, one thumb up, etc.

What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byCharlietheunicorn99 October 18, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Interview with an annoying parent - then the actual review for Carrie - then a conclusion wrapping the thing up

For the record, I am a fourteen year old male. I've read the book, seen the original, and the emotionally unstable crap comes from just being a teenager. Horror movies are not a bad influence on people, people are bad influences on people. Especially kids. Kids try to keep up with what's in, or the cool kids and end up hurting themselves. By watching this movie, you are not hurting yourself. If a teen like me, was going to go see this as a first horror movie, there would be a different story. I actually got hooked on horror from Scream. But that's beside the point, parents who allow their kids to watch these types of movies are not endangering them. They're allowing them to be able to see if the children are capable of the responsibility on determining reality from fiction. But by saying that the parents should be sued for child abuse and endangering the said children, you're giving yourself a bad name by saying that you've never done that. A responsible parent would wait for the said children to become the right age before they watch these movies. In conclusion, who is the real person giving child abuse? The ones giving them a terrible life.

Also, Carrie with Chloe Grace Moretz is a fantastic movie. Would love to see it more times with my dad if I could.

IN FINAL CONCLUSION, parenting is about your responsibility to make sure your kids turn out responsible in the end of the race. By watching movies like this, they can turn out just fine anyway.
Thanks for reading! :)
Also, the key word of this review is responsible or responsibility.

What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written bySean Broucek October 18, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Compelling Horror Film Isn't For Kids.

Parents, this intense remake of the Stephen King novel is compelling and well-acted, but the bloody violence and sexuality makes it too mature for young teens. Violence includes beatings, stabbings, fires, bullying, cruel pranks and behavior, bloody killings, an extensive massacre, cutting, impaling, and a brief torture scene. Sex includes a sex scene with thrusting and moaning, make out sessions, sexual references, scantily clad women and nonsexual partial nudity (breasts), and depictions of marital violence and rape. Language includes several uses of "f--k" and "s--t" (with many derivations), and also "sonofabitch", "d--k", "p---y", "c--k", and one "c--t". Also underage drinking. In the end this thought-provoking scarefest is great, but is too bloody for young teens. SUGGESTED MPAA RATING: Rated R For Bloody Violence, Disturbing Images, Sexuality, Brief Teen Drinking And Pervasive Language

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