“Carrie” vs “Carrie”: Which one wins?

Ever since seeing Chloë Grace Moretz totally own her screen time as the  sassy crime-fighter Hit Girl in “Kick-Ass,” I had high hopes when I heard that she would be playing “Carrie” in a remake of the classic movie. I had watched “Carrie” before, although most of my friends hadn’t seen the film. Just a few months prior to the new “Carrie” release, I rewatched the original to refresh my memory.

Original movie poster. Image from IMDb.
Original movie poster. Image from IMDb.

 

Having viewed both versions of the film, I can say that the 2013 release stayed true to the 70’s film and Moretz certainly doesn’t disappoint. Sissy Spacek and Chloë Moretz each play Carrie White, who isn’t really known in a positive light by many at the high school she attends. Both films feature Carrie’s reputation for being an odd, mysterious blond with some serious anxiety and social issues.

I was pleased with how the well-known shower scene was executed in the latest movie. Carrie White is in the girls’ locker room, taking a required shower after gym class, and suddenly starts her period. The 70’s film contains a bit of unnecessary nudity here while Carrie showers and discovers that blood is running down the drain at her feet, while the recent film manages to portray the scene clearly – no nudity required.

The main difference between the films lies in how much times have changed: in the original, the girls simply tell the entire school of the incident. In the modern installment, the girls use their cell phones to take pictures and video of their horrific bullying. This reflects what really happens in today’s world of unlimited technology; a simple mishap that should be kept secret and forgotten about can instead be kept forever with the power of a cell phone, and used as blackmail to further hurt someone.

New version movie poster. Image from IMDb.
New version movie poster. Image from IMDb.

The stereotypical popular mean girl, Chris Hargensen, grows a grudge against Carrie after she is suspended and exempt from prom for bullying her. As revenge, she accompanies her boyfriend in slaughtering a pig and collecting its blood in a bucket. They sneak into prom before the party begins and suspend the bucket high above the center stage, having formulated a plan to dump it on Carrie White and completely embarrass her in turn for getting Chris in trouble.

Needless to say, Carrie is overwhelmingly angry, especially when the empty bucket falls and gives a blow to her date’s head, killing him. Both ending scenes are equally disastrous in each film, and you can’t help but watch in horror as Carrie proceeds to use her powers to eliminate members of the student body one by one.

Personally, I favor the newest Carrie, but perhaps I’m biased because I find Chloë Moretz to be an incredibly talented young actress. One of the best actresses of our time, Julianne Moore, plays her insane mother expertly. The newest version is more theatrical in its effects and the disturbingly creative ways that Carrie uses her powers for evil at the end of the film, but this just makes for an enticing film with a moral just as clear as in the 1976 version: never bully anyone; you never know what pure hell they’re capable of raising to exact revenge on you.

My advice would be to watch the original first, and I highly encourage you to follow up by going to see “Carrie” in theater. It was definitely money well-spent.